Although its name and developer have changed, a long-planned luxury townhome complex is finally moving forward in downtown Powell.
Bob Hoying, a principal at Dublin-based real-estate firm Crawford Hoying, said sitework began about a month ago at 84 S. Liberty St. for the Powell Green project. Plans call for the construction of 22 three-bedroom townhomes and a 6,000-square-foot retail building at the site of about 4 acres.
Powell City Council in October 2014 gave Columbus-based Santer Communities the OK to move forward with its proposal for a 22-unit condominium complex and a commercial building on the property. The approval followed multiple meetings at which city residents opposed to downtown-area apartment and condo projects spoke against the planned development, which then was known as Liberty Green.
City voters in November 2014 approved a resident-driven charter amendment banning "high-density housing" in the city's Downtown Business District, which includes the South Liberty Street site. A federal judge in 2016 invalidated the charter amendment "in its entirety," allowing developers to push ahead with downtown housing projects.
Hoying said although Santer Communities earned the initial approvals needed for the project, its leadership eventually decided against moving forward, which led Crawford Hoying to take the reins. He said the project's location near the heart of downtown Powell initially attracted the interest of officials at his firm.
Hoying said his firm will take a phased approach to building out the site, with the first eight units potentially becoming available in late fall. He said the market will determine how quickly the remainder of the townhomes are built.
Prices for the units, which each will feature attached two-car garages, will start at $495,000, according to a news release from Crawford Hoying.
Hoying said discussions with potential tenants for the two-story commercial building are not "far enough along that we could make any announcements." He said construction on the commercial building likely will not occur until initial tenants are secured.
Hoying said he hopes the structure attracts "something that complements the downtown, whether it's restaurants or shopping.
"We want to make sure we can put in something the community is going to love," he said.
Crawford Hoying will preserve an existing house at 110 S. Liberty St. for use as office space.
Workers earlier this year razed a house at 84 S. Liberty St., which previously served as a dentist's office, in order to make room for the development.