A developer proposing to bring a financial anchor, a restaurant and luxury condominiums to the city's west side now plans to house the project in a nine-story building and could begin construction this spring.
Since March 2016, Arcadia Development of Ohio has worked with Upper Arlington officials in hopes of bringing forward a multistory, mixed-use project called Arlington Gateway at 1325-59 W. Lane Ave. that would offer a blend of professional offices, retail and luxury condos.
Arcadia managing partner Scott Patton at first sought to build a seven-story building that would feature 82 condos and a rooftop swimming pool.
But driven by the city's desire to increase the professional office footprint of the project, Patton secured approvals last month to increase the height of the building from seven stories to nine -- going from a height of 96 feet to approximately 126 feet.
That will allow him to expand the professional office component from 20,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet, which Patton said will be anchored by a "Big Five, publicly traded financial company that includes an investment arm along with retail banking."
"It allows us to move the project forward with the anchor tenant design programming requirements: i.e. 80,000 square feet of office, which will bring 200 to 250 new jobs to UA," he said.
Pending the Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning's approval of a final development plan, Patton hopes to start construction of the Arlington Gateway in the spring.
If that occurs, he said, the more than $30 million project could be completed by spring 2020.
However, the final development plan hasn't been submitted yet so no date has been set for BZAP members to review it.
Patton said approval of the nine-story plan was a "very positive step in what has been a two-plus-year collaboration between Arcadia Development and UA leaders.
"We are continuing to partner with the city of UA to finalize a development agreement," he said. "The design team at M+A Architects has been released to complete final permitting packages as our legal team continues to meet with UA staff to finalize development agreement. We anticipate an agreement to be completed before the end of the year."
When it's finished, the Arlington Gateway would be the city's tallest building.
It would replace current tenants Darron's Contemporary Furniture, Easy Living Deli, Learning Express Toys, Angel's Touch Asian Massage and Dibela Hair & Nails.
Patton has estimated annual income tax revenue from the project would be approximately $750,000 -- or $7.5 million over 10 years.
Plans call for a ground-floor restaurant and retail businesses. The anchor tenant would occupy three floors and 60,000 square feet.
In addition to 80,000 square feet of office space and 12,500 square feet for retail, the project calls for 66 luxury condos, 16 fewer than originally planned.
Patton said roughly 1,500 square feet of retail space also was cut from the original project plan to allow for more office space.
The amended plans also call for increasing the number of parking spaces for the project from 275 to 367.
Asked for comment on the new plans for the project, Upper Arlington Senior Planning Officer Chad Gibson referred to two staff reports he and city Planning Officer Justin Milam submitted to BZAP Nov. 6.
Included in the reports were opinions from both that the Arlington Gateway could be an important development piece on the city's west side that could springboard additional projects.
"While a nine-story building is certainly tall, it would provide a signature mixed-use building and create a true gateway for the community," the reports stated. "There are exceptionally limited opportunities for the addition of 80,000 square feet of office space elsewhere Upper Arlington.
"A successful project of this scale could also be instrumental in generating further positive redevelopment momentum in this portion of the corridor, which frankly does not meet community standards. Recent focus group results provided to City Council included numerous supportive responses regarding this project and its height."