Borror Properties Unveils 5.5 Acre Mixed-Use Project Downtown
Doug Borror, the CEO of local development company Borror Properties, recently told us the story of his own personal relocation from Dublin to The Short North, which ended up sparking a major change in the company’s business strategies for investing in development opportunities.
“It was a beautiful April night in 2013, and I was sitting on my patio, and I looked out and saw that there was a warehouse at the corner of Prescott and Pearl,” he told CU Urban Development Writer Brent Warren in an interview last December. “The roof had caved in – and you couldn’t see the roof had caved in from the street, but from my balcony, you could see that. Jeff (Baur, Executive Vice President at Borror) and I were here, and I took him out and said ‘Jeff, let’s see if we can’t buy this.’ So he called the guy – it was just one of those calls that came at the right time, and we ended up buying it.”
Since then, Borror has invested heavily in urban redevelopment, with multiple residential projects currently under construction in The Short North (Truberry on Summit, 40 West and The Prescott), another that will soon begin construction (The Jerome in Victorian Village) and two more proposals still being reviewed and revised (The 11-story White Castle Building and a six-story building at 848 North Pearl).
Today, Borror revealed details on their future company headquarters, which will be constructed at 640 West Nationwide Boulevard in the “Pen West” or “Arena West” corner of Downtown. The five-and-a-half acre site will be home to approximately 100,000 square feet of Class A office space in a five story building (which will be divided between Borror and local construction company Ruscilli), around 285 for-rent apartment units located in two six-story structures to the north, and a three-story 300-unit parking garage located between the offices and residences. Both the office and residential buildings will contain additional covered parking on the first levels of those buildings, while the office building will also contain space for a ground-floor restaurant tenant.
“We’re talking to a few restaurant groups right now,” said Jeff Baur, Executive Vice President at Borror. “In an ideal world, the restaurant would have a patio that would face both Nationwide Boulevard as well as the new public park along the river.”
Baur had few details to share on what the park will look like, as it’s still in the planning stages with the City of Columbus. The riverfront site is currently home to a boat ramp for the Olentangy River, and the Olentangy bike trail runs along the opposite side of the water.
The Borror/Ruscilli project is just one piece of the larger puzzle that is coming together for the entire site located west of the Arena District. The City of Columbus announced plans last December to sell the old Municipal Light Plant buildings located on the south side of Nationwide Boulevard to Connect Realty and Schiff Capital, who plan to renovate the structures for office and event venue space. Nationwide Realty Investors also owns a large 25-acre parcel of land next door, which may eventually become another residential extension of the Arena District.
The Borror/Ruscilli project will go in front of the Downtown Commission for conceptual review on Tuesday, May 26th. Baur said that his company won’t be able to purchase the land from The City of Columbus and begin any kind of work there until January 1, 2016, which would give the City ample time to relocate facilities currently housed on the site. Construction is expected to begin in Spring/Summer of 2016 with a target occupancy date for offices in June 2017 and apartment residents to shortly follow that.
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Renderings via Borror Properties / Berardi+Partners.