Greenwood Commons given nod


T&R Properties’ plans to redevelop the former Greenwood Lake property into a mixed-use development are moving forward after Delaware City Council voted unanimously to approve a trio of ordinances related to the proposal, to be known as Greenwood Commons, during Monday’s meeting.

Following a presentation by city staff and comments from stakeholders in the project, the council approved a zoning amendment, conditional use permit, and a preliminary development plan for the approximately 62-acre site located at 340 Lake St. and directly east of Joy Avenue. The Delaware Planning Commission previously recommended approval of the development during its meeting on May 3.

T&R Properties is proposing to construct a total of 528 apartment units, 64 townhomes, one single-family home, and a private clubhouse across three subareas on the site. Subarea A would span approximately 22.62 acres on the northern portion of the property and would contain 252 apartment units across seven three-story buildings as well as a clubhouse. A percentage of the units in Subarea A would likely be studio or single-bedroom units targeted toward workforce housing.

A men’s shelter for short-term housing is also proposed for Subarea A, and the seven apartment buildings would be clustered around the shelter.

Subarea B would span approximately 34.21 acres and would include 276 market-rate apartment units across three buildings, as well as 64 townhomes, the lone single-family home, and a clubhouse. The townhomes would be constructed as 16 four-unit single-family attached buildings located near the southernmost boundary of the site to provide a transition from the existing single-family homes to the south of the site to the proposed apartment buildings in Subarea A.

Subarea C would be maintained as a passive open space with a permanent tree preserve of approximately 5,854 caliper inches.

“We’re really excited about this project,” T&R Properties development administrator R.J. Sabatino said following the city’s presentation. “It’s a unique project. We have a great opportunity here to really ameliorate some of the housing shortage in the area as well as breathe life into the former Salvation Army camp.”

Asked about the target rents for the various types of units, Sabatino said the expectation is around $1,200 for one-bedroom units, $1,600 for two-bedroom units, and $2,000 for three-bedroom townhomes. During the May 3 Planning Commission meeting, T&R founder Ron Sabatino said the rates for the workforce units are still undecided, although he added that recent discussions with the city involved anywhere from 20-30% of the units in Subarea A carrying reduced rates to meet the need for workforce housing in the city.

As for the proposed men’s shelter in Subarea A, which drew the ire of many area residents during the Planning Commission discussions, R.J. Sabatino said the zoning text would allow for upwards of 20 total residents. However, he noted the initial plan is for approximately six residents at the shelter.

Elizabeth Curtis, who serves as the board chairwoman of St. Vincent de Paul Men’s Shelter of Delaware County, Inc., was on hand during the meeting to discuss the shelter’s role in the proposal. Curtis said it is the shelter’s intention to raise money to purchase the acre of land from Sabatino that would house the shelter in Subarea A.

“We would be developing a shelter that would work with referrals primarily from the Delaware County Jail, men who have been part of the jail ministry with St. Vincent de Paul that’s primarily run by St. John Neumann Church in Sunbury,” Curtis told the council. “We would start with five men. We would also have a warming center that would take the place of the warming center that’s at Zion (United Church of Christ) right now. So we would house, on the very coldest nights of the year, an average of about four men for that.”

Curtis added that, over time, the shelter would grow to serve a total of 20 men.

Monday’s discussion, which represented the second reading of the ordinances, included a public hearing to allow members of the public to weigh in on the proposal. No one from the public participated in the hearing, however, and following the closing of the public hearing, Vice Mayor Kent Shafer offered his support of the proposal before making motions to approve the ordinances.

“This is an important development, I think, for several reasons,” Shafer said. “As (Planning and Community Development Director) Dave (Efland) mentioned, we want to see that area get developed. The men’s shelter is part of this, and this developer has been in discussion with us about potentially being one of the first to utilize our attainable housing plan should that come into play.”

T&R Properties will still need to submit a final development plan to the city for final approval of the development.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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