Apartments behind Kroger considered

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Pictured is the site Marysville Planning Commission recommended to be rezoned Monday night. If the application passes council, the land will go from traffic-oriented commercial (TOC) to high density multi-family residential (R-5).
(Image submitted)
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A parcel of land behind Kroger Marketplace might have some apartments sprout up in the near future.
Monday night the Marysville Planning Commission approved 6-1 to recommend the city rezone the 14-acre parcel, owned by Connolly Construction Company, from traffic-oriented commercial (TOC) to high-density multi-family residential (R-5). The application will appear at a future city council meeting.
John Connolly spoke on behalf of the company. He spoke to the commission on the reason for the application.
Connolly said the city is lacking in multi-family sites.
“From now on, when multi-family comes to town, this will be the first stop,” he said.
Connolly said in speaking with people interested in moving to Marysville, he’s found that prospective residents have trouble finding suitable housing. He said he believes if the zoning changed to residential, it would be developed within a few years.
He said at this point, it’s easier for a family to build a home in the city than find an apartment.
According to Connolly, his company has no solid plans for the site.
“We may or may not do something ourselves, we may or may not sell it, we may or may not partner, and it may or not be apartments or condominiums,” he said.
Regardless, Connolly said with the other housing developments being approved and considered in Marysville, having this option on the west side of town would be good for the city.
The sole dissenting vote came from Donald Boerger, who expressed concerns at the hastiness of the application.
He said he likes the idea of getting away from the TOC zoning in the area; however, he said any rezoning done to the land should wait. According to Boerger, the Kroger Marketplace has created an “island” behind it that the city doesn’t know what to do with.
The city, he said, should wait before it makes a decision for the land.
While commission member Tim Schacht noted that traffic concerns aren’t pertinent to a zoning discussion, he expressed concerns about the logistics of entering the site. He said the roadway efficiency into Kroger toward the site is “pretty horrible.”
He presented a letter of recommendation from the head of Columbus Kroger Real Estate, Lindsey Taylor. According to the letter, Kroger had already been looking into the possibility of the land in question being rezoned to residential.
“They’ve been interested frankly longer than I have,” he said. “We’re happy that they’re happy we’re going down this road.”
He said he’s asking for high density rather than medium density because being able to fit more units into a building allows for more green space in a development plan.
“You’re building fewer units, so there’s less impact,” he said.
Schacht agreed, saying he envisions two-story apartments with a more modern look going in. He also said the nearby McIvor Woods could prove to be a great feature for nearby residents. A development that goes in could appeal to millennial, “white-collar” workers.
“I can see this being something completely different for Marysville,” Schacht said.



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