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Former Creative Memories space— Investors seek to rezone

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At a public hearing on Wednesday, April 16, Village Planning Commission will consider a request to rezone the former Creative Memories building at Dayton Street and East Enon Road from a light industrial district to a planned unit development, or PUD. The rezoning would allow the new property owners to remodel the vacant portion of the building to accommodate a medical office and a metal parts manufacturer, both of which have expressed interest in leasing the space.

Planning Commission held a discussion about the rezoning earlier this month and is working to accommodate the property owner’s intention to reconfigure the building this spring. Planners will also address an unrelated issue that arose this month, a subdivision and street dedication plan for the Center for Business and Education. Approval of the subdivision is necessary for Village Council to reconsider a bond issue for the construction of the CBE infrastructure.

The former Creative Memories property was purchased in November by Yellow Springs, LLC, a California-based investment group represented by Josef Bobek. Yellow Springs architect Ted Donnell of Axis Architecture spoke for the group at the Planning meeting.
According to Donnell, the group has received serious lease inquiries from a spectrum of businesses, including some light manufacturers and a physician who wants to open medical offices in Yellow Springs by May 1. The building, part of which is currently occupied by Antioch University and e-Health Data Solutions, would accommodate other uses, but the current I-2 industrial district does not permit medical offices or professional offices. The LLC proposes to rezone the nearly 10-acre property to PUD in order to accommodate both the immediate medical office use as well as future medical and professional office uses.

Currently, of the total 95,000 square feet under roof, about 75,000 square feet are unleased. Of that space, the group hopes to be able to reserve the 20,000 square-feet of high-bay space for a single manufacturer, hold 30,000 square-feet open for future business or medical space, and remodel the remaining low-bay area into 10 to 12 spaces for individual tenants, including the biggest office for the physician.

The LLC has already begun remodeling the building for the medical office. According to Donnell, “we’re taking the risk that if zoning doesn’t go through, we may lose a lot of money.”

According to Village Zoning Administrator Tamara Ennist, the property provides at least three recognizable benefits required for a PUD, including 1) providing a complimentary mix of land uses, 2) improving the public streets by dedication of a public right of way 3) re-use and renovation of an existing structure. In addition, the application meets a host of other qualifying conditions for a PUD, including existing access to public sewer and water, single ownership of the property, pedestrian accommodation from Dayton Street, visually integrated within the existing environment, allows for safe vehicular access, and the plan is consistent with the Village Comprehensive Plan and the Yellow Springs and Miami Township vision.

In a letter from the applicants to Planning Commission earlier this month, Bobek of Yellow Springs, LLC said the group was committed to turning an “‘old economy’ building into a new, state-of-the-art facility.”

“We are very excited about taking an asset that could sit vacant for a very long period of time and turn it immediately into a productive real estate solution for the Village of Yellow Springs. In order to accomplish this goal, our investors are committed to spending several million dollars in tenant improvements required to service the level of business that is interested in the space.”

In Yellow Springs, the group sees not only a “vibrant entrepreneurial community that has a great deal of intellectual capital,” but also a “specific need from the medical community to provide an integrative wellness solution for doctors and wellness practitioners who need a place to start and grow their practice.”

Street design for CBE
At the March 10 meeting, Village Planning Commission also considered a preliminary design plan for the Center for Business and Education, including subdividing the 35-acre property into three parcels and dedicating three public rights of way to the Village of Yellow Springs. Planners did not vote on the issue and will consider the request again at the April 16 meeting.

The proposal from Education Village — the nonprofit subsidiary of Community Resources that holds title to the property — and the Village of Yellow Springs includes a plan to subdivide the CBE into three lots, each separated by a roadway. One small parcel would be used for a storm water detention pond and the two larger parcels would eventually be further subdivided into smaller lots and developed for future industrial, educational or business purposes.
One of the proposed rights of way would connect the CBE to Dayton-Yellow Springs Road; a second road would connect the property to East Enon Road; and a third would provide a connection to the existing parking lot at Antioch University Midwest. The plan indicates that utilities and sanitary sewer will mostly align with the roadways, with some future need for extension to individual lots.

The plan also includes a pedestrian/bikeway along the proposed rights-of-way lanes and extending along both Dayton-Yellow Springs and East Enon roads.

Village staff recommends that the Village approve the preliminary design plan, which will return to Planning Commission on April 16, and, if approved, go to Village Council for final approval.

Retailer requests conditional use
Also at the Planning Commission meeting, a new retail establishment on Dayton Street requested a conditional use permit to use part of its space for small public gatherings. Village staff recommended approval of the application on condition that business owner and local resident Brenda Kennedy obtain a Greene County occupancy permit and satisfy Village parking requirements. Planners later decided that the matter did not require conditional use approval.

Owners of the new vintage clothing and resale business Dirty Fabulous Boutique requested the ability to use 168 square feet of their space at 134 Dayton Street for small gatherings, tea parties, baby showers and possibly wine tasting events.

Based on the size of the retail space and the maximum occupancy of 11–24 people, the establishment would have to meet a need to provide eight parking spaces.


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