Plan commission gives initial approval to Rubicon project

Photo provided An artist’s rendition of the proposed Rubicon Investment Group, which is planning to develop a five-story, 120-unit apartment building with a parking garage and commercial area, requiring the demolition of the former Joe Willy’s restaurant, a drive-thru bank and a house with historical ties to the city.

The Columbus Plan Commission voted to approve a site development plan for a mixed-use development Wednesday that would be located at 921 Jackson St. and 1008 and 1020 Washington St.

Commission members voted 8-2 to approve the general layout for what would be a five-story, 120-unit apartment building with a parking garage and commercial area which would require the demolition of a drive-thru bank and a house with historical ties to the city.

Commissioners Laura Garrett and Dennis Baute voted against the proposal.

The applicant, Rubicon Investment Group, had their request for site development plan approval continued on May 8 to give them more time to address concerns surrounding parking and the overall massing, scale and height of the building, along with more than 20 comments from planning staff that relate to various compliance-related documentation that Rubicon didn’t submit or was lacking detail.

The most notable changes made since the last meeting include slightly lowering of the height of the building to 61 feet at its highest point, removing a garage access point on Washington St. and increasing the number of parking spaces available on site from 1.15 spaces per unit to 1.28 spaces per unit.

Members from the public neighboring the proposed development have been steadfastly opposed to the project for a variety of reasons, ranging from the look of the building, concerns about increased traffic in the area that could occur, parking, even the potential price-point of the building as the city is in the midst of completing its first housing study in over a decade.

This story will be updated.