Borror & Kingsley Selected to Develop Site in King-Lincoln District
Columbus Next Generation — a local development corporation established by the City of Columbus to focus on opportunities on the city’s Near East Side — has selected a developer for a prominent one-acre parcel of land on Long Street near the Lincoln Theatre. A press release issued late this afternoon identified a partnership between Dublin-based Borror Development and Cincinnati-based Kingsley + Co as the official developers for the site that formerly housed the McNabb Funeral Home building.
“The developer was selected based upon a number of factors, including experience of the firm, recent projects, developer/ownership retention, financial proof and percentage of minority ownership,” said Boyce Safford, Executive Director of Columbus Next Generation Corporation. “The experience and demonstrated ability of these two companies and their commitment to collaborate as one entity on this project is important to Columbus Next Generation.”
Jeff Baur, Executive Vice President at Borror Development, expressed excitement about partnering with Kingsley + Co, noting that their CEO Chinedum Ndukwe grew up in Columbus before going on to play football for the Cincinnati Bengals and establishing his development company in Cincinnati.
“We love this site,” stated Baur. “It’s close to offices, the King Arts Complex, it’s across the highway from Columbus State and it’s right next to Olde Towne East. We’ve been very active in urban development from the Short North to River South and the Near East Side was the next logical step.”
Next steps for the two development companies involve the gathering of community input from area residents and business owners before putting together a plan for what development would look like for the site. Baur said it’s too early to say what the density or architecture would look like, but they envision that the building will include multifamily residential units that are a mix of market-rate and workforce housing prices with some form of ground-floor retail that would be engaging to Long Street.
Safford added that Next Generation will continue to stay involved in the process, working close with the development team, the City of Columbus, the Near East Area Commission, Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT) and other stakeholders and groups.
“We’re viewing this as the biggest jumping off point for NextGen, so it’s important that we do it to the quality that the community expects,” said Safford. “PACT put together a blueprint for this geography and NEAC has a guiding plan so we want to be consistent with that.”
The plans to redevelop this site have been met with a mixed reaction from the community. While some residents are excited to see new life come to a site that has sat empty for decades, others were adamant about seeing several vacant buildings preserved and incorporated into a new development plan.
“The older building can lend itself to a wonderful restaurant across from the Lincoln Theater,” stated Near East Area Commissioner Willis Brown back in February. “These two structures will provide some of the original fabric for developers assisting them in designing and building a stellar project.”
Despite those efforts, the buildings were demolished by Next Generation over the summer, and the two development companies will be starting with a clean slate on empty land. Baur noted that some of the architectural elements that were saved will be incorporated into the design of the new buildings.
“We absolutely respect the sensitively to the site, and what it means to the area culturally,” he stated.
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Editor’s Note: Walker Evans currently serves as a Board Member at PACT.