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Edwards Companies Contemplates Infill at Gay and High

Walker Evans Walker Evans Edwards Companies Contemplates Infill at Gay and HighAll renderings by Kephart.
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The Edwards Companies / Edwards Communities have long been a leader in Downtown development. They spearheaded much of the work in redeveloping the Brewery District in the 1990s, and their Neighborhood Launch project has gradually been filling in acres of surface parking along Gay Street and Long Street with some of the most desired residential units in the central city.

Edwards has some new plans for continued development on Gay Street, though details are being kept very secretive at the moment. Last Summer, Business First reporter Brian Ball wrote that Edwards had purchased the nine-story building at the southwest corner of Gay and High with potential plans for a residential conversion.

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Then, in December, more details were uncovered when Dispatch reporter Jim Weiker revealed that a $3.1 million historic tax credit was issued for the project, which would not only include the conversion of the building into 65 apartment units, but also include the addition of a new building on the northwest corner of Gay and High. The new seven-story building would add another 89 apartment units, a parking garage, ground-floor retail facing High Street, and an underground tunnel under Gay Street to connect the amenities of both buildings.

The latest addition to this story comes by way of super sleuth CU regular Stephen43215 who discovered renderings of the new development posted publicly online by Kephart, a Denver-based architectural firm. According to the project page, the new building includes 96 units in .68 acres, averaging 816 square feet per unit. The building would include mostly one bedroom and studio units with a handful of two and three bedroom units. The garage would hold 178 spaces for a 1.11:1 parking ratio. And the ground floor would include 4,300 square feet of retail space. All of these details are likely speculative at this point, and subject to change.

While no official plans have gone in front of the Downtown Commission for review, preliminary compliance drawings have been submitted to the city. CU Urban Development Staff Writer Brent Warren reached out to representatives at Edwards for comment, but was only told that the company is still studying their intent and design, and that the compliance meeting was to get feedback for that purpose.

If this project is eventually completed as proposed, it would help to fill in a major Downtown “parking crater” dubbed last year by Brent Warren as a “Wasted Space” in the heart of the city. The addition of infill development would close a major north-south gap on High Street, better connecting Capitol Square to the Arena District and Convention Center, while also closing an east-west gap on Gay Street, connecting the businesses on East Gay to the City Campus and Riverfront Redevelopment on West Gay.

For ongoing discussion and updates on this project, CLICK HERE to visit our Messageboard.

All renderings by Kephart. Photo by Walker Evans.

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13 Responses to Edwards Companies Contemplates Infill at Gay and High

  1. Lisa Craig Morton
    Lisa Craig Morton April 19, 2014 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm

    Love, love, love this! Except the part that they will be all 1 bedroom and studios. Seriously, when is someone in Columbus going to build a place that I want to live? (p.s. it is NOT a one bedroom apartment!) Other than that, this looks like an amazing project.

    • Josh Lapp
      joshlapp April 19, 2014 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm

      From personal experience and from what I hear from others, the two bedrooms are always the last to go. 1 bedrooms fly off the proverbial shelf.

      • Walker Evans
        Walker Evans April 19, 2014 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm

        I’ve heard the same thing from multiple developers. 1 bedrooms are in much higher demand than 2 or more, so they built to meet that demand. We see similar results in our Urban Living site analytics. 1 bedroom units get double the pageviews of 2 bedroom units, even within the same development/building.

  2. Geno99 April 22, 2014 9:11 am at 9:11 am

    Looks like Kephart took the drawings down. Did you cache it?

    • Walker Evans
      Walker Evans April 22, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am

      They only had four renderings along with stats/details. They’re all up there in the article.

      Not surprised they pulled it. I imagine these are very preliminary and likely to change.

  3. Geno99 April 22, 2014 9:13 am at 9:13 am

    Looks like Kephart took the drawings down. Did you cache it? or was that all there was? I’m glad someone is finally filling that space in. I was kind of hoping for a skyscraper, but I think those are mostly a think of the past for now.

  4. jbaker544
    jbaker544 April 23, 2014 9:23 am at 9:23 am

    This is awesome! Finally some development in the dead block on high between gay and long. This looks amazing and will add so much to that dead space. Now if we can just get the other side of the street done and do something with those bus stops!

  5. jbaker544
    jbaker544 April 24, 2014 9:25 am at 9:25 am

    I know they are being upgraded but the two bus stops on between long and gay on both sides of the streets are problematic. People doing drugs, police constanting making arrest for fighting and high homeless people hanging around. The people using these stops are urinating on the buildings, especially the one I live in and for some reason can’t find the trash cans to dispose of their trash, COTA is not interested in fixing this issue. I believe this block will have a hard time developing until this is addressed.

    • Walker Evans
      Walker Evans April 24, 2014 9:56 am at 9:56 am

      I’ve used these stops regularly between Long and Gay for the past five years or so. I’ve never spotted anyone doing drugs other than an occasional pot smoker. There are some public drinkers from time to time, especially during the summer on the benches at the NW corner of Gay and High, but that’s not actually at the bus stop. I’ve witnessed very few physical fights beyond an occasional shouting match. I’ve never been harassed by anyone at these stops.

      I’d say 90% of the people who use them are just people waiting on a bus and looking to get somewhere. The other 10% may be problematic, but for most people, these bus stops are functional and helpful.

  6. Graybeak
    Graybeak April 24, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am

    Schrodinger’s Bus Stop.

  7. Stephen43215
    Stephen43215 October 20, 2014 1:10 am at 1:10 am

    I checked out some of the other projects this company has worked on and I see very similar material used in the completed projects and the renderings for the new building at Gay and High. I think their completed project looks much better than the renderings.

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