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Columbus City Schools Auctions Three Sites; Chicago Developer Among Buyers

Brent Warren Brent Warren Columbus City Schools Auctions Three Sites; Chicago Developer Among BuyersThe Fifth Avenue Elementary site, photo via Continental Realty
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Columbus City Schools auctioned off three prominent properties on Tuesday. Nationwide Children’s Hospital bought the former Africentric school on Livingston Avenue, local company Galbreath Properties bought the Maennerchor building in the Brewery District, and Chicago-based developer Clark Street Holdings bought 1300 Forsythe Ave., a three-acre site on West Fifth Avenue that most recently held the music industry career center Groove U.

The 7.5-acre Africentric site went for the appraised value/starting bid of $15.025 million. It marks the latest in a long string of real estate purchases for the hospital. The result has been a rapidly expanding campus, particularly along the Livingston Avenue corridor.

Gina Bericchia, a spokesperson for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said that the plan is to start using the existing lot on the site for parking as soon as January – when the closing is expected to take place – and to then demolish the buildings on the site to make way for more surface parking.

“Demolition and additional surface parking construction will follow the normal city permit process, including seeking neighborhood feedback,” she said. “Long-term plans for the property have not been determined at this time.”

The Africentric site, photo via Continental Realty

The former Fifth Avenue Elementary site on Forsythe was also bought for its opening bid price, which was $5.29 million. Since it is located in Dennison Place, approval for any significant development on the site would go through the University Area Commission.

Clark Street is a national developer with experience in student and senior housing, as well as market-rate projects. They did not return a message seeking more information about plans for the Fifth Avenue site.

The Maennerchor property sold for $460,000, significantly more than the appraised value of $325,000.

Scott Varner of Columbus City Schools said that the Board of Education will vote to approve the three property sales at its next meeting on December 5.

“These dollars will then be used for capital improvements and deferred maintenance projects across the district,” he said.

Additional Reading: Historic Neil Avenue Building Among Three Sold by Columbus City Schools

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