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Four-Story Mixed-Use Building Proposed for Cup O’ Joe Site in Bexley

Brent Warren Brent Warren Four-Story Mixed-Use Building Proposed for Cup O’ Joe Site in BexleyRendering via Brian Kent Jones Architects.
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A plan to demolish the two-story building that houses Cup O’ Joe in Bexley and replace it with a four-story condo and retail building has been conditionally approved by the Bexley Planning Commission. The proposed development is unusual in that it is adding height while decreasing the number of residential units; the existing building houses four apartments, while the proposed one would contain three full-floor condos, each about 5,800 square feet in size.

The first floor would contain about 4,800 square feet reserved for retail or restaurant use. Eighteen parking spots for residents would be provided below grade, while six cars would be accommodated by a small surface lot behind the building. The existing building, which is home to Cathy’s Salon as well as Cup O’ Joe, has a parking lot in front with space for ten cars. Little is known about the fate of the existing businesses located in the current building.

“We are still working with the new owners on what our future will look like on Main Street,” says Cup O Joe President Mark Swanson. “We have three years left on our current lease with a five-year renewal option. That is all I know right now.”

The proposed building, to be called the Gramercy, sits at a prominent corner in Bexley; East Main Street at Cassady Avenue, across from the Bexley Public Library. The project description that accompanied the Planning Commission application made the case for the new building based on the city’s Main Street Design Guidelines; the larger building will serve as a gateway and improve the pedestrian experience by creating a continuous building facade along Main that is free of surface parking.

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  • Great to see more density coming to Bexley, but those unit sizes are kinda ridiculous. I guess if there’s a market for them, then they’ll sell, but I think it could be more beneficial to the community in the longer term to have 12-16 smaller units that have more people living in them.

    Also, that sucks about the Cup O Joe losing their Bexley location. That area doesn’t have too many retail vacancies (that I can recall off the top of my head). I wonder if there’s a spot they can relocate to nearby?

  • Mike88

    I love the look of the building, that sort of design is right up my alley.
    I think the high end condo’s will be pretty damn slick when all is said and done, hopefully they can sell em.

  • Jason Powell

    That is unfortunate about Cup o Joe and hopefully they don’t jack the rent up on them when/if they return.

    I have to completely disagree with the mayors statement in the Business First article though, that being “This use has the density more in line with what we’re envisioning on Main Street.” So, they are envisioning one or two units per floor on a street that has very little vacant space to build on? To say that this development is more dense is false. A four story building contains more space but with only three condos and the same amount of retail. I would argue that this development is less dense than what is already there. More space doesn’t necessarily equal more density. Even being built up to the street for a more seemless streetscape does not make up for the lost opportunity of having more people living in more units in this building.

    With this announcement and the fairly recent announcement of the two story Giant Eagle, I’m kind of left scratching my head as whether or not the mayor and council really know what they are doing. There isn’t a lot of room for error on Main Street Bexley so it’s imperative that they get it right the first time.

  • heresthecasey

    From the BizFirst article it sounded as if three couples who desire this type of unit had gotten together, picked a spot, and decided to build a condo building for themselves. So, I don’t think there will really be any “selling” that has to take place.

    In that sense, it is an unusual development proposal. I think the mayor was speaking more to the building’s height and massing as what the city is envisioning for Main St, not necessarily the unit size or density. Even in Bexley, I would venture to guess that the number of people in the market for this exact type of residence is pretty small. (Hence the need to basically custom-build the entire thing).

  • Achekov

    This is very interesting. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see in upscale parts of London or NY. I guess if the goal is more residential choice for everyone, then that also includes more choice for people who want a 5800 square ft flat in Bexley, too.

  • Geno99

    I feel badly for the people who live there now. They had nice little apartments on Main St. in Bexley and I doubt that they can afford a floor in the new building.

  • urbanenthusiast

    Any character Bexley had as a community, reflected on MAIN STREET, is being chipped away
    just like the loss of the CITY HALL COMPLEX. The setting has been vintage and special on Main Street. The Cup of Joe building is beautiful vintage architecture that is a rich for the fabric of Bexley. Why would you replace it with anything!? Character cannot be bought or sold. Wake up BEXLEY. PUT THE NEW BUILDS ON PARKING LOTS!

    • Eugene_C

      Well, technically, the front-half of this building will be built on a parking lot. But point taken.

  • run214

    The library parking lot across the street is where this should be built, why tear down an existing building? First floor retail; subterranean parking for the library, residents, and patrons; and another parking lot gone. Do I love the building? Not especially. Everything in Columbus seems to be turning into a New Urbanist building which is growing boring. It’s one fewer parking lot I’ll take it, but why displace residents and businesses when you can build across the street? So the existing Cup O Joe building doesn’t sit right at the street, fine. What are there like 8 parking spaces in front? Hardly the most egregious building on Bexley’s Main Street. The City Hall Building needs to be razed and a mixed use building erected; what an eye sore.

  • UrbanPlanner2112

    See how that roof line extends above the brick line? If they could add something like that to the High Point project, then that would be a tremendous facelift for that area.

  • Bill Tag

    Is Bexley trying to become more like grandview and to cater to young professionals? Or this is geared toward Bexley empty nesters who want to downsize? I am guessing the latter.

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