Demolitions Proposed to Make Room for Temporary North Market Parking
Tomorrow morning, the Downtown Commission will review a request to tear down three buildings to make room for new surface parking lots. If approved, small single-story warehouse-style structures at 501 Armstrong St. 135 Spruce St. and 165 W. Vine St. would be razed, and temporary parking lots would take their place to better serve North Market customers once the current parking lot next to the building is removed for the construction of a new high-rise building.
The owner of the three buildings is “HP Land Development LTD,” a holding company owned by Adam Lewin and his sisters. Lewin is the owner of local company Hamilton Parker — though he clarified that the two entities are completely separate.
“Adam Lewin is on our board and obviously understands the future and changing needs — both short term and long term — of our district and the market,” stated North Market Executive Director Rick Harrison Wolfe. “There are three non-historic empty buildings that would be much better utilized in the short term for more parking and long term for new development. I’m sure he will work closely with the chosen developer, us and the City of Columbus to help accommodate our needs.”
While the process of demolishing Downtown buildings to make room for surface parking was a very common practice throughout the latter half of the 20th century, the request has become a rare occurrence in the past decade, with current Downtown Commission Guidelines prohibiting the process.
According to page 11 of the Commission guidelines, “non-accessory parking lots are not an appropriate replacement use for razed building
.” On the same page, the guidelines also state that special consideration for demolition approval asks if a “demolition allow for new development which, in the Commission’s opinion, is of greater significance to the character of the surrounding area.”
The application will be reviewed during tomorrow’s monthly Downtown Commission Meeting at 8:30 a.m.