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Fast Forward: The Short North

Walker Evans Walker Evans Fast Forward: The Short NorthPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Last week’s news that Kaufman Development is proposing a 10-story development in the Short North is just the latest in a recent string of announcements for the area. While the hip arts district has transformed dramatically from its beginnings in the early eighties, the next several years will see a more rapid evolution of the built form for the area.

Over a dozen single-story buildings and surface parking lots are slated for redevelopment ranging from three to twelve stories in height, mostly clustered around the central portion of the neighborhood in the eight blocks between Third Avenue to the north and Lincoln Street to the south. Over the next two years, the majority of these developments will see completion, which collectively will contribute many new residents, businesses and amenities to the immediate area.

Over 680 New Residents Will Soon Call The Short North Home

A combined total of approximately 338 new for-rent apartment units and 118 for-sale condominiums will be coming online in the center of the Short North within the next several years, contributing a sizable increase to the area’s residential population.

The largest of those developments include the 100 apartment units in the seven-story Hubbard Park Place — which recently began construction directly behind the Hubbard Grille — and the 98 apartment units that will be housed in the new eight-story White Castle building, which is scheduled to break ground within the next several months. The largest proposed condo developments have yet to receive final approval, but if constructed as presented, the 12-story Pizzuti building will hold 41 condo units while the 10-story Kaufman building could contain approximately 45-60 units, depending upon the final size of the individual spaces.

Over 50,000 Square Feet of New Retail will be Coming to the District

Combined, the current crop of proposed or under-construction developments in the Short North represent approximately 54,000 square feet of new retail space. The total number of new stores, shops, restaurants, bars and galleries could fluctuate greatly under that number, but if the retail spaces are kept smaller in the 2,000 to 3,000 square foot range, it could mean an increase of approximately 18 to 27 new retail businesses in the district.

None of the new developments offer an incredibly large amount of new retail space, with the White Castle building, Elford’s UDF building, the Pizzuti building and the Wood Companies office building all contributing around 10,000 square feet each. Of course, several of these developments will replace existing retail spaces including Grandview Mercantile and the existing UDF store, so the total calculated square footage is not an absolute net gain.

With brand new retail space commanding a higher price tag than older spaces, customers should expect the next wave of retail to focus more and more on proven regional and national restaurant concepts, and urