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Before and After: Short North (Part 2)

Brent Warren Brent Warren Before and After: Short North (Part 2)Photo by Walker Evans.
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This installment of Before and After picks up where the inaugural effort left off, starting at First Avenue and continuing north up High Street to Fifth Avenue. Scroll down for a look at some of the more significant development projects within that stretch, along with pictures showing what was there before they were built.

Donatos Building

A single-story Donatos restaurant with a large parking lot and a rear drive-through window occupied the northeast corner of First and High for many years. It was replaced with a fancier Donatos and a two-story, corner restaurant space that is now occupied by SeeSaw.

BEFORE – This Google Maps image from 2014 shows the single-story Donatos restaurant that stood on the site.
BEFORE – The Donatos being demolished, photo by Walker Evans.
AFTER – The new building holds a new Donatos, Black Brick, Zest Juice and SeeSaw Kitchen + Bar, photo by Brent Warren.

The Brunner Building

This six-story, 33-unit building at 940 N. High St. replaced two smaller buildings that were both separated from the street by surface parking lots. The project opened in 2018.

BEFORE – This Google Maps image from 2015 shows the one-story buildings and their parking lots.
AFTER – The Brunner, photo by Brent Warren.

The Wood Companies Building

The one-story building at 941 N. High St. was transformed into a four-story, mixed-use development in stages. First, the original building was renovated – retail storefronts were added as well as a corner restaurant space that would soon be occupied by Northstar Cafe. During that renovation, structural steel was added to the building to facilitate a vertical expansion, which now holds apartments and office space.

BEFORE – The one-story commercial building that sat at the corner. Photo from the Wood Companies website.
BEFORE – The upper floors being added to the building in 2011, photo by Walker Evans.
AFTER – The Wood Companies Building, photo by Brent Warren.

The Castle

The eight-story development that replaced a city parking lot and a suburban-style White Castle went through several design iterations, but received commission approval in 2016. The public parking garage, new White Castle, apartments and other elements of the project all started to open in mid-2018.

BEFORE – The White Castle restaurant, photo by Walker Evans.
AFTER – The Castle, photo by Brent Warren.
BEFORE – This Google Maps image shows the public parking lot that sat next to the restaurant.
AFTER – A view of the entire building, looking south down High Street, photo by Brent Warren.
BEFORE – A view of the parking lot and restaurant, taken from West Second Avenue, photo by Walker Evans.
AFTER – The Castle, from West Second Avenue, photo by Brent Warren.

Fireproof Building

The original plan for the historic Fireproof Building at 1024 N. High St. called for redeveloping it into apartments while replacing the large parking lot next door with just a one-story, 5,000-square foot retail building. The city and the Italian Village Commission encouraged the developer to take a bolder approach, though, and the end result was a four-story addition that filled in the space between the original building and East Second Avenue. The project was completed in early 2015.

BEFORE – The Fireproof Warehouse building and adjacent parking lot, photo by Walker Evans.
BEFORE – Looking north at the side of the original Fireproof Warehouse building, photo by Walker Evans.
BEFORE – A view of the former parking lot and the historic building at an early stage of construction, photo by Walker Evans.
AFTER – A recent picture from a similar angle shows the entire development, photo by Brent Warren.

Valencia on High

Home for many years to a one-story building that held the Ibel Agency, the site was redeveloped after the company moved Downtown. An initial plan to provide only Smart Car-sized parking spaces in the six-story building was later nixed by the city. The six-story apartment building was completed in 2018.

BEFORE – The one-story building, fenced off before demolition began, photo by Walker Evans.
AFTER – Looking south from the corner of Third and High, photo by Brent Warren.

Luxe 23

This five-story development at the northwest corner of Third and High, which was first proposed in early 2017, replaced the building that once held the Little Dreamers Big Believers daycare and Yoga on High. In addition to 113 apartments, the new building will be home to three different restaurant/bar concepts.

BEFORE – A view of the building right before demolition, photo by Brent Warren.
BEFORE – Looking toward Third Avenue from the High Street sidewalk, photo by Brent Warren.
AFTER – Photo by Walker Evans

The Jackson on High

Completed in 2010, the eight-story Jackson on High was one of the first large-scale developments to take shape in the northern part of the neighborhood. This 2009 interview provides an interesting perspective on the project, including the tidbit that the Victorian Village Commission pushed for a taller building on the site than was initially proposed.

BEFORE – The Jackson under construction, photo courtesy of Brad Howe.
AFTER – The High Street entrance to the building, photo by Brent Warren.
BEFORE – A view of the building from across the street, photo courtesy of Brad Howe.
AFTER – A view of the building looking south toward Downtown, photo by Brent Warren.
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