The Mill on Flax mixed-use development, which is expected to usher in a new era for Delaware’s east side while also beginning the transformation of the city’s riverfront, received final approval from Delaware City Council during Monday’s meeting.
Council approved the final development plan for the approximately 5.14-acre site, which is located on the east side of the Olentangy River and north of East Central Avenue. Previously, council approved a rezoning amendment, conditional use permit, and preliminary development plan for the project in June.
Columbus-based investment and development firm RiverWest announced its intentions to revitalize the site with the Mill on Flax proposal after meeting with residents in February to garner feedback on what the community would like to see at the location.
Included in the project are 162 apartment units throughout a total of five residential buildings located in Subarea A, as well as amenities such as a swimming pool, walking paths, and community open spaces. Also included in Subarea A will be an office building for the apartments. Subarea B will contain one approximately 4,870-square-foot commercial building.
While the new development will modernize the location, RiverWest sought to rehabilitate and reuse a portion of the historic site, which has an extensive history dating back to the 1850s when it was annexed into the city of Delaware. In 1863, the Delaware Manufacturing Company constructed the Flax Mill and Warehouse north of Flax Street and west of Milo Alley. The Delaware Chair Company moved to the site in 1876 and was a major employer for the surrounding neighborhood.
RiverWest had previously stated that by redeveloping the original Delaware Manufacturing Company building, it hopes to “embrace the neighborhood’s rich history in manufacturing.” The building will serve as the “centerpiece and heart of the development,” according to the firm.
Economic Development Director Sean Hughes said of the proposal on Monday, “This project, as you know, has been granted a transformational mixed-use development tax credit from the State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Development. That word ‘transformational’ is true of this project … This is the first of its type in this district that we’ve been looking at now for a couple of years.”
Hughes went on to call the plan “catalytic” for the redevelopment of Delaware’s riverfront, and prior to council’s vote, Vice Mayor Kent Shafer called the plan a “gamechanger” for the area.
A request for a street vacation on the site remains in discussion among council. Flax Street, east of Milo Street, will remain as it is today, but the portion of Flax Street west of Milo Street is the subject of the request. If the request is approved, it would be maintained as a private street. The request was not acted on by council on Monday as there is a public hearing set for the next meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.