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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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