Last updated: September 06. 2013 9:45PM - 71 Views

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KATE LIEBERS

Staff Writer

The Delaware Planning Commission brought the former Delaware Hotel site closer to its redevelopment this week.

The articles the commissioners approved this week involved qualifying for a critical tax credit from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA).

The OHFA requires, in part, that zoning and preliminary planning be in place prior to application, according to Delaware Planning and Community Development.

A Planned Mixed Use (PMU) Overlay District Zoning was recommended, considering the site’s intended future use as a mixed-use community for senior residents.

Complying with the request, the commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning and a conditional use permit to add a (PMU) overlay to the site. They also amended the Comprehensive Plan from a commercial land use to PMU, and approved a Preliminary Development Plan.

“It’s a pretty exciting day for me,” said city planning director David Efland. “This is the second to last formal step” to finalizing the redevelopment plans.

The former Delaware Hotel site on South Sandusky Street is to become Delaware Place, a mixed-residential use, age-restricted housing development. The former gas station that neighbored the hotel is to become a mixture of commercial and retail uses, which include a wellness center as well as retail to compliment the senior housing.

The project is divided into three phases, which Efland reviewed.

The first is to include the four-story senior housing main building; all seven attached, single-family duplex units; the primary parkland and open space areas; and all on site infrastructure.

The second includes the three-story senior housing building, and the third includes the development in general and exterior design requirements.

Efland acknowledged the potential the new development has to become a Delaware County landmark, especially considering the status of the Delaware Hotel prior to its demolition.

For instance, the view from U.S. 23 was taken into consideration when designing the exterior of the building. Efland mentioned that one aspect of the design may be adjusted to “see a break up of natural material,” on one side of the building.

The architects working on the project are ones who have worked on many others in Delaware County, Efland said.

Miller Valentine Group is leading the Delaware Place development team, which includes M&A Architects, the EDGE Group and Kleingers & Associates.

Further discussion about the Delaware Place development will resume during the next Delaware City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 12.

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