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Proposed Building on East 15th Could Enable Future Development

Brent Warren Brent Warren Proposed Building on East 15th Could Enable Future DevelopmentRendering via Sullivan Bruck Architects.
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Campus Partners has made the first move in what could be a complicated and years-long game of Tetris in the University District. The OSU-affiliated non-profit submitted plans to the University Area Review Board (UARB) last week for a 12-unit, three-story apartment and office building to be built at 66 East 15th Avenue, the site of an unusual office building that used to be a church.

“I would consider this an enabling project of the larger 15th and High plan,” said Erin Prosser, Director of Community Development for Campus Partners. “It’s a functional building, and it will provide a nice transition to the neighborhood, but the reality is, it enables us to do the other stuff.”

Prosser explained that in order to eventually build the public square, boutique hotel, and multiple mixed-use buildings called for in Campus Partners’ 15th and High Urban Framework Plan, a parking garage will likely have to be among the first things built.

And in order to build that parking garage – which is slated for an area east of Pearl Alley between 15th and 16th avenues – a number of buildings would have to be torn down. The new proposed building would allow tenants of those buildings to remain in the area and would free up the land for the parking garage.

Prosser stressed that there remains much work to be done on the implementation of the overall plan, including conversations with the city of Columbus about changes to the street grid and overall traffic patterns.

The proposed three-story building on 15th will be brought back next month for final approval to the UARB, and a demolition request will be submitted to the University Area Commission. If approved, it would potentially clear the way for the building of the parking garage in about a year’s time.

According to the zoning text approved by the University Area Commission, any future development within the nine-acre 15th and High development zone – including the garage, hotel or additional demolitions – would have to be brought before the UARB for approval. In an interview with Columbus Underground earlier this month, Campus Partners and OSU also committed to keeping the many other University District neighborhood groups informed about each stage of the massive project.

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