The Clintonville Area Commission has paved the way for the redevelopment of an office building at the heart of Clintonville that would include space for a restaurant.

The commission March 5 approved a variance reducing the required number of parking spaces for the structure at North High Street and North Broadway from 62 to 36.

The vote to approve the variance was 7-1, with Michael Weinman dissenting.

As part of the proposal, the owner secured shared parking agreements with North Broadway United Methodist Church and Clinton Elementary School.

"The applicant has done all the right things with respect to parking," CAC chairwoman B.J. White said.

A liquor option for the property was approved by voters two years ago, White said.

The redevelopment plan includes a first-floor restaurant with patio. White said she was not aware that a tenant had yet been secured.

"The applicant has taken incremental steps on this project," she said. "I believe the fact the building is mixed use helps to heighten the possibility that it will be a locally owned restaurant."

Owner Steve Hutchison, who, according to the variance request, has owned the building since 2003, declined to comment further on the project through his attorney, Eric Zartman.

The project must be approved by the city of Columbus' board of zoning adjustment. The request is not yet on a board agenda.

CAC approval of the variance request also acknowledges that there is a pending right-of-way issue on North Broadway that is the city's responsibility and does not fall under the CAC's discretion.

"Steve Hutchinson has been working a long time on this project. I think it will add a lot of community activity around that corner, and we hope that it will be a good gathering spot," CAC member Libby Wetherholt said.

"There have been a lot of hurdles to jump for the city," she said. "I hope that we can clear all of them and get this project started."

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