Apartment Building with Smart Car-Only Parking Pushes the Envelope in Short North
Construction could start as soon as this summer on a unique 32-unit apartment building at 1055 North High Street in the Short North. The building will be six stories tall with retail on the first floor, but it’s the parking garage – featuring spaces about half the normal size – that sets the project apart from any other in Columbus, and maybe even in the country.
Katy Viccellio of Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design said that while there are examples of garages with reduced rates for smaller cars (in New York City, some garages charge half the normal rate for half-sized spaces), according to their research this would be “the first microparking-only concept building, so we’re viewing it as a prototype.”
“While we can’t pretend we have ‘the’ solution for parking in the Short North,” she added, “we are hoping to offer ‘a’ solution for residents interested in lifestyles with a smaller footprint.”
Adam Trautner, Vice President of The Stonehenge Company, the developer of the project, said that they are are excited about the novel parking concept.
“Some residents will have the smaller cars,” he said, “but some won’t even need a car – they’ll use the CBUS and the other great alternatives we have now in Columbus.”
Trautner said that Stonehenge has considered devoting some of the spaces to Car2Go cars, but have yet to reach any sort of agreement with the car-sharing company.
Chet Ridenour of Car2Go confirmed that they had spoken with the developers, but said they need to ensure that their cars are accessible for all users, not just those who might live in the building.
“We’re open to the idea of participating if a solution can be found that meets the needs of all our members,” he said, “but there are no definite plans we can confirm at this time.”
Viccellio pointed out that there are a variety of cars on the market that could fit in the spaces, including micro-sized electric vehicles (the garage will have two electric vehicle charging stations), and that leasing a Smart Car would be another option for residents.
The project, which was approved at the February 12th meeting of the Victorian Village Commission after initially being brought to the commission in August, will require the demolition of the one-story building that was previously home to the Ibel Agency and Ibel Gallery.
Apartments in the building will be on the small side as well. Trautner said they would be in the 600 square foot range, and that their goal is a product that is more affordable than some of the other recent projects in the neighborhood. (Stonehenge has proposed a seven-story development downtown with similarly-sized units).
Vince Papsidero, Deputy Director of the Department of Development, said that the city is happy to see “innovative projects that find creative solutions…including this example that recognizes the changing nature of transportation and the personal vehicle.” He added that “the walkability of districts like the Short North ensure that numerous options provide residents with the means to get to work, shop and entertain – thereby reducing the need to rely on the traditional automobile.”
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All visuals by Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design.