Bryden Road Renovation Nearing Completion
Twelve one-bedroom apartments will soon be available for rent at 738 Bryden Road – a three-story building with a rich history that has stood empty for years.
Karl Schneider and Tyler Lucks, of Solihull Development Group, purchased the building in January of 2015 (along with other partners who have since divested from the project).
After extensive consultation with the city’s Historic Preservation Office and the Near East Area Commission, a renovation plan was approved, with construction beginning in earnest in June of last year. The approved plans included a parking variance, since the building offers no off-street parking.
The renovation work included a new slate roof – the old one proved to be too brittle to keep – and new interior walls throughout the buildings. Some units feature exposed brick walls and original fireplaces, although most of the original hardwood flooring had deteriorated too much to save. WSA Studio served as the architect for the project, and Sullivan Builders is the contractor.
“It’s a small building…great for people who don’t want to live in a huge development, and it’s unique, with some real historic character,” said Schneider, adding that another selling point is the proximity to downtown and to neighborhood offerings like Upper Cup Coffee, Black Creek Bistro and Yellow Brick Pizza.
The apartments range from 650 to 950 square feet, with rents from $1,000 to $1,750 per month. Schneider is hopeful that the first units will be complete and ready for occupancy in February.
Schneider, who works by day for Continental Real Estate, has also served as an equity partner of developer Don Devere on a number of historic renovation projects.
A book could be written on the building’s history – the short version is that it was built in the early 1900’s as a dormitory for the Columbus School for Girls (CSG), which at that time was located next door. Two different additions served to expand the building, including a rear carriage house that is now being transformed into the project’s only two-level unit.
CSG moved to its present location on East Broad Street in 1950, and since then a number of different users have called 738 Bryden home. In the 1980’s the building, then called Metropolitan Hall, served as a halfway house. It counted as one of its resident the renowned Columbus folk artist Russell “Smoky” Brown, who filled the building’s walls with murals.
Schneider said that only one of Brown’s murals survived the many years of vacancy and deterioration. The remaining mural, which adorns the wall of a stairwell, has been preserved under a sheet of glass.
There have been a number of attempts to renovate and repurpose the building through the years, including a plan to turn it into a 60-bed hostel and another to convert it into luxury townhomes.
For more information, see www.738bryden.com.
All other photos by Brent Warren.