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Proposal Calls for Mixed-Use Development at Olympic Site

Brent Warren Brent Warren Proposal Calls for Mixed-Use Development at Olympic SiteRenderings via m+a architects.
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Developer Kyle Katz has proposed a four-story, 152-unit mixed-use development for the Olympic Swim Club site at 3450 Indianola Avenue in Clintonville. He is pursuing the project with his wife, April Zimmerman Katz, who is the owner of the property and whose grandparents bought the pool in 1938, a year after it was built.

Zimmerman Katz said that her grandfather, who passed away in 2012, had been subsidizing the operation of the pool for years. Her cousin, Newt Jones, took over the management of the pool in 2001; since that time membership has halved while expenses have increased by 200 percent.

“The idea with this project is to keep the site in the family for another five generations, and to build something that would honor our family’s commitment, as well as honor the community’s vision,” said Zimmerman Katz. “We think we’ve created something very beautiful, something that provides things that are important to the community, like more housing options, restaurants, and increased walkability.”

Plans for the development, which have been submitted to the city and will be presented to the zoning and variance committee of the Clintonville Area Commission in September, call for three stories of apartments above street-level storefronts.

Katz said that half of the first floor will be dedicated to restaurant space, while the other half will likely hold retail or professional offices.

“Our ambition for the restaurant space is to find an indigenous, eclectic tenant that would reflect the energy of Clintonville,” he said.

An interior courtyard would sit on top of a 142-space parking structure in the back of the property – Katz said that with additional surface parking and by sharing spaces with Olympic Indoor Tennis (which sits directly behind the pool and is not closing), they hope to provide a total of 352 spaces, “more parking than any other project proposed in Clintonville.”

A one-story building that currently houses Budget Carpet and Flooring would be torn down to make way for the proposed development, which is being called The Olympic.

Katz said that they have taken a very deliberative approach to the project, which has already attracted a high level of interest from area residents, many of whom are unhappy with the pool’s closing. They started by meeting with the city and with some Clintonville Area Commissioners to get a sense of what would work best for the neighborhood.


He said they looked at other urban infill projects, citing specifically The Lane in Upper Arlington as a project that provides housing for empty nesters who may want to downsize without leaving their neighborhood.

“That can be a great thing,” he said, “It can mean turnover of the inventory of housing in the neighborhood, allowing new families move in.”

Two recently-purchased properties across Indianola from the pool are not currently part of the development plans – a small office building has been fixed up for use by Zimmerman Katz (who manages several apartment communities with her father), and a home on the corner of Dunnedin Road is also being renovated and will likely be rented out.

For ongoing news and discussion of this development, CLICK HERE to visit our messageboard.

More information can be found online at www.livetheolympic.com.

Renderings via m+a architects.

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  • I absolutely love the design of the building. It’s great that it’s set up close to the street for an urban footprint, and the ground floor retail looks like great integration.

    How can we get 100 more buildings like these all over urban Columbus? ;)

    • heresthecasey

      Agreed 100%!

    • DET-CMH

      I especially love that this building would have a story behind it. We can always use a bit more history behind our projects. :)

  • Jason Powell

    Everything about this proposal is perfect! I especially love the zero setback and the small classic architectural details.

    Now let’s see what the density police have to say about it. If we can’t get a 2-3 story building on High Street with apartments above, which makes the most sense, then I’m sure this won’t go down without a fight. Hopefully the Clintonville Area Commission can recognize the overwhelmingly positive impact this could have on their neighborhood.

  • Soaktree


    Your article mentions The Lane…the same architect designed that project as this one, although they’re working with different developers. They being M+A Architects down in Grandview Yard.

  • My Clintonville contemporaries, my siblings, my children and I will all miss The Pool more than you can imagine.

    That said, I hope for our future that this is the beginning of the end for the blight of the Indianola corridor in the north of Clintonville.

  • jaycee

    This article makes me sick to my stomach. There was absolutely no discussion in the pool community about this project. Why do these people insist on constant political spin? Oh, maybe it’s to cover up the tremendous greed and self-serving nature of the Zimmerman Katz family. It is really disgusting and I speak for if not all, then most pool members.

    I can only laugh at the comment about this project being significant because of the history of this site. Seriously, a bulldozed pool that was supported and loved by this community makes a bunch of corporate foodies “indie” meal go down better or helps you overpay for a cheap apartment. What a joke.

    • DouginCMH


      Okay, then what would you propose happen to the pool site? And you can’t just say ‘keep the pool.’ The pool is gone – or will be in a month. It is a privately owned business, not something under the control of the community. I just cannot grasp why it so impossible for people to both honestly mourn the pool’s closing and also display the adult perspective necessary to understand that any community needs to evolve over time if it’s to stay relevant and vibrant. Sort of like bob.os put it above: losing the pool is terrible, just terrible. But there’s also not a damned thing you or I can do about it. Well, except whine and make stupid petitions, something of a cottage industry in Clintonville. Indianola, especially north of North Broadway, is an eyesore, as are highly visible parts of High Street. The pool is going away, whether you like it or not. The current owners of the property are proposing a $20+ million development there, designed by the same company that produced The Lane in UA. Or, as you prefer to put it, ‘cheap apartments.’ You don’t seem to care for ‘political spin’ yet somehow spin an investment of this sort into this community as a being based in ‘greed.’ I’ve read it referred to as a ‘money grab’ by a reader over at the Booster. A money grab would be this family selling off the property to some developer for them to do whatever the hell they want to do with it. Maybe another fast food place, auto supply store, like we have so many of in Clintonville. Or perhaps it would just remain a dead zone empty lot, like the former Clintonville Electric space (and quite a few other spaces in this area) remains. So, again, what would you propose for this site?

    • What’s the “pool community” ?

      The customers of the pool business? Or some larger local community I’m unaware of?

      • DouginCMH

        And one wonders what sort of insight such a pool community would have on the merits of an apartment development, or why those planning such a development would need to discuss it with said community. Which, I assume, would include me, since my kids go to the pool, right?

        • wygand

          +1 DoughinCMH

          I live right down the street from the Olymipic Pool. I will admit, i have never gone, it is expensive as far as pools go.

          The Pool Community would have to be the people creating facebook pages(https://www.facebook.com/saveolympicpool) and walking door to door railing about how these apartments will be the apocalypse in Clintonville.

          The bottom line is the Olympic pool has a great history in Clintonville. But it is a failing business venture. I just wish all of this energy that is being directed at “save the pool” (whatever that really means) would be used to encourage other positive investment in the neighborhood.

        • Ned23

          Perhaps the “pool community” could pool their resources and start a ‘pool co-op’ on another piece of land nearby? The pool obviously is no longer a viable for-profit business, so perhaps a community non-profit approach would work.

    • Graybeak

      A shame there aren’t other pools around the city that someone could use to swim.

  • RellekOTE


  • jaycee

    Yes, Clintonville, we are just a cottage industry of letter writers and pesky, naive protestors. Nothing ever gotten done in this country by protesting the one-sided decision of kindly, rich folks. Oh except maybe unions and child labor laws, the ending of wars, and little stuff like that.

    I like everyone else should quit my whining about wonderful April Zimmerman, who never felt the need to consult the community (or her patrons) when she axed a 100 year-old landmark that was mired with an incompetent owner (oh, who happened to be her wonderful cousin, Newt). By the way, I was sorry to see you crying up at the pool the other day, April, honey, due to the backlash of your unfaithful members. April, we didn’t realize you were so sensitive and caring towards us. We should learn to take our medicine and honor your thought out (secret) decisions.

    Plus, now Dougins, we get to be more like Upper Arlington, with a suburban mall like the one on Lane Avenue. Except, of course, Upper Arlington also has three community pools with vested ownership and virtually no temporary/transient housing. Well, there I go again with the whining, just a part of my silly Clintonville roots, I guess.

    From now on, when my kid asks me why there is no swimming pool anymore, I am going to tell him to shut up and be thankful that wonderful Mr Katz didn’t decide to put up an empty parking lot with broken beer bottles like the owner over at Clintonville Electric. Thanks, Mr Katz for the 200 transients and your “indigenous” restaurant, whatever the hell that is. Yep, that’s evolution that would make Charles Darwin proud.

    • RellekOTE

      Ummm. Huh? Do you understand how business works? When your expenses go up, and your revenue goes down, that’s not a good thing. That’s why businesses (like this pool) close. Not saying it’s not a shame, but it’s kinda just how it goes. This, IMO, is a *fantastic* proposal that could start to revitalize what has always been a very bland and unexciting part of this city we all love. As for the “200 transients” you speak of– This isn’t some floppy, pay-by-the-hour boarding house… This is a well designed and proportionate building for *renters* (which, by the way, make up quite a bit of the current population of Clintonville).

      It’s a pool. GTF over it.

    • According to a quick search on available census data, Upper Arlington contains around 19% renter-occupied housing.

      So they do actually have some dirty, disgusting, untrustworthy, second-class transients over there too. Probably explains why Upper Arlington is such a terrible place.

    • DouginCMH

      So, to sum up your response to my question about what you’d propose for this location, jaycee, you just want the pool to stay there. Period. You despise the owners, but either want the owners to continue to operate the pool, or sell it as a pool to someone else.

      Got it.

      Of course, that is not going to happen. And neither you nor anyone else in town has any authority to force it to happen. But no matter. It’s still the only thing you seem to be okay with. My kids and I have talked about the pool closing, by the way. I only wish I’d had your talking points handy when I did so. They’re saddened but, then again, the true impact of the loss probably hasn’t sunk in yet, being that they’re still reeling from the emotional body blows inflicted upon them by the construction of the left turn lane on ENB/High, the loss of the Clinton Annex and assorted other community-crushing developments.

      Re: the apartments, which as RellekOTE states, you seem to imply are some sort of rent-by-the-hour flop house filled with ‘transients.’ What is it about renters that causes such hatred and fear among a segment of the save-the-pool folks? It’s funny, but I have a colleague who’s just bought a house not far from this location, and who has a parent who will be relocating to Clintonville (from another city), ideally, to help take care of a new baby that’ll be born later this year. The parent really, really wants to find an apartment (she has no interest in buying a house in a new city this close to retirement). This kind of development would be perfect for them.

      But wait, is it the shoddy aspect of this development and the associated undesirable element it’ll bring into pristine Clintonville that you dislike, or your concern that it’ll be too UA-ish? News flash: No one is likely to mistake Indianola Ave north of ENB with Lane Ave. in UA, even if this development does go through.

      Obviously, you’re welcomed to to your own opinions. So flail away. Circulate your petitions, etc. But, seriously, linking an effort to force (somehow) private business owners to do something they don’t want to do with grassroots efforts to enact child labor laws and end wars is an embarrassing reach. Had I known such efforts were a viable option, I’d have gone after Liz Lessner when she so cruelly closed Betty’s without first consulting the Eating Community.

      • wygand


        First, there is still a swimming pool in Clintonville, Tuttle pool on Oakland Ave. Second, The Olympic was an empty parking lot with broken beer bottles in it for 8 months of the year already.

        In all seriousness though, as someone who is new to Clintonville, and who lives very close to the Olympic. I really wish this community could get behind some positive changes instead of simply petitioning things while having no real solution. If we want another pool in the community, lets rally behind that. Maybe we could raise some funds, and petition the city to help us build an indoor pool addition at the park of roses. It is impossible to stop change, and stomping our feet when we lose something this important to the community won’t change anything. If all this energy when towards shaping the changes coming to Clintonville, as apposed to trying to stand in the way, i think we would end up with a more vibrant community in the end.

      • If this were been built as condos, the opponents would claim that the whole thing is elitist/classist and harmful to the neighborhood.

        Instead, it’s being built as apartments, so opponents are claiming the whole thing is for low-class transient drifters that are harmful to the neighborhood.

        At the end of the day, it’s all a moot point because everyone knows that supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      • Pablo

        “they’re still reeling from the emotional body blows inflicted upon them by the construction of the left turn lane on ENB/High”

        It’s amazing how fast homes on ENB where abandoned and set on fire. ;-D

        It was an over priced, dumpy pool that sat vacant 9 months of the year. This proposed development is such an improvement. I’d like to see this type of development on High St. too!

