Developer Addresses Concerns about 12-Story Building with Residents
The Short North Civic Association neighborhood organization hosted a special meeting last night with The Pizzuti Companies, the developers who are proposing a new 12-story mixed-use condominium building located on High Street in the Short North. Approximately 40 people attended the event to hear more details about the proposal and to ask questions of the developers.
“There were comments both in favor and opposed to the development,” explained Civic Association President Jeff Smith. “While there was some support for increased density, there was also serious concern about the mass and height of the project.”
If constructed, the building would replace Grandview Mercantile, a popular home furnishings consignment store that opened at 873 North High Street in 2002. It was stated at the meeting that Sharon O’Brien, owner and operator of Grandview Mercantile, is in favor of the development.
“Everyone agreed that Grandview Mercantile is one of their favorite retail stores in the Short North and they are sad to see it closing,” added Smith. “But they understand Sharon’s decision and appreciate all she has done for the neighborhood.”
The new building is slated to feature approximately 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail, which Pizzuti would offer to Grandview Mercantile first, if they choose to relocate and reopen there. If not, they said that they’ve already gotten good response for retail demand, and would likely look to secure three to five high-end national retail brands that have no current presence in Ohio. The Joseph office building, developed by Pizzuti, is home to the Short North’s Anthropologie store, which developer Joel Pizzuti said is outselling their Easton store.
Additionally, Smith said that the overall retail and business strength of the Short North has grown exponentially in recent years. According to research by the Civic Association, the Short North was home to 150 businesses in 2003, and is home to over 335 businesses today, with 90 percent of them being locally owned and approximately 50 percent showcasing artwork in some way.
The proposal shows that the rest of the new building would be devoted to 107 parking spaces — with some of those dedicated specifically for retail use — and 41 luxury condominium units. Pizzuti said that the condos will average 1,600 square feet and will likely average $600,000 to $700,000, with penthouse units priced over $1 million. The condos would also feature 15 year property tax abatements.
On the outside of the building, the proposal calls for a revamp of Wall Street to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment with the restoration of bricks or the installation of pavers.
Some residents questioned the building’s height, saying that if they allow a new 12 story building to be constructed, there’s nothing to stop the next developer from proposing a 15 story building.
“We need a 12-story project,” said Pizzuti when discussing their decision on the height. “We’re not proposing 12 and figuring we’ll end up with ten — we need 12 to make this work.”
The proposal will be presented tonight to the Victorian Village Commission for a conceptual review.
Short North resident Mike Beaumont contributed to this article.