Fast Forward: The Long Street Corridor
In terms of popularity and importance, the crossroads of High Street and Broad Street are top of mind when it comes to Downtown Columbus. And while the changes and evolution of places like Gay Street and Nationwide Boulevard have been well documented, there’s also a stretch of Long Street that is rapidly transforming from sleepy to bustling.
Approximately 1,600 People Will Soon Call This Area Home
A lot of people are already moving into this Long Street corridor with more new residences on the way. In total, over 1,000 apartment and condo units will be online in the next several years, boosting this area’s population by approximately 1,600 people.
The largest contributions to that pool include ongoing development from the Edwards Companies, which has added 130 units at The Normandy, 10 more at The Welsh, and has another 130 coming online next door at The Neilston soon. The Edwards Companies is also adding another 231 apartment units at Long & High with their new six-story mixed-use development that is currently under construction.
The recently redeveloped Atlas building converted a historic office building into 98 new apartment units, the MicroLiving renovation project just down the street is adding 34 more, and Connect Realty, the developer of MicroLiving, has planned another office renovation at Fourth and Long that will bring another 40 apartments online. Further down Long Street, developer Don Devere is in the process of converting three historic buildings into 30 new apartment units while a smaller three-unit project is in the works by local developer Connie Klema.
Future plans call for nearly 400 units added with three development projects: a new eight-story building at 55 E. Long St., a multi-building renovation and addition at Third and Long, and a large block-long six-story building planned by the Denver-based Charles Street Investment Partners to replace a surface parking lot at 230 E. Long St.
Over 100,000 Square Feet of Retail Space
If you build it, they will come. Long Street has already seen its fair share of new retail and restaurant businesses spring to life over the past five years, and a lot more new retail space is still on the way. Combined, this corridor will see over 100,000 square feet of new or freshly renovated ground-floor retail space within a one block proximity to Long Street.
Newcomers to the area that have opened recently include Roosevelt Cofeehouse, Brioso Coffee, The Hills Market, Jimmy John’s, Jewelweed Floral Studio, Spoonful Records, Long Street Collective, PINS Mechanical Company (a whopping 16,000 square feet by itself) and The Downtown Bike Shop.
The Edwards Companies project at Long and High will bring another 25,000 square feet of ground floor retail space online sometime next year, while the previously mentioned Schottenstein Property Group project at Third and Long will add 13,000 square feet as well.
Other sizable new contributors include the 6,500 square feet at The Atlas, the 8,500 square feet of space being renovated for ClusterTruck, another 5,000 square feet of future retail space at Fourth & Long, 2,500 square feet of planned space at 230 E. Long St., and a combined 3,900 square feet for retail and restaurant use across multiple properties centered around Grant and Long near CCAD.
More Office Space, Creative Space & Storage Space
While Downtown is already filled with its fair share of office space, there’s still a little bit more on the way to the Long Street corridor. One of the most prominent new office developments is the Coleman Government Center, a nearly-completed eight-story City of Columbus office building that boasts 196,000 square feet of office space.
A block west at Marconi and Long, the headquarters of AEP saw a plaza renovation by TRIAD Architects, Korda and the Edge Group, which modernized their office entry with better pedestrian access, bike parking and outdoor sitting areas.
One of the most unique new additions to the Long Street area is Blockfort, an art gallery and studio space located at 162 N. Sixth St. just north of Long. The 9,000 square foot project was brought to life by local artists and community organizers Adam and Meghan Brouillette with help from Compton Construction, TRIAD Architects and other partners.
Last but not least, the corridor saw the addition of a six-story self-storage facility at 195 E. Long St., offering residents an extra place to store the stuff that they just can’t fit if living in a smaller apartment or condo unit.
Over 1,800 New Parking Spaces… Kinda
Nearly all of the new construction on Long Street in Downtown Columbus is done by replacing surface parking lots. Which means that new buildings with new parking spaces are really more of a consolidation of parking spaces into garage or underground structures. The area has also seen multiple old parking garages condemned, so the renovation and replacement of some of those spaces are more to alleviate the current “parking crunch” caused by their closure rather than contributing to an area that is already well known as a massive “parking crater.”
Today, the City of Columbus is putting the final touches on a new eight-story 700-space parking structure at the intersection of Long and Front Streets. The previously mentioned Edwards Companies development at Long and High will include 394 more parking spaces for both residents and retail guests, while the Schottenstein development at Long and Third will include 38 more spots and the Charles Street development is likely to include approximately 180 parking spots. The recently redeveloped Long Street Garage features 564 spaces that were offline for several years during a renovation.
With More of Everything Still to Come
Collectively, between the new development recently completed and what is yet to get under way, the Long Street area is booming with new uses. But there’s still a lot of underutilized land yet to be accounted for, particularly further east and west.
The Columbus College of Art and Design unveiled a campus redevelopment plan in 2012 that would see the infill of several of their surface parking lots bordering East Long Street with the construction of new academic and dormitory buildings for its student body. Multiple changes in administration over the past five years have stalled any forward progress on those plans for the moment.
Similarly, Columbus State Community College released details in 2013 about their own campus redevelopment vision, which imagines what that stretch of Long Street could look like with no surface parking lots, and a dense urban campus of academic and amenity buildings. The only details to emerge thus far on the progress of that plan is the news that a new culinary facility would likely be considered the first phase of new development.
Further to the west, the Marconi Boulevard parking garage just north of Long Street was recently approved for demolition, and while property owner Nationwide Realty Investors only currently has plans for a surface parking lot in its place, the Arena District developer is likely planning to infill the spot with some form of denser project to complement its other nearby investments.
All photos by Walker Evans.
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