A new $21 million independent-living facility for senior citizens is on track to open in Gahanna next spring.

Construction is underway on Walnut Trace, a 93-unit apartment building for seniors ages 55 and older.

The National Church Residences project is at 389 Olde Ridenour Road.

George Tabit, National Church Residences vice president, said the architecture for the Walnut Trace project is a little more modern than other NCR projects, with a high-end design.

"I don't know if we have anything like it in terms of the look. It's pretty unique," he said. "I don't think we have anything that sits (by) a golf course."

He said the setting is "fantastic," with tree-lined walking trails, views of the Big Walnut Creek and paths that connect the community to McCorkle Park.

It's across the road from the north end of Gahanna Municipal Golf Course, 220 Olde Ridenour Road.

He said the project is designed to meet the needs of middle-income seniors, with a mix of one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging from 600 to 1,500 square feet.

"We have been very intentional with our rates to ensure we are offering the flexibility in pricing that Gahanna residents told us they wanted in our initial research," Tabit said.

He said the base monthly package begins at $2,200 and includes dining options, housekeeping, utilities, phone and cable, Wi-Fi, emergency response, 24-hour maintenance and on-campus activities.

Tabit said the building structure is 20% complete and framing and balconies soon will take shape.

"Every apartment will have a balcony," he said. "The area they're putting up now is the community room. There will be a bistro there where you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner. There will also be a general store."

He said Gahanna has been a part of the National Church Residences mission of serving seniors for 42 years, beginning with the development of Stygler Village on Imperial Drive and continuing with Stygler Commons, which opened in 1990 on North Stygler Drive.

So far, Tabit said, the project is on schedule to open in spring 2021.

"We had a mild winter," he said. "In other years, we might have fallen behind schedule. With the mild winter, we were able to work through the winter."

Tabit said the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic hasn't been an issue.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct. 18.

Gahanna's planning commission approved a final development plan and related legislation April 10, 2019.

According to the plan, the building's 4-story portion will be close to Olde Ridenour Road, while the 3-story portion will be west of the site, closer to single-family homes.

Michael Blackford, the city's deputy development director, said the property is 4.2 acres, and the building height is 51 feet, allowed by city code at the discretion of the planning commission.

He said the applicant is preserving 10 times what the landscape code requires for trees, with the vast majority west of the site, adjacent to single-family residences.

On completion of Walnut Trace, National Church Residences will have 7,966 units of senior housing spread across 95 communities in Ohio.

For more information, go to nationalchurchresidences.org.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla