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Development Proposed for Prominent Site in Weinland Park

Brent Warren Brent Warren Development Proposed for Prominent Site in Weinland ParkA view of the site looking south toward Downtown. Photo by Brent Warren.
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A mixed-use development with over 300 apartment has been proposed for the large empty lot at the northeast corner of East Fifth Avenue and North Fourth Street in Weinland Park.

A zoning application has been submitted to the City of Columbus, and a presentation to the neighborhood about the project is scheduled for the September 1 meeting of the Weinland Park Community Civic Association.

The proposal calls for a four-to-five story building containing up to 315 residential units, about 15,000 square feet of commercial space and a parking garage with space for over 500 cars.

It’s the latest in a long line of ideas for a prominent piece of land that serves as a gateway to the neighborhood.

Often referred to as the 3M site, the 3.5-acre parcel was home to a metal refinishing business for about seven decades.

3M bought the site from the D.L. Auld Company in 1986, but the business ceased operations in 1990 and the multiple buildings on the property fell into disrepair, eventually being taken down after a fire in 2011 (although a small building on the corner remained standing for several more years and was home to a barbecue take-out restaurant called Woody and Joe’s).

Thrive Companies, the developer behind many other projects in Weinland Park, including the Grant Park apartments and single family homes, has controlled the site since 2011.

The developer took advantage of a $3 million Clean Ohio grant to remediate the heavily-polluted site, and for several years a coalition of nonprofit organizations pursued a plan to build a food-processing and workforce development center on the parcel, to be known as the Food District.

That plan never got off the ground, despite federal funding and the support of a wide array of corporate and community partners.

Preliminary drawings of the new proposal will be presented to the neighborhood on September 1, according to Steve Bollinger of Thrive Companies. He said that a tentative timeline for the project calls for breaking ground some time within the next six to nine months, depending on what kind of feedback is received from the community and how smoothly the approval and permitting process goes.

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