Clintonville leaders say they've been made aware that developer Casto plans to build apartments on the southwest corner of its Graceland shopping-center development.

Members of the Clintonville Area Commission took to Facebook to alert residents to the topic June 23, despite knowing frustratingly little about the project, according to CAC Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt.

"We're trying to get more information this week," she said. "We're trying to make some contact with Casto to see if they'll just come and talk to us about it, if nothing else."

The main issue, she said, is lack of communication from Casto.

She said the project had been whispered about "two or three years ago," but most Clintonville leaders "thought it had died for some reason," largely due to zoning issues.

In March 2016, Casto announced a 200-unit, six-building apartment complex for the vacant section of Graceland adjacent to Kenney Park, west of the Kroger Marketplace store.

The development was announced at the same time as two other apartment projects: one on the former Dixie International Co. site on Indianola Avenue, the other at 800 E. Cooke Road.

The former, dubbed the Ave, is nearly complete; the latter, like the Graceland development, never materialized.

But in a conversation at church this week, Wetherholt said, she heard some iteration of the Graceland project was back on the table.

"It sounds like they're doing this without a variance, and they have not chosen to share anything with people at all," she said. "Actually, I heard about it coming up again from a Delawanda (Avenue) resident yesterday at church, so that was the first I knew about it. By the time I got home and got online, I had gotten some emails about it. People were all hearing about it about the same time."

Wetherholt said Casto has "never" contacted the CAC about anything -- and isn't obligated to if no variances are needed.

Casto media representatives did not return calls for comment June 24.

Clintonville Area Commission zoning and variance committee Chairman Stephen Hardwick said the space is zoned C-4 commercial.

"If they don't need a variance, they don't really need to talk to us," Wetherholt said, "but we'd like to have a good relationship with them so people aren't putting out bad information."

If the project were to move forward, Wetherholt said, apartments wouldn't be the worst idea. But she said she and others are concerned about traffic and other issues that could crop up.

"In a lot of ways, it does make sense," she said. "I think probably the biggest problem will be traffic patterns, particularly for the Delawanda residents.

"When this was first being talked about two or three years ago, I was very concerned about (Kenney Park)," she said. "The parks and recreation department had made some requirements on the drawings and everything, and as far as I know, the park will still be totally open and available and actually have slightly better parking.

"But that's two-year-old information."

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