A working farm that has been in the hands of one of Springboro’s original founding families for five generations is envisioned to become a $265 million mixed-use development in the middle of the city.
Two developers want to build a development on the Easton Farm, a 105-acre parcel of land on the west side of North Main Street/Ohio 741, that would include a commercial district, parks, walking/biking paths, multi-family housing, an independent living center, townhomes and single-family homes.
Dillin LLC, a Springboro-based development company, and Borror, a Columbus-based developer specializing in multi-family properties, have submitted an application for the rezoning of the land that sits between Anna Drive and Tamarack Trail.
“We’ve been working on the possibilities of this very special piece of ground in the heart of the Springboro community since 2017,” said Larry Dillin, president/CEO of Dillin LLC and project co-developer. “As with all of our developments, we extend our planning beyond the borders of the property to bring Springboro something new and special, but also something that adds value and connectivity to the rest of the community.”
The Springboro Planning Commission will consider the rezoning request at its meeting on March 10.
His wife, Cheryl Dillin owns her own marketing company and has worked for him on major development projects since 2000. She said property owners Ted and Becky Easton Hall have been trying to develop the property for a number of years. A few years ago, the Halls were referred to Dillin LLC by city officials, Cheryl Dillin said.
Cheryl Dillin said the 16-acre legacy estate will remain on the property and the Halls will continue to live there. She said Becky Hall wanted keep the historical aspects intact.
“We have committed to them (the Halls) to make this a legacy project,” Larry Dillin said. “It is a special site.”
Cheryl Dillin anticipates the rezoning process to take several months and the project could begin construction in late 2021 or early 2022. She said a large portion of the project could be completed in early 2023.
“The city looks forward to this project going through the formal review process and gathering input from the community as the process moves ahead,” said Springboro City Manager Chris Pozzuto,
The Easton Farm is an in-town neighborhood on the historic ‘Easton Farm’ site in Springboro. The concept takes inspiration from the townscapes of small, historic Ohio villages, while incorporating updated ideas for streetscapes, parks, open spaces and connective pathways as a platform for a variety of market rate residences and mixed-use commercial district facing Ohio 741.
Preliminary plans include tree-lined streets to connect the residential neighborhood to the mixed-use district and to its service offerings. Sidewalks, bike paths, greenways along with interspersed community amenities will encourage pedestrian interconnection and walkability both within The Easton Farm site and to the adjacent city parks and neighborhoods.
Pending final project approvals from the city, Larry Dillin said the project will be done in two phases. The first phase will be installing the infrastructure on the site for the single-family homes, townhomes and market-rate multi-family housing, the independent living center along with retail and restaurant spaces.
Dillin anticipates putting in about 600 various types of housing -- single-family, townhouses and multi-family units.
He said the second phase will include more commercial and possibly office space depending on market demand.
“We’re excited,” Dillin said. “This is the right kind of quality project for the community. We’re proud of this.”
Teaming up on the project with Dillin is Borror, a construction, management and development company from Columbus. Borror will be the co-developer of the project and the developer and owner of the proposed multi-family project on the site.
Dillin said he met Doug Borror, Borror’s CEO, when he was searching for multi-family, pedestrian-oriented projects.
“It was like a mind-meld,” Dillin said. “Doug and I see things the same way.”
The Dillin/Borror partnership was created in 2020 specifically to match Dillin’s expertise in community and neighborhood master planning with Borror’s residential development and management expertise for the benefit of the Springboro community.
Borror started his company in 1976 and started working with Lori Steiner in 1989. The company specializes in mid-rise, mixed-use buildings and has built and managed more over 15,000 places to live in central Ohio. Previously, Borror and Steiner worked together at Dominion Homes, developing 25,000 lots and building 40,000 homes as well as designed and completed 15 master-planned communities. Dominion Homes had a successful public offering in 1994 under the Borror/Steiner leadership.
“We plan to create a gem in Springboro,” Steiner said. “It will feel both suburban and urban with the walkability of an urban neighborhood and the relaxed feel of a suburban community.” Borror projects in the Short North, Downtown and Near Eastside Columbus market are fresh, individually designed projects with the amenities required for todays lifestyle.
“It’s not about ‘more’, its about ‘better,’” Borror said. “How we do things leads to how others perceive them, and that’s important to us. We care about experiences and we choose to create a rich, deep texture to add to the fabric of every day life. We have high expectations for each of our projects, and Springboro will be a ‘next level’ opportunity for living in the community.”
This will not be the first time plans for a development on the property have been presented to Springboro Planning Commission. In 2008 and 2017, plans to develop the land were either rejected by the city or dropped.
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