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Be My Neighbor: Harrison West Edition

 Mary Martineau Be My Neighbor: Harrison West Edition
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After 11 (lovely) years of home ownership in Old North Columbus, my husband and I decided that we really wanted to move back to the Short North. After all, we’d lived there as renters for 5 years before getting married, both of us worked in the Short North and many of our friends and social activities revolved around the neighborhood.

Katalina’s Café Corner

We looked at numerous houses around the Short North that were within our moderate price range, but all lacked something we were looking for (at least two bathrooms, a basement and ideally, a garage). Ultimately, we discovered a house in Harrison West with really good bones, but that was otherwise a complete “do-over”. Harrison West was affordable, within the boundaries of the Short North, in proximity to everything we love and absent of the rigorous historical commissions of Italian and Victorian Villages (greatly simplifying our renovation process). If you want to review the trials and tribulations of our adventure gutting and rebuilding our Harrison West home, skip over to this link: martineaubungalow.blogspot.com.

Caffé Apropos

There was never any question about the compatibility of the Harrison West neighborhood to our “urbanesque” lifestyle. We are active members of the Harrison West Society and have come to know and love many of our neighbors. Our home is now within eyesight of one of our regular routes: the bike path, close enough to the river for canoe launching, even closer to both of our offices for morning motor-scooter commutes and in proximity to several freeways should we have the need or desire to leave our urban enclave. Our dog enjoys romping in any of the plentiful parks in Harrison West: Harrison Park, Harrison West Park, Side by Side Park, the Battelle lot across from our house, Wheeler Dog Park and nearby Goodale Park. We love sitting on the patio at Caffé Apropos for happy hour or perched on the porch at Katalina’s Café Corner for weekend brunch. And when we want to hop up to High Street it’s only a walk, bike ride or scoot up Third Avenue!

Neighborhood Parks. Side By Side and Harrison West Park

The houses in Harrison West run the gamut from small cottages to newer condos and houses to stately Victorian homes. There is also a good concentration of multi-family units. Harrison West is part of the Near Northside Historic District which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, so the housing stock includes abundant older homes. The newer homes and flats of Harrison Park, constructed upon the site of the former AC Humko factory, are a beautiful recent addition to our historic neighborhood and are accompanied by amenities including an outdoor pool, fitness facility and community center. Prices for homes in Harrison West have incrementally increased along with neighborhood improvements, but there are still a lot of great values available with a lower-than-average Short North price tag.

And now, the homes:

House #1

1103 Michigan Ave. 2 Bedrooms. 1 Full Bath. 1,280 sq ft. $200,000

House #2

1084 Michigan Ave, condo, right. 2 Bedrooms. 1 Full Bath. 1,006 sq. ft. $155,900

House #3

1064 Pennsylvania, condo, left. 2 Bedrooms. 1 Full Bath. 1,048 sq. ft. $164,900

House #4

1003 Michigan Ave. 3 Bedrooms. 2 Full Baths. 1,624 sq. ft. $282,000

House #5

973 Michigan Ave, condo, left. 3 Bedrooms. 3 Full, 1 Half Bath. 1,824 sq ft. $278,500

House #6

612 W. 2nd Ave. 3 Bedrooms. 2 Full, 1 Half Bath. 1,821 sq. ft. $274,900

House #7

569 Bradley St. 2 Bedrooms. 1 Full Bath. 1,008 sq. ft. $195,750

House #8

1104 Perry St., Unit E, Condo. 1 Bedroom. 1 Bath. 832 sq ft. $139,900. As-is. Short Sale

House #9

1204 Perry St. 2 Bedrooms. 1 Full, 1 Half Bath. 1,146 sq ft. $124,900

House #10

1071 Harrison Ave. 3 Bedrooms. 1 Full Bath. 1,856 sq ft. $219,900

Be My Neighbor is a series showcasing what your money can buy in different neighborhoods in Columbus. This is not professional advice and there is no financial incentive for us if these homes are purchased. We just want to showcase our great neighborhoods and the homes that are in them. All information was accurate to the best of our knowledge at time of publishing. If you are house hunting, good luck to you!

