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Developer scraps westside complex


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An Ohio developer has dropped a proposal to build a luxury apartment complex on the city’s west side but still wants to bring the development to Columbus.

Ohio-based Redwood Acquisitions planned to build the Flats of Columbus, a complex made up of 130 single-story apartments, on a flat parcel of land in the 100-year floodway fringe behind the commercial development known as Columbus Crossing. Menards, Sam’s Club and Charwood Suites extended-stay lodging are located nearby.

Redwood received initial approval from the Columbus City Council last month to annex and rezone the land in preparation for construction.

 

But the developer now has abandoned the proposal after eight months working with the city planning department, citing a lack of cooperation from surrounding property owners.

Redwood had to come up with a solution for stormwater coming off the apartment complex property, Russell Brown, who represented Redwood Acquisitions, said.

The company had a possible solution, involving the developer purchasing or obtaining easements for neighboring farmland, Brown said.

But conversations with that property owner were not productive, he said.

In earlier city plan commission meetings, the property owner, Jim Daily, of Garden City Farms, questioned how the apartments could affect existing drainage problems on the farmland.

While the proposed solution would have fixed a specific drainage problem in order for the Flats of Columbus to comply with city requirements, it wouldn’t have fixed the problem permanently, Daily said.

With the current development in the area, heavy rainfall causes water to pool on portions of his rented farm fields, Daily said. Because of the high water table, the nearby retention ponds at Columbus Crossing stores fill quickly and there is no place for the water to run other than the lower-elevation farm fields.

Redwood had proposed fixing that by putting an open ditch across the farm to State Road 11, Daily said. Water could run through the ditch and then empty near the railroad tracks at the intersection of state roads 46 and 11. But at the other end of that ditch, Daily said, the water might negatively impact another property.

Daily said he wasn’t against Redwood or any future development in that area — he just wants any projects to be planned thoroughly so there aren’t any drainage issues that could create problems for neighboring property owners.

While Redwood has abandoned its proposal for this site, Brown said the developer is still very interested in the

Columbus market.

Brown said Redwood is constantly looking for sites that might be appropriate for its luxury apartment complexes. He said the company has tried before, and it won’t give up yet just because it couldn’t get around one hurdle on one piece of land.

“They’re always looking for that opportunity,” Brown said. “They would come back in a heartbeat if the right opportunity presented itself.”

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