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Fast Forward: North Fourth Street in Italian Village

Walker Evans Walker Evans Fast Forward: North Fourth Street in Italian VillageREAD MORE: Fast Forward: North Fourth Street in Italian Village.
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While the High Street stretch of the Short North has become very well known as ground zero for construction, there’s an even larger amount of new development occurring along the strip of North Fourth Street in Italian Village just two blocks east.

Just a few short years ago, this street was best known for being a 45-mph thoroughfare for northbound traffic looking to get from Downtown to the University District in a hurry. Today, the area is marked with construction sites on nearly every block of the three-quarter mile stretch between I-670 and Fifth Avenue, which means that in just a few more years, the area will be home to hundreds of new residents and dozens of new businesses.

Over 2,000 New Residents Will Call This Area Home

The biggest change that Italian Village will see over the next several years is a continued increase in new residents. When the 41-acre Jeffrey Park was announced in 2012, it was stated that approximately 1,350 new residential units would be built out upon the project’s completion. Some of those plans have changed slightly, but today the site is nearing the halfway mark, which means there are still hundreds of new residents on the way to the south end of the neighborhood.

On a slightly smaller (but still large) scale, the proposed redevelopment of the Acorn Distributors building on Second Avenue will add 175 residential units to Italian Village. Also, the Budd Dairy building redevelopment and its adjacent new builds will contain approximately 140 more apartment units.

Next door to Jeffrey Park, the final phase of 25 Jeffrey Park is under way, which is adding another 25 residential units to the area. Just north, the former Spring Cleaners site is being redeveloped to include 27 more residential units. Next to that, construction is underway on the 27-unit The Christopher. Further north, a 31-unit apartment development on Detroit Avenue will bring more residents to the area while a smaller project (that is undergoing some changes) is likely to bring another eight (or more) townhomes to the corner of Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue. A proposal to renovate a neighborhood church property into 20 residential units was delayed by fire, but would still add more residents behind the Budd Dairy site.

More New Restaurants, Retailers and Offices on Deck

While details are sparse about the total amount of retail square footage being added to North Fourth Street, multiple developments have made clear that ground-floor frontage will be a prominent part of their projects.

The aforementioned redevelopment at the former Spring Cleaners site will include two retail bays at the prominent corner of Fourth Street and First Avenue. There are plans for a bar and restaurant concept in existing buildings at Fourth Avenue and Fourth Street just north of Seventh Son Brewing. The “Columbus Electrical Works” building at 777 N. Fourth St. was purchased by Lykens Development and is slated to have a retail component on the ground floor. The same developer has stated that The Budd Dairy building will have restaurant and retail space inside the historic building, in addition to 40,000 square feet of office space.

Seventh Son Brewery is working on an expansion for their brewing facilities that will also include new space within their bar. A small cafe space is under construction on the southwest corner of Fourth Street and First Avenue. A recent retail renovation at 995 North Fourth Street has added more retail and restaurant capacity to the neighborhood.

Even More in Store for The Future

A number of development sites on North Fourth Street are still early in the development phase, but will certainly be contributing to the growth of the area once their plans come to fruition, which means even more residents of Italian Village, new businesses and new activity in this corridor.

On the south end of the area, the former Cafe del Mondo site is currently sitting dormant, but big plans have been in the idea phase since 2015 following a fire that destroyed the original building. On the north end of the site, a developer purchased the old “Beer Barn” location at the northwest intersection of Fifth Avenue and Fourth Street, with plans for eventual redevelopment. Across the street, the former 3M Building site is controlled by Wagenbrenner Development, which will likely see redevelopment akin to their nearby Grant Park property.

The Fast Forward series is presented by our friends at TRIAD Architecture. CLICK HERE to read previous installments in this ongoing editorial series.

TRIAD is a full-service architecture and design firm where we partner with our clients to deliver quality solutions. Recently, we have expanded our services to apply our expertise and pragmatic approach to development projects and facility solutions.

At TRIAD, its never “just business” – we believe that architecture is stewardship, and that everything we do should benefit our employees, our clients and the communities we serve.

We are also working with our community partners to curate diverse perspectives on architecture’s impact in our communities. Visit www.ArchitectureIsStewardship.com for more information.

To find out more about our work, check out www.triadarchitects.com.

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