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Aston Place Bringing Modern Living to Victorian Village

Walker Evans Walker Evans Aston Place Bringing Modern Living to Victorian Village
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Victorian Village is known throughout Columbus for its well maintained historic architecture, which will make the new Aston Place residential development stand out as it is constructed next year in the heart of the neighborhood. Located at the intersection of Third Avenue and Dennison Avenue, Aston Place includes a 59-unit apartment  building and a smaller 10-unit townhome building with spaces for sale.

This development marks the first for Snyder Barker Investments (who has teamed up with Schiff Capital Group on the project) but partners Jason Snyder and Brian Barker have 35 years of real estate development between them.

“One of the things that really drew us to this site was the opportunity to do something new and contemporary within this neighborhood, but off of High Street,” said Barker.

Construction recently began on the apartment building with townhome construction scheduled to start in Spring 2013. The apartments are a mix of one and two bedroom units that range in size from 750 to 1000 square feet. The townhomes are 1650 square feet and include private 2-car attached parking garages and rooftop terraces.

“We think that in the long term there will be more people who want to live in this kind of environment,” said Snyder. “It appeals to a wide, diverse set of people — young professionals, straight, gay, empty nesters, reverse commuters, and so on.”

One distinct difference in the approach for selling the townhome units in today’s market is the fact that they’re not building them as condominiums.

“These are fee simple homes with zero lot lines,” Snyder explained. “That setup makes it easier for user financing, and it doesn’t have the same pre-sale requirements or limitations for FHA financing.”

While the modern style of Aston Place is being used as a selling point to appeal to a younger market, the team at Synder Barker did express a small bit of concern that the design from Sullivan Bruck Architects may clash with the vision at the Victorian Village Commission when seeking approvals earlier this year.

“We worked closely with the Commission through multiple preliminary reviews to gauge their reaction and respond to their input before submitting a final proposal,” said Jon Stephens, Project Manager at Sullivan Bruck Architects. “They were very supportive of a design that, while contemporary, speaks to the neighborhood through appropriate scale and proportion and finely detailed building elements.”

Some of the intentional architectural features included to mesh with the neighborhood include the basement level, typical of historic neighborhood buildings, which is designed in a way to mask the underground parking level for the apartments. Balconies are also recessed to reduce the visual impact on these residential streets, and a contrasting color scheme helps to break the larger building down into smaller parts.

“The horizontal masonry banding and dramatic sunshades on the almost completely glazed corner bays make this an energetic design for a vibrant neighborhood,” added Stephens. “The shape of the site created an opportunity to design a building that wraps around a private courtyard space that will become a great amenity for the residents.”

The second-level 5,300 squarefoot courtyard will include a fire pit, water features, shaded cabanas and a bocce ball court. Additionally, the apartment building features a business center and a small workout facility.

Prices have not yet been set, but Snyder Barker says that it should be comparable to Flats on Vine in the Arena District.

“We worked with Ken Danter on a market study, and we found that the demand for apartments between Downtown and Ohio State is as strong as anyone has ever seen it,” said Snyder.

Aston Place is scheduled to be completed in late 2013 or early 2014. An eventual second phase including 10 more townhomes is planned for the site.

Ongoing discussion about the Aston Place development can be found on our messageboard.

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  • dru

    i like the setting of the apartments, but i am curious if they provided any information on why the townhomes are facing towards what is essentially an alleyway and the space facing Starr was left open? Is the grassy area along Starr backyards or communal space for the townhomes, is it slated for development later or perhaps do they not own that piece of the property?

  • futureman

    I was wondering the same thing, but per the last sentence “An eventual second phase including 10 more townhomes is planned for the site”. So yes, more town homes are planned for Starr Avenue.

  • readysetdisco

    i like the location and design, i think it’s a good fit for the neighborhood. will the townhomes have access to the courtyard? if not it doesn’t look like they’ll have much green space (ignoring the parks and empty lots that sprinkle Vic Village)

  • dru & futureman – Correct that the grass lot is slated for another group of 10 townhome units. They don’t have a timeline on that second phase as they’re waiting to see how leasing/sales go for the first phase.

  • dru

    @futureman & walker -thanks for being a suitable substitute for my lack of reading comprehension.

    let’s hope they get a decent market on phase 1 so that phase 2 doesn’t sit empty.

    in the meantime, i’d simply be appreciative if they cleaned up the landscaping along Starr as part of the project. it’s needed some basic tending for a long time. that alone would improve the corner and i think help rentals and sales of the project.

  • Not sure if it is any more hideous than the unkempt vacant lot and random 1970’s buildings that were razed or any more hideous than the hospital to which it is adjacent. Would love to see Columbus get some buildings that are well designed. It seems that most are either wacky, trying to push the envelope (Pizutti project in the Short North) or terribly mediocre (this project and all the mid-rise apartment buildings proposed in the Short North). It seems that when there has been something awful built (the hospital building) that the Victorian Village Commission takes that as an excuse to allow something equally awful to be built in proximity. Wonder where are the 69+ cars going to park for this project?

  • Lisa – The article says that the townhome units each have attached 2-car garages and the apartment building has first-level parking deck half underground on the first floor (the courtyard sits on top of it).

  • k8

    I love urban infill, but it’s too bad that the apartment building is going to be so large and blah. As for the townhomes, I think it is great that they decided to go the fee simple route, but no yards?? So sad.

  • columbusmike

    It’s too bad Denison curves at the corner of the apartment building. I don’t really remember what’s back there, but I would have talked to the city about returning that intersection to a 90 degree corner and increase my buildable area. I’m guessing that radius curved road was not like originally.

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