Now that the Delaware County District Library officially has chosen to put its new Powell branch in a coming development at Home and Steitz roads, attention will turn to the completion of the complicated project.

On the 11.7-acre tract, developer John Wicks plans two 7,000-square-foot retail spaces and 68 townhomes and "garden apartments" aimed at young professionals and future employees of Ohio State University's planned ambulatory-care center at Home Road and Sawmill Parkway.

Wicks had planned to put a convenience store and gas station on the property, but residents opposed the plan. That took Wicks back to the drawing board, and he returned with a plan to put the new Powell library branch on the site.

On March 19, after a several-month process, the library's board of trustees chose the site as its newest branch.

The site currently sits in Liberty Township and will be annexed into Powell in a process that could take longer than six months.

That process began in earnest in February, when Powell City Council authorized City Manager Steve Lutz to enter into a preannexation agreement for the development.

Members of the city's development committee -- which chose to send the topic on to council -- initially were concerned about starting the annexation process before the library had chosen the site, and even Glen Dugger, an attorney with Columbus firm Smith and Hale LLC who is representing the developers, said he was aware of the difficult timing.

"We're holding our breath on the library because it will be easier for everyone involved," he said at the time.

"There is a plan B, but plan A is much better."

But the process did move forward, and now the project has the library attached to it, which had been the main concern of both the development committee members and Wicks.

"We are thrilled -- absolutely thrilled -- that you've selected our site," he told library trustees.

The next step for the project will be to bring a final development plan to Powell's planning and zoning commission and eventually get city council's final approval on plans and the annexation, which will require several more months.

City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said the city does not have a confirmed date for when a development plan is scheduled to go before the commission.

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