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  • Nitsud Regnifloh


  • Really? I don’t think $125k to $280k is that high for this neighborhood. There seems to be a nice range available there.

  • Nitsud Regnifloh

    I thought a couple of them seemed a little over-priced.  But I would also never spend more than 200k on a house…

  • cc

    I think Harrison West has turned into a very nice stable nieghborhood. It seems to have most of the advantages of being in the SN area without the crime to the east and the more raucous students to the North. IMHO it would be a very nice area to raise a family.

  • Nice read and great pictures. We lived in Harrison West for three years, and while we love Clintonville, we really miss HW.

  • Some nice looking houses!
    Except #6….

  • yeah, number 6 must have nice views of the river? The inside of that place is not too impressive either.

  • We have some friends who live around the corner from #6, and whenever we leave their house we drive by. There’s a row of those townhouses, which I imagine overlook the river and have nice views from the third floor facing west… but yeah, the alley view is a three-story flat vinyl monstrosity. At the same time I almost like it because it looks so bad. ;) Ha!

  • myliftkk

    Been in HW since ’06, and enjoy it very much.

  • KMSBarnes

    I drooled all over #4, but could totally get behind #9 with some hard work.

  • My personal favorite of the group is #10 (just from the outside anyway) because I like brick. Surprised that there’s so much vinyl siding in Harrison West. What gives?

  • cc

    People assume that vinyl siding will be a maintenance-free material and there is the desire to give a “remodeled” or “renovated” appearance. The original housing stock is mostly worn working class wooden frame houses with layers of paint and patches. Harrison West gentrified fairly rapidly after Wagenbrenner’s got involved and I think that is when the vinyl and the forsale signs went up. Not a big fan of vinyl, but I think it is a quick fix that appeals to low maintenance YP’s. Harrison West was definitely a marketed neighborhood.

  • Likes Old Houses

    Harrison West has been improving long before Wagenbrenner ever got involved.  It started in the late 80’s with Battelle giving up their plan to demo everything north of 3rd and M/I built all of the new homes and condos.  The improvements have been a steady, constant, progression. I would go as far as saying that the neighborhood improvements actually made it possible for Wagenbrenner to create such a great (high end) development.  My wife and I have lived there since 2004 and we love the neighborhood.  At the Harrison Park grand opening last week, we discovered that alot of other folks seem to think HW is a great place to “start” a family also, as there are a lot of preschool kids in the neighborhood now.  This is great for us since we just had one ourselves.
    As for the housing stock, HW 25 -30 years ago looked like WP does now, maybe even “scarier”.  A lot of bad things had been done to our houses over the years and they are still recovering.  Look at house #3, it has clearly had smaller/cheaper replacement windows at one point put in, rather than keeping the original larger windows.  As for the vinyl siding, we don’t have an architectural review commission, so some folks find this to be an affordable and acceptable renovation option.  Most of the times it is done with better looking product and not the cheap stuff so the result is not that bad.  It would be great to see all of these houses return to the original wood siding, but I know that is not always feasible.  Though compare the look of #3 (original) versus #2 (vinyl) and you will see the original looks much better.  Also without the architectural review commission, you get questionable infill like #6.  House #5 is a beautiful example of infill and more recent infill properties have fit the character of the neighborhood well.

  • ntn4502

    I was very close to buying house #1.  The single bathroom killed it for me.  Ended up buying a newly rehabed 2bed/bath/garage in Italian Village behind Barrel 44

  • rdysetdisco

    <3 #4
    #7 is workable, #9 would require a lot of love.
    harrison west seems like the ideal living situation for everyone.  walkable, quiet, features small businesses with good options, and is in the short north.  i can’t imagine why the houses haven’t skyrocketed yet.

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