Renovation Planned for Historic Franklin Avenue Building
A proposal to renovate a former car dealership on the Near East Side is working its way through the city’s approval process. The plan calls for 15 residential units on the second floor, about 7,550 square feet of first floor commercial space and three small outdoor patios.
The first floor of the building, located at 1199 Franklin Ave., would also hold 15 parking spaces. A nearby vacant lot would be converted into a parking lot with room for 34 cars.
Dozens of residents were forced to vacate the historic building – known as the Avery Pontiac Building – in March of last year, after it was declared unsafe for habitation.
The latest plan to renovate it has been presented to both the Historic Resources Commission and the Near East Area Commission. Both groups signed off on the proposal’s required zoning variances, although the variance request has not yet been scheduled to go before City Council.
Anthony Celebreeze of the city’s Department of Building and Zoning Services said that the building’s owner – listed as 1199 Franklin Investments LLC – has not responded to a letter sent by the city requesting more detailed information on the renovation plan.
Becky West, Executive Director of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, sees promise in the proposed renovation.
“This is a significant and handsome building,” she said, “listed in both the National Register of Historic Places and the Columbus Register of Historic Properties, and its continued use helps maintain the charm and character of the historic neighborhood.”