Romanelli & Hughes has proposed a 132-unit apartment complex at the north end of Sunbury Commerce Park.
Vince Romanelli and David Fisher attended the April 4 meeting of Sunbury’s planning and zoning commission meeting for an informal discussion about the multi-family complex Romanelli & Hughes would like to build.
The apartments would be located on the south side West Granville Street near the Burrer Drive stub.
Speaking on behalf of Romanelli, Fisher, of Columbus-based Kephart & Fisher, said the undeveloped property east of Anthony Dental is currently zoned as a planned industrial district but, considering nearby development, a zoning change to a planned residential district might be more appropriate.
“This is one of the few remaining lots in Sunbury Commerce Park,” Fisher said. “With Pulte Homes to the south, we would like to change the zoning for this property for 132 units of one- and two-bedroom apartments. Our goal tonight is to take your temperature before filing a formal rezoning request.”
Fisher said the high-quality apartment complex would adhere to the village’s comprehensive master plan, with natural exterior features like stone facades, connections to walking and bike pathways, and connectivity to the village core.
“We might be a little short on parking spaces, but we believe that many one-bedroom units don’t need to have two parking spaces,” Fisher said. “These would be high-priced units, not an enormous project. You’re not going to get single-family homes in that space with what’s around it. It would be a nice transition to Pulte to the south.”
Romanelli, who brought the Sunbury Mills Plaza and Kroger’s to the village, said the apartment complex at that location was his idea; that he could have sold the apartment site five years ago to be used for storage units.
Mayor Tommy Hatfield said Sunbury Commerce Park was on the outskirts of the village not long ago.
“But it’s not on the outskirts of town now, and something like this proposal helps me feel better about the use,” Hatfield said. “I like that there’s no three-bedroom units that would put a burden on the school district, and Mr. Romanelli has always done what he said he would do.”
Village Solicitor David Brehm said a lot adjacent to the site, not owned by Romanelli but also zoned for industrial use, has a “For Sale” signing indicating commercial zoning.
“The other lot’s sign says ‘planned commercial district,’ but that’s not what they’ve got,” Brehm said. “Although they could rezone.”
Sunbury consulting engineer Wes Hall said residential zoning might be more appropriate for the apartments.
Residential zoning “only allows seven units per acre,” Hall said. “We would have to look at parking, but the utilities are all there.”
When asked about a timeline, Fisher said the next step would be a traffic study.
“We’re thinking late spring or early summer for a formal application,” Fisher said. “Vince is building a timeless product that will draw a large cross-section of residents. We think it would be a nice addition to your village.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093