  • phaedrus

    Shell art is over!

  • Jason Powell

    Between the SW North Broadway & High corner site, to the Cooke Road railroad underpass mural, to the demolition of beautiful historic school buildings, to the disdain for 2 story buildings on High to this project, I’m really confused as to what many residents of Clintonville really want. I mean, if these folks prefer an artless community with bland, suburban style strip malls on their “main street” and industrial wastelands and throw-away buildings, then that is what you’re going to get. I’m surprised there wasn’t more uproar over the growler locations, you know, because of all those brown baggers that would be hanging around the neighborhood now.

    Jaycee is obviously in love with the pool and has some sort of hatred for the Zimmerman’s for whatever reason….maybe because they closed “his/her” pool. I’m not going to repeat every valid point above but, yea, Jaycee has no sensible argument here. And the transient comment!? Come on. That is just classist. First of all, I would hope that at least some of these apts were “affordable” to provide opportunities for those who cannot otherwise afford to live in Clintonville. Heaven forbid we have a mix of incomes though. Secondly, these apartments most likely will not be cheap. I foresee $1000+ one bedrooms. Anybody who can afford that is probably an upstanding citizen…..or a drug dealer.

  • DouginCMH

    The what do Clintonvillers really want issue has been brought up before and, presumably, will be again. There’s a certain stereotype that Clintonville hates change, and obviously one can find evidence to support that argument. Thing is, it’s far too simplistic a theory and, in many cases, completely wrong. As Jason Powell mentions, the area is brimming with growler shops now. When I moved here ten years ago, C-ville was pretty close to being dry. My, how things have changed. Indianola had maybe a dozen or so decent beers on tap then (all at Studio 35, pre-renovation). It’s now nick-named Growler Alley, and has closer to 175 craft beers to sample. High Street has its own growler shop and will soon have a brewpub, as well as places like Harvest, Local Cantina, Northstar, Global Gallery, possibly a Rusty Bucket and several other places, including a winery and old-timers like Bob’s, Mozart’s and O’Reilly’s where you can get a drink. There’s even a micro-distillery getting tacked onto the India Oak Grill. Yeah, Kroger now sells beer and wine, but Giant Eagle has a terrific beer selection, too, and we have new places like Lucky’s and one of the best beer/wine/spirits shops in town in Weiland’s. Liquor ballot measures fly through with 65-80% approval.

    But we hate change.

    If I might put on my amateur demographer’s cap for a moment, I understand that Clintonville was reliably Republican a generation ago. It’s now a Democratic stronghold. But, of course, it’s also a place where a lot of people settle down and stay for the rest of their lives. So writers who state they’ve been home-owners in Clintonville for 30 years, well, the area has indeed changed a helluva lot in that time. And I would assume that there are still vocal pockets of holdouts – especially in some of the areas most established neighborhoods – who represent opinions that are no longer really mainstream in Clintonville as a whole.

    It’s not the angry opinions about the pool’s closing that bother me. Everyone I know in Clintonville who has an opinion about the pool hates that it’s closing. What irks me are the flat-earthers who are so rigid in their ways that they can’t see the situation for what it is and work to ensure that the result of this upheaval is as positive for the community as possible. Their opinions are petulant, childish and simply boring because they’re so intellectually bankrupt and lacking in creativity.

  • RationalDiscourse

    Dougins, why resort to name-calling? Clintonville is a wonderfully diverse mix of people and that means not everyone will share your opinions. Some of us have been Clintonville residents for many years and have seen some really good changes. I dislike your reference to “flatlanders.” I’m not anti-development, and my post is not about the pool (although I enjoyed it for years with my children). I happen to think that development should be consistent with the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan, which you’ll find on the Clintonville Area Commission (CAC) website. It recommends that housing density not exceed 30 units per acre. The piece of property where the proposed development will be is about 2.8 acres. I did the math, and I don’t think that makes me “petulant, childish or intellectually boring.” I urge you to look at the variances that are being requested (the application is posted on the CAC website as well). If those variances go through, it will mean a reduction in the building setback from 25 feet to 5 feet, landscape reduction from 4 feet to 0 feet, and they will be short 145 parking spaces (according to what is recommended for 152 units), which means some parking will overflow onto the surrounding streets. The developer has also submitted a Traffic Analysis, which the city public works department is looking at now. The traffic analysis includes assumptions that are not explained. I suggest that people do their own research and figure out whether the development plan (with variances) represents the direction Clintonville should go. And then let the city and CAC know your opinions. If the variances do not pass, perhaps the developer will modify the plan to show a better understanding of Clintonville – a plan with fewer apartments, sufficient parking, adequate setback from the street and lots of trees.

    • Rational Discourse, you are indeed aptly named. Might I suggest Informed One for a moniker as well?

      Seriously though, for anyone who has made it this far on the thread, the issues RD lays out are what most local residents are concerned about. Sure there’s a lot of unhappiness with the closing of the pool, especially the way the Zimmerman Katz/Jones family choose to handle and communicate their decisions. But most people have made their peace with that. And as they say, that ship has sailed.

      However, before the next ship sets comes in, people have serious and legitimate questions about the way this proposal will impact the neighborhood; be it parking (not enough spaces means not just neighborhood spillover, but on-street has been mentioned as a solution – trust me, that would be a disaster), traffic flow, infrastructure – particularly sewer, the mass of power lines that magically aren’t in the design spec, and many more.

      Many of these issues could likely be worked out. But the community has every right and responsibility to have their voice heard. And while Clintonville has often resisted sensible development, I’m sure most here would agree that not all development is inherently good.

      My suggestion to the CU team is to reach out to to some of the more informed residents and hear their concerns. This is actually a compelling local development story. One that I personally hope ends well, but fear could be lost because trust and input was never sought by the developers.

  • RationalDiscourse

    I want to add to my post that the proposal is for 152 housing units.

  • DouginCMH

    For the record, I said ‘flat-earthers.’ There’s a a big difference.

    Your comments are about the proposed development. Mine were in response to those who cling to a rather fantastical belief that they can somehow save Olympic Pool. Again, there’s a big difference.

    For the record, I don’t disagree in any way to your suggestions about people doing due diligence about this, or any other, development.

  • gardengig

    I find it very interesting that posters like jacee get very sensitive and are quick to call out anyone critical of their viewpoint. Is no one concerned about the vicious personal nature of the attacks on the owners? Look at his post! How incredibly disrespectful to call Newt incompetent and April “honey”. He has keep “your” pool running long after it was financially viable and she is an accomplished business woman. They could have sold out to a bigger developer and taken their time, interest, and funds to another part of town but they haven’t. Instead they are once again investing in Clintonville.
    The FAQ page on the website clarifies all of the information listed above but no one is interested in reading that, only the misinformation perpetuated by the Save the pool folks. http://Www.livetheolympic.com
    Business owners should beware and be in vocal support of this long overdue enhancement to Indianola. There is a lesson here for you that if your customers don’t support your business in a way that allows you to make a living and you close, they will then turn around on you and feel entitled that you stay open and seize your private property.
    Clintonville needs this change. Please send your support to [email protected]. They need to hear from you or we may be stuck with a bulldozed pool lot.

  • Johnny Bones

    Pool aside, I don’t think this will benefit Clintonville like everyone thinks. First of all, this area is full of home-owners, most of them families that have lived in Clintonville forever. Dropping in over 150 rental units at the end of our beautiful neighborhood streets (Piedmont and Dunedin) is just going to encourage students and people with no ties to the community to temporarily take up residence and WILL drop the property values that we all have worked so hard to maintain. Not to mention the complete lack of parking that’s coming with this thing. They’re zoned to have 413 spaces but are only providing 211! This is going to become a parking and congestion nightmare for those that live in the vicinity of this thing as our neighborhood streets fill up with apartment tenants and visitors.

    I hate to burst the excitement bubble, but there’s a lot for the community to decide on here as this will alter the fabric of the neighborhood in many ways. I honestly think many people in Clintonville welcome the redevelopment of Indianola, but they want it to be DONE RIGHT and not at the expense of the surrounding residence!

    • DavidF

      Renters? OMG!! There might be a car or two parked on the street? WTF?!! First they make us turn left, now this? This is just too much for my delicate sensibilities. Won’t someone think of the children? We all know this will only bring the “wrong” types of people to Clintonville.

      I’ve always loved Clintonville, but I’m really learning to dislike the insular, regressive people who live there.

    • Short North neighborhoods have been building apartments/rentals like crazy for several years now. Their property values continue to rise, higher than Clintonville’s IIRC.

      Claiming that apartments lower property values universally is a false argument.

    • DouginCMH

      I used to live on Dunedin. It is, as you say, a beautiful street. I cannot imagine how an apartment complex on the east side of Indianola would negatively affect property values for single family homes in the area. And the development would obviously have no effect whatsoever on property values in parts of Clintonville that are farther away from the pool site. As it is, property values for sites right on Indianola, on the west side of the street, tend to be lower, sometimes dramatically lower, than those for houses located slightly off of Indianola. It’s not hard to imagine why: Indianola is a major N-S thoroughfare, much of it zoned industrial. How building an attractive apartment complex on it would lower property values for homes in the area is beyond me. As long as so much of Indianola is an eyesore – its current state – property values in the area will be negatively affected. If anything, this development is a step toward making Indianola less ugly. Or would you prefer another fast food joint or auto supply store?

      Re: parking, where do you get the 413 number? The development’s FAQ page says they need 356. The new development itself is proposed to have 211 (as you say), but they’ll also have access to existing parking at the Olympic Indoor Tennis facility, another 141 spaces. That’s 352. And the FAQ page says they’re working on a deal with the City of Columbus to be able to use roughly 40 additional spaces next door on evenings and weekends.

      As I said above, the community should examine this proposal and see if what is being proposed is accurate, if there’s any way to improve upon what’s being proposed. However, the Chicken Little responses from some local residents whenever something new is proposed long ago became tiresome. The real tragedy is that the perpetual over-reaction means that potentially good questions that should be addressed might be ignored just because they’re coming from a segment of the community that has rightfully gained a reputation for being contrarian.

  • Johnny Bones

    Come on guys! Tell me what you really think about Clintonville! I wonder, do we have horns sprouting from the tops of our heads as well? How ugly can you blow-hards get? Geesh!

    Seriously though, please try to see it from my perspective and the perspective of the other residences of the surrounding neighborhood.This thing will set the tone for the rest of development along Indianloa and since I’m going to be living 5 houses down from it, it’s going to affect ME more than it will affect YOU.

    The reality here is that we are not replacing an industrial building here. Where replacing a community’s swimming pool that has been a beloved meeting place for over 80 years. When I purchased my home almost 2 years ago (after being a renter for most of my life), the proximity to the pool was an advertised feature and a major selling point. Now it’s going to be replaced by 150 apartment units that are pretty much in my backyard. While I am glad that another manufacturing plant isn’t going up in it’s place, I’m not comforted by the prospect of having 200 or so people (students) dropped into my backyard.

    Also, Clintonville is not The Short North! 20 years ago nobody wanted to live in the Short North and it needed the redevelopment to be live-able. Clintonville is not in the same scenario. We DON’T NEED THIS. We’re perfectly fine without it.

    On property values, if you want to see what rental units do to the value of housing in the area, just look south of North Broadway. Housing is an easy 30% less than it is on the north-side.

    And back to the parking and traffic, why should I be ok with my block being parked up by apartment tenants? The builders don’t have to have 150 units! Just shave off some of these units or combine some to make 2 bedrooms and create adequate parking for the freaking tenants!

    So tell me, why should I take this laying down? Why should Clintonville have to go the same route as the Short-North? It’s no skin off your back, so please try to see it from my perspective.

    • RellekOTE

      OMG… Not STUDENTS!! No wonder you’re so afraid! Those pesky students (and just renters in general) ruining the quiet suburban city of Clintonville. Oh, wait… It’s not a suburb? It’s a neighborhood in the city of Columbus? Just beyond Ohio State University?

      In all seriousness, you’re right on some things… I, personally, don’t live there so I won’t be affected. And I know Clintonville doesn’t want to be the Short North (no other neighborhood really does), and, come on, it never will… But I hardly think a beautiful, well-designed apartment building with retail space is going to ruin the fabric of Clintonville. Nor do I think it will bring values down; should be quite the contrary. Just my two cents…

    • DouginCMH

      I certainly understand that for people who live close to the pool, this is a bigger loss than for those of us who live farther away in Clintonville. But I still don’t get the renting in the area = lower property values argument. I’ve lived in three houses in Clintonville, including one south of Broadway. Houses there DO tend to be cheaper than ones farther north, though not entirely, of course. Those on a ravine are anything but cheap, for example. Yes, those areas of Clintonville with more rental properties do tend to have lower home values, but it’s an apples and oranges comparison. Those neighborhoods have more rental houses next to single family homes on the same street. That’s not at all what’s being proposed on Indianola. Seriously, I can’t see how a modest number of renters on the west side of Indianola will somehow change the neighborhood feels of streets like Dunedin, Pacemont, Oakland Park, etc. These renters won’t be living on those streets.

      Also, why do you assume this will just be filled with students? It’s a fairly high-end apartment development, not a dormitory. Why the hell would students want to live way up in Clintonville? Some grad students, maybe, but what’s wrong with that?

      Re: parking, the development’s FAQ doesn’t mesh with what you’re saying. There isn’t some huge discrepancy between the required number of spaces and those available on-site. But here I do think you’re bringing up a legitimate concern. This could affect you if the numbers don’t stand up to scrutiny.

    • @Johnny Bones – Don’t assume that everyone posting here in support of this project lives outside of Clintonville and everyone posting here in opposition of this project lives within Clintonville. Outside of your own perspective, you don’t have any idea who has “skin in the game” in regards to this project or not.

      • Johnny Bones

        Walker it is completely fair to say that many of the people supporting the proposal don’t live in Clintonville or the immediate vicinity and therefore don’t have “skin in the game”. I know my neighbors and I know quite of few of their positions on the matter, many are down-right pissed about it.

        If you live in this area and whole-heartedly support it, please come out and say it! I just know that there’s a lot of bad-wagoners that just want Columbus to be completely re-redeveloped everywhere. I think most of it is honestly a good thing and I support it. But at the heart of the matter is that this particular development is OUT OF TOUCH with the neighborhood; It is going to be a massive building dropped into my neighborhood. They’re having to re-zone the property and change building codes to do it. They’re also adding a bunch more people into the neighborhood as well. These will change the neighborhood in many ways, and that’s pretty much the idea around it. Some changes may be good but there will also be many negative side effects to that, especially to the surrounding neighborhood. You’re fooling yourself if you think this developement is perfect.

        Those that don’t live here, probably don’t get Clintonville and would probably see a lot more room for improvement. If you live in Clintonville, you know there are already lots of things to love about it and that there are things that can be improved upon. But what I want is for the Clintonville Community to have that LEVERAGE to decide what is best for it. NOT RE-DEVELOPERS.

        • whopper jr

          I live in this area and I whole-heartedly support it. There, I said it. I also think your position that the developers are out of touch with the neighborhood is frankly, out of touch. And I wouldn’t be surprised if more locals than you might think support this redevelopment.
          I live in Clintonville and I don’t “get” Clintonville. I mean, I get parts of it and overall I enjoy living there, but I definitely don’t get the up-in-arms attitude about any change to the neighborhood.
          From what I’ve seen, people are upset the pool is closing so they’re going to boycott anything the owner wants to do (and…by the way, has the right to do). How dare you take our deteriorating, money losing, 3 months out of the year operation away from us! The fact is the pool is closing and I’d like to ask the apartment opponents what they think should replace the pool?

        • wygand

          I am your Neighbor, I live on Piedmont, I support it.

          I think Indianola has the opportunity to really benefit from this project. I will be very surprised if my property value does anything but increase from retail, restaurant and housing investment.

        • cml214

          I am your neighbor as well and fully support this – and I have written my own letters to the CAC to voice this as well! Unlike you, when I bought my home here 6 years ago, it was in anticipation of future development in Clintonville that would someday raise my property value….we’ll see in a few years which of us is right I suppose :)

          While anything is better than an abandoned lot, Im a bit disappointed with some of the other development going on in Clintonville at the moment – (the boring 1 story strip mall going up on California with no character doesn’t fit the neighborhood imho) – this is the first project I have seen in a long time that I actually think DOES represent our vibrant and walkable community, where not everyone drives everywhere and takes a parking spot (we are a 1 car family that walks or bikes many places), and I actually really appreciate the transparency that the owners have tried to create for this project, because they KNOW this community! We have not had that luxury with other proposed development here in the past.

          I’m all for everyone having their own opinion, but please just don’t lump the rest of us in with you and your opinion – we’ll see you at the next CAC meeting!

  • dalias

    I hear those renters in the Olentangy Village Apartments have been running meth labs and dragging down property values for years. But what do they care, they still have a pool.

  • Graybeak

    I was very sad to read the story about the vandalism and break-ins that forced the folks at Olympic to have to hire night security.


  • gardengig

    The vandalism is way out of line. Save Olympic has really crossed the line. I’m sure this is just kids but the message is clear and they have taken it to heart in a criminal way. Just imagine if there were 150 new households, restaurants, people walking their dogs, walking to Weilands or Palmers along this stretch. Maybe there wouldn’t be so much vandalism and destruction. Dark desolate places welcome misconduct. Bright, busy places discourage that.

    Also, looked at Olympic Swim clubs page. Looks like the family lost someone last week. I was told it was the owners little sister. Don’t we think they have had enough? Honestly, this is harassment.

  • Jason Powell

    @Johnny Bones & RationalDiscourse:

    The thought that students are going to pay what will certainly be a very high rent is kind of an absurd argument. This isn’t even close to campus. That’s not going to be an issue. The parking is not an issue as it sounds like there is plenty. Your property values will NOT go down. This development will only enhance the area and your property value will likely benefit from this. Trust me. I’ve been in real estate for over a decade in the Clintonville area. In fact, I would encourage more of this type of development all along Indianola, so long as there is ample parking supply for residents and businesses of the new developments. They all don’t have to be five stories either. Two story buildings are fine. And, let’s not forget. This development is on the OTHER side of Indianola – not in our back yard. These are two very different and separate areas of the same neighborhood and one will benefit the other.

    You say that Clintonville doesn’t need the redevelopment to be livable. I would strongly disagree. If you are satisfied with the asphalt and corporate fast food strip center clustermuck that is much of Indianola and High Street, then that, to me, doesn’t show much pride in your neighborhood.

    So I ask you, what do you want to see in place of the pool?

  • gardengig

    Great question! If the current owners cannot develop on their property and were to sell it, I highly doubt they would be sharing parking with their tennis club. I count current spots on the Olympic parcel to be about 48 spaces. Whatever goes there would need rezoning and a parking variance. Pool goers and neighbors are accustomed to using the tennis club parking all summer. If that parking arrangement ended tomorrow, 48 spaces would likely not accommodate the members and they would be parking on the streets. Has SOP considered that?
    I think this is best case scenario. Anyone who knows anything about business and real estate knows that a certain rentable square footage must be achieved to pay for the structure and land costs. I am sure this has been done and is why the 150 number is planned. You can’t just wack a floor off the building and expect it to still work financially, esp if it has covered parking. If you lower the density, the whole thing would get dumbed down. I think its gorgeous and I think it works on lots of levels.

  • whopper jr

    You know what I hate, all that traffic created by…..Olympic Pool! The increased traffic on Indianola three months out of the year is a hazard to our children and our neighborhood. Not to mention the amount of cars, bicycles and pedestrians cutting through MY neighborhood. The pool must be shut down immediately. Once it is closed I except the buildings to be demolished and the site shall be kept vacant, without the possibility of the owners ever selling the land or redeveloping it themselves, all while continuing to pay property taxes and maintaining a newly sodded lawn.


    I live close to the pool and use Indianola. It sad to see the pool close and hopefully there will be another one.

    I have concerns with proposed plan; 1) increase traffic, particularly in the PM. I have witness the screeching of tires and people are pulling out of UDF (At Oakland Park) or attempting to cross traffic to get into UDF. Though the traffic studies state that there were be eventually no increase in traffic delays (vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian) nor traffic stuck in intersections, however that study was completed in July, when most people are vacation AND the study uses some adjusted figures, so I doubt the reliability of this study. 2) Apartments for Empty nesters who don’t want to take care of their lawns, can you say “Retirement Home” and they are on fixed income. I don’t think these people will be flocking to the new complex, 3) If you look at the plan, there are 3 retail shops proposed and restaurants. I have seen restaurant come and go, parking will be an issue, Indianola between Northbroadway and Arden is only 4 lanes, with no left turn lane. 3) What type of retail space? ( Does anyone miss The Hustler Store? Do we need another Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, All for One or Infinity 99, or perhaps a Tatoo parlor) I wonder what the cost retail rent space will be?

    My final comment in regard to the recent vandalism at Olympic Swim Club, I am appalled that the owners would make the assumption that the Save Olympic Pool would stoop to that level. People who live in Clintonville take pride in their community and this act of vandalism it the complete opposite what the members of this community would do.

    I love the fact that community members are involved, not every community has this and with the closing of schools, parks, and pools. We are losing idea of community, and becoming more divisive.

    • DouginCMH


      First, most people are on vacation in July? What are you talking about?

      Second, how could a few hundred extra cars in a street as busy as Indianola really cause a problem? I do think it could be something of an issue for residents of the development, as they try and get out onto Indianola. But the street itself handles so much traffic each day that a few hundred extra cars won’t be much of an issue.

      If you have questions about the kind of retail that could go into the development, as the developer. The Olympic FAQ page does say this, however:

      “Upgraded zoning that
      starts a transformation of the entire Indianola corridor north of Broadway and
      blocks less desirable development that is legal under the parcel’s current zoning such as car washes, auto dealers, self-storage units or adult entertainment”

      I really don’t think it’s a likely venue for another Hustler store. But as you say, Clintonville has been home to some pretty unfortunate commercial development. The site, currently, is zoned industrial. This apartment complex makes it far less likely that another ugly commercial development will go there instead.

  • chaserdanger

    Can one say a privately owned pool as a “community pool?”

    A community pool would be one where there isn’t a membership fee and everyone in the area is welcomed regardless.

  • Jason Powell


    1. Are you saying that you want UDF to close? Any retail location on any street is going to have some sort of access issue in one way or another. The reason Indianola is a busy street is that it serves as a primary north-south collector street. It will ALWAYS be busy and that will never change.

    2. So most people vacation in July!!?? The only time of year a study like this would not be accurate is probably OSU football Saturdays or a snow storm when the city becomes a ghost town.

    3. These empty nesters probably will not take of their lawns because…..there are no lawns in this proposal. This is a 4 story apartment building. And the building won’t be full of retirees. This building will be full of a very diverse group of people. I doubt very much you will see garbage on the streets or clothes lines hanging from the balconies.

    4. I doubt a Dollar Tree will consider this space and even if they did, I’m sure the developer is targeting a different kind of tenant. Think, Hudson 29 in the new Lane (a very comparable project by the way), or Matt the Miller’s on Grandview Avenue (another comparable project) You’ll probably be sitting down for dinner on the outdoor patio enjoying a steak two years from now asking yourself why you loathed this project so much :)

    5. Your last comment about the closing of parks, pools and schools is a valid one. But I would argue that this type of development helps mitigate those losses by creating another gathering place or several gathering places. It’s “third places” like restaurants and bars that help create community just as much as parks or pools do.

  • DavidF

    I’ve always found Clintonville to be a desirable neighborhood to live in, but now I’m really glad I never did make the move. I get that the NIMBY crowd, though ridiculously vocal likely only represents a very small portion of the people who live there, but I for one have no interest in living around such a closed minded, divisive, classist (students! renters! We can’t have “those” sorts of people living here”) group of troglodytes.

    Thank you for ensuring that I never have to endure your senseless and seemingly endless attempts to build mountains out of molehills.

    *note: The left turn lane debacle did give me a pretty good indication that there were a good number of crazies in Clintonville. I really did want to believe that that was just an isolated incident.

  • Here is a update and a rehash of this situation to date.

    The developers have submitted their request to demo the site. They do not have anything scheduled with the Clintonville Area Commission for the November meeting to discuss their (new / revised) proposal for the site.

    The one stop shop with the city had the following questions and feedback related to the developers first proposal which was presented to a standing room only crowd at the September Zoning meeting.

    This document is from September 12th.


    The developers had the following variances requested in their original proposal for the site.

    a) Section 3372.704(A) Setback: to reduce the building setback from 25 feet to 10 feet along Indianola Avenue.

    b) Section 3372.705 Building Design Standards: does not require clear glass window.

    c) Section 3372.707 (A), Landscaping and Screening: to eliminate trees in front of the building. Street trees shall be installed subject to the City’s approval.

    d) Section 3372.704(D) Setback: to reduce the parking setback from 25 feet to 15 feet along Indianola Avenue for the existing parking spaces along Indianola Avenue which currently have a zero setback.

    e) Section 3312.49 Minimum number of parking spaces required: to reduce the number of parking spaces from 335 to 224.

    f) Section 3372.709 Parking and Circulation: to permit existing parking spaces to remain in front of building along Indianola Avenue.

    g) Section 3356.05 (E)(2) C-4 district development limitations: to permit adjoining use to occupy less than the entire length of the Indianola Avenue frontage.

    The space occupies 2.8 acres. The developers have purchased some adjacent properties but this was not discussed as part of the plan. The revision which was discussed in the September 2014 zoning meeting was to have 138 units with 60% being studio and one bedroom units and the rest as 2 bedroom units.

    That (roughly) translates to 83 units intended for one person (or perhaps a couple) 55 two bedroom units. That roughly translates to 193 people (not counting the possibility of couples in the on bedroom apartments or a renter that opts to have a two bedroom apartment all to him or herself). The first floor of the proposed building would be close to 19,000 sq feet of mixed commercial/retail/restaurant space. In the zoning meeting, the developers said they expected 1/2 of the space to be reserved for restaurants. For the square footage 4-6 businesses could be typical for this amount of space. For a comparison point – the typical Panera is 4500 square feet.

    The stuff you see above is the objective part of the story.

    Reading through the posts here on Columbus Underground as well as multiple other social media forums the discussion has been characterized (or trivialized) as a war between those that want development in Clintonville and those that do not.

    A few would have you believe that a small, hostile group of Clintonvillians want to save a pool that is gone and thwart any progress on Indianola in lieu of parking lots and ugly industrial sites. I do not believe this is true.

    A few would have you believe that is there is a small group of people, that largely live outside of the streets most effected / affected by this development: Breevort, Dunedin, Piedmont and Oakland Park Ave that want this development as is – as much as the good people of Springfield wanted Lyle Lanley’s monorail. I kind of believe this.

    In my observation from attending the zoning meeting in September, trying to attend the Clintonville Area Commission meeting later that month and speaking to many people before, during and after those meetings that most people in our community are more in the middle of this issue.

    There has not been a lot of information about this development or concerns about it in the media. Most people seem to get their information from word of mouth or Facebook. From my observation most those that have had a chance to look at the information seem to think that a mixed use development of the old olympic site is a good thing. And the initial site plans looked promising. After that, it starts to bog down. Many wondered about some or all of the following: would this cause problems with traffic, on street parking, sewage, giant amounts of new dog poop in the nearby park, etc. Well, the apartment complex was not planning to allow dogs so the poopgate question is answered. For most of the other questions either we don’t know or it depends on how well one feels they can predict the future.

    On my end, what seemed like a legitimate concern to me was parking. How many parking spaces do 193 residents need? Do any guests they might have need a place to park? How many parking spaces would 4-6 businesses with customers, employees and deliveries need? How many of those spaces would need to be ADA spaces. I don’t know the exact answer to that question. But 224 or 256 or ? spaces even the minimum required by city zoning seemed like it might be a stretch.

    The developers acknowledged that they did not have enough spaces to meet the minimum requirements of the city – which was why they asked for a variance for that. The developers also offered that they might be able to get spaces from the nearby city building to use for valet parking in the evenings and weekends – but they did not have an agreement with the city for this at the time of the presentation. They also indicated that they could share spaces with the adjacent tennis club would would allow them to have ample parking.

    However, that did not seem like such a sure thing to me. Asking the source – this was the information that was shared about the Tennis Club. “The tennis club is open 7 days per week from 6:30 am until 11 am for some leagues. Generally there are 15 – 60 spaces being used for tennis patrons”.

    So looking at the above – while I don’t have a magic answer for what the perfect number of parking spaces is – the above information does not make me feel confident that there would be parking that would be sustainable for residents or patrons.

    The developers hoped to use a valet company to help ensure that was convenient parking for guests during peak hours. During the zoning meeting, it was requested that the developers make a promoise to have the valet company not park on adjacent side streets. The developers seemed open to that.

    So – if you are still reading this, instead of writing a snarky comment, I believe most of my neighbors were / are thinking this development seems too big for the area but what is the right size (that meets the needs of sustainable profit) for the developers, the future residents of the apartments, the future patrons of the businesses, the next door neighbors on Piedmont, Breevort, Dunedin and Oakland Park Ave and the rest of the Clintonville community? I don’t know what that answer is. It seems simplistic to me that so many would be so sure that they have the right answer to the question other than to reduce it down to one is either pro development or anti development.

    I’m not an expert in many things, but there is one thing I know pretty well, Clintonville. I’ve lived here for over 40 years one 4 different streets: Blenheim as a child, Northridge after college in an apartment for 8 years, Beechwold in my first house and now on Oakland Park Ave. in a house I just moved to. Do I have stakes in this – absolutely. As an expert on Clintonville, I can say that what was first proposed was too dense for this community (and for most communities in Columbus and elsewhere). The level of density as proposed – with mixed use added in and the limited parking would even be considered on the higher end of high density in the Short North or Downtown. That is my opinion, which does not make it right or a fact but it seems pretty sensible to me. Does that mean I think the area should not be developed as a mixed use space with apartments and commercial spaces? No. I like the proposal overall but it seems to me some tweaks could be made to make it a better fit for my community which in turn, I believe, would increase the likelihood of having lower apartment turn over (happier residents) lower retail and commercial tenants (their customers come without hesitation because they know they can park nearby without having to fork over money for a valet, etc.) and good neighbors nearby that walk over to support the businesses in the development.

    I know a thing or two about restaurants as well. I was a board member of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association for 3 years and during my time there a frequent area of discussion was valet parking and the struggles for adequate parking in areas like the Short North and German Village. Most moderate to high end restaurant owners will tell you that a restaurant, especially a new one, can not have enough parking and that valet parking, only appeals to a small percentage of customers. If a developer wants a restaurant to sign on as a tenant, they need to show, convincingly that the area and the parking nearby can support the table turns needed to be profitable and looking at the numbers I saw and have heard since, those numbers are not there…..yet.

    I do hope the developers put a revised version of their plan back on the table. And I do believe they will. When they do, I also hope that a few loud mouth idiots, who booed, and shouted and insulted the families involved are not there or that those of us nearby have the support of others when we ask them to remove themselves from an adult discussion.

    I also hope, in the meantime, that people step back from the safety of sniping and being snarky online, behind the shield of social media and allow people that live in this community to have a community discussion about this matter. It is OK for us to agree to disagree but this matter should be discussed. This development, is about the future of the Indianola corridor and how it will be developed over the rest of my lifetime and that is something that is worth discussing for a few months and figuring out instead of rubberstamping the first proposal or blindly fighting development out of habit.

    For those of you that live outside of this area but are involved in this discussion there are couple things about this community that feed into concerns about adequate parking.

    Northstar/Jeni’s has done great at their location on High Street and although positioned well for walking, biking and bus traffic, the lot is typically full with overflow parking nearby. This is not a major concern but it does give a sense of how this community supports food businesses. Wildflower Cafe on Indianola is 1854 square feet, their lot frequently is at capacity with up to 40 cars in the lot and employees parked on the Olympic lot nearby. The Crest Gastropub (which has been discussed on CU many times) has had significant issues with patron parking with has been an issue for the immediate neighborhood. The nearby street went to permit parking so that residents could park near their homes and minimize proximity to noise at night. These examples show that the community has no problem filling restaurants and when we do – parking is an issue – for guests, owners and neighbors. So – if there were two restaurants like the Crest or Northstar at the Olympic – how many parking spaces do you think they would need to be able to attract customers and maintain profitability? I don’t have an good answer for that – I am sure someone does – but I’ll guess at least 70. What about the other businesses nearby – how many would they need?

    At the present, we don’t know when the developers will present a plan or what it will be. When they do, there will be questions, and that is not an attempt to stop development or to not support what promises to be a great thing for this area of Clintonville. The zoning committee, The CAC and the city zoning process exists allow discourse like this to occur which while sometimes slow and even annoying can result in something better in the long run.

    As an analogy, consider this scenario. If my neighbor is getting ready to plant a tree and I can can see that the tree is going to case issues for the drainage of my yard, grow in such a way that 3/4 of the leaves are going to fall in my yard and perhaps grow into my fence causing it to collapse in a few years as it grows and spreads its roots- I’m going to ask my neighbor to consider what type of tree s/he is planting and where. That does not mean I don’t like my neighbor or trees but it does mean that I want my neighbor to consider me and my neighborhood before digging. That doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t appreciate the positive things I’ll get from a tree nearby too.

    That is my overview of the situation. There are 25,000 to 30,000 residents in the area (according to the last census) and about 400 live within a long, long line drive of this development. That is a lot of people with a big spectrum of opinions and range of thought about this issue. I’m planning on being a neighbor for the next 30 – 40 years and I want this development to do well and be good for my community.

    • Thanks for taking the time to weigh in and share your thoughts here. Appreciate it!

    • DouginCMH

      I echo Walker’s sentiment; thanks for taking the time. And I do hope your spouse is healing well from her oddly traditional Clintonville fall down the stairs christening of the new house. A few months after buying our place in Clintonville three years ago, and right in the middle of a complete kitchen re-do, my wife fell down the stairs and broke her foot in three place. Good times.

      Anyway, re: the Olympic, I very much appreciate hearing that you feel as though the developer will resubmit. I mean, since they own the land, I had to think they’d propose that something would be done to it. But I’d certainly prefer that ‘something’ be a mixed-used commercial/residential development than, say, a more industrial development (i.e, what the lot is currently zoned for).

      In my correspondence with my CAC Commissioner, while stressing my overall support for such a project, I also said I expected the Commission to do due diligence on it. Traffic never seemed a likely concern on a street as busy as Indianola. But parking needs to work. We don’t need another Crest situation. If the developers don’t really have a deal in place to have access to those extra City of Columbus spaces next door, that’s a problem. And while I appreciate the creative approach to parking shared between the Olympic and tennis club, one wonders what would happen if a shared ownership situation were to come to an end. Having tenants parking overnight on nearby residential streets would be unacceptable, IMO (I used to live right down the street from the pool, by the way). Finally, you bring up another point re: parking needs of potential restaurant tenants.

      As I think I said in the forum discussion thread about this project, I really don’t care very much how big this development is. It needs to work as a business, of course. Would a 75-100 complex fit the business model envisioned by the developers? I have no idea. Despite the negative comments (and I’m guilty of engaging in that banter from time to time) regarding the general prospects for development in Clintonville, I have to think that if, say, a 100 unit (or even a bit smaller) apartment development with first floor retail eventually goes into this space, it’ll accomplish pretty much everything that the original 152 unit proposal would have done.

    • Outstanding post! Thank you for taking the time for such a thorough, thoughtful and factual response. Hopefully this will be the post from which further conversations will be based.

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