Another scaled-back proposal for the Burgess & Niple property in northwest Columbus was tabled by the Columbus Development Commission.

The commission on June 13 told developer Preferred Living its latest proposal for residential living combined with the new headquarters of Burgess & Niple was too intense for the 8.4 acres at 5085 Reed Road.

The latest project had been scaled back by reducing the number of residential units by 24 to 144 and adding a larger landscaping buffer to the south.

Preferred Living is seeking a change from a commercial zoning to a limited apartment office district.

The one- and two-bedroom units would rent for $1,050 and $1,400, respectively, said Jared Smith, a representative of Preferred Living.

Burgess & Niple, an engineering and architectural firm, would be relocated to a new 42,000-square-foot building to the north, near the entrance driveway for Northcrest Park, which is west of the development site.

One of the sticking points was the three-story height of the apartment buildings, which some people on the Development Commission and in the audience said they found to be visually intrusive.

Others complained about the increase in traffic, pedestrian safety, overuse of Northcrest Park and aesthetics.

Robbie Cameruca, representing Burgess & Niple, said the business employs 120 people in the headquarters. He said the company was founded on that site in 1972. Staying in Columbus was one of the company's objectives, Cameruca said.

"We've been looking for opportunities to provide our employees with a more modern space," Cameruca said.

Nick Cipiti, president of the Northwest Civic Association, said he stands in solid opposition to the project.

"This proposal does not fit into this neighborhood," Cipiti said. "It's very invasive."

After the meeting June 13, Smith said he didn't know if Burgess & Niple and Preferred Living would try to work out another compromise.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

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