A 248-unit residential rental community has been proposed to the City of Powell by the Schottenstein Real Estate Group for over 17 acres of land north of Home Road, just east of Sawmill Parkway. The development plan was presented to the Powell Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 22 in a sketch plan review.
Powell Summit would be comprised of one-, two- and three-bedroom “garden rentals” and two- and three-bedroom townhomes. Some of the amenities featured in the proposal include a 24-hour fitness center, pool, juice bar, game room, conference center and dog park.
Schottenstein Real Estate President Brian Schottenstein compared the potential development to Powell Grand Communities, a 308-unit community that was built on approximately 40 acres by the company off Seldom Seen Road last year. He said the look and feel of the two communities would be similar, but added that one difference would be Powell Summit would not include any three-story buildings.
The land sits in Liberty Township and would be annexed into the city. Five single-family homes, a building supply manufacturer, and a countertop business are currently located on the 17 acres.
“This is workforce housing for knowledge workers … what we’re seeking to attract are young professionals who will be Powell’s next generation of home buyers. What we’re also trying to do is put together a walkable, high-quality housing community that will be next to the potential future largest employer of the city,” said Don Hunter, senior vice president of acquisitions and development for Schottenstein Real Estate, referring to the OSU medical center that has been proposed off of Sawmill Parkway, just north of Home Road.
Hunter went on to say Powell Summit would generate $570,000 in tax revenue for the school district in its first full year. He added that the expected collective payroll of residents living in the development would be an estimated $28 to $35 million, which would create $140,00 to $175,000 in additional tax revenue for the city.
Members of the planning and zoning commission voiced their concerns with the proposal, mainly regarding the expected density of the complex, which as proposed, would be over 14 units per acre. “I understand that if you don’t have enough units to support the project, then it’s not economically feasible,” Commissioner Ed Cooper said. “But I would like to see the density somewhat lower, at least to where it complies with our zoning plan.”
Commissioner Shawn Simpson called the idea of the apartments being walkable a “gross exaggeration,” stating the development would be over three miles from any eatery. Of the density, Simpson said Powell Grand, at 8.1 units per acre, is 40 percent less than what the Powell Summit proposal would be. “They need that density to make it profitable, but at the same time, that’s a far reach from where we’ve been in the past, and really where our zoning plan calls for.”
He added, “I don’t think we need to throw up on the entire area. If we get the Ohio State (Medical Center) plan, if Kroger comes in, maybe we can see what the demand is for that area, instead of just going ahead and shoehorning this in right now.”
Commissioner Bill Little had more favorable comments, saying, “I think (the development) helps with the sustainability of Powell. I think what this will help us do, keeping in mind those 500 jobs (at the proposed medical center), it will allow us to bring young professionals to town, perhaps working at the hospital. I think that gives us an opportunity to sell them on our town. And then as they grow older and, perhaps, want to raise children, they become the candidates to buy our single-family homes.”
Chairman Donald Emerick commended the Schottenstein group for its detailed sketch plan, and said he looked forward to seeing what modifications were made in the preliminary plan as they proceed with the process.
The next meeting of the planning and zoning commission is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 12. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the city council chambers located at 47 Hall St.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.