17-acre site in Celina
combines condos, rental villas, a pond, swimming pool and banquet
By SEAN RICE
Phase I of the Westlake Village development on West Bank Road
is complete, with more than half of the 72 condominiums already
sold and the villa rentals fully booked for 20 weekends in 2004.
A little more than six months ago the 17-acre site between U.S.
127 and Grand Lake St. Marys was bare. Now the site is packed
with three large condominium buildings overlooking the lake
and 46 rental villas surrounding an interior pond and swimming
Romer’s Catering and Entertainment Facility has a building
on site and will be relocating to Westlake from their Galleria
location across Celina in February.
“The Westlake villas and condos are such an asset. It
was only a hole in the ground, and six months later it’s
a village,” Karen Romer, co-owner of Romer’s said
The project started out as Westlake Villas and Luxury Apartments
last March. The switch to Westlake Village occurred when the
developer, Crawford Communities, of Columbus, decided to convert
the apartments into condominiums and sell them rather than rent.
In an interview at the Westlake office with Crawford vice president
Tom Hoying and chief executive officer Bobby Hoying, the brothers
said potential renters of the lakeside apartments preferred
to buy the apartments.
Since then, a condominium association has been created and crews
went back into the apartments and upgraded things like countertops
and appliances, because the units were not selling.
Travis Pedrosa, a 24-year-old Visions employee, is one of the
first to move into a condominium complex. His one-bedroom suite
has a glass door opening to a patio overlooking Grand Lake.
The interior is spotless, with a new washer, dryer, stove, dishwasher,
refrigerator and other amenities. From the rear of the building,
it’s a short walk to his garage or the pool.
“I love it. In the morning, when it’s nice out the
sun comes right through that door,” he said.
Pedrosa said he pays about $600 per month on the loan he secured
for the suite. He says condominium dues are waived for all new
owners for three years. The dues would cost Pedrosa less than
$100 a month.
The suites available include one-, two- and three-bedroom, with
the one bedrooms starting at $89,900.
“We’re trying to make this as easy for the buyer
as possible,” Tom Hoying said, speaking of the finance
company lined-up to offer assistance to buyers, Ohio Bancorp,
There is a phase II to the project, it includes more rental
villas on the south side of the condominium site.
“We want to go through a full year first,’ Bobby
Hoying said. “But we’re real excited about the progress
“What is encouraging is all this has happened in the off
season. So we’re real excited to see what spring and summer
will bring,” Tom Hayes, from Ohio Bancorp said.
For all big Celina weekends, like Lake Festival and Memorial
Day, the rental villas are already sold out. Also, a dozen weddings
are booked for 2004 where every villa is rented for guests.
Going hand-and-hand with the villas, Romer’s Catering
is also seeing the reservations pile up.
The last night at the Galleria is Jan. 24, with the grand opening
at the new location on Feb. 14. The nationally-known comedian
The Killer Beaz is set to perform.
Karen Romer said regular entertainment will be a new feature
“We’re at that point where we’re ready to
dig in and go,” she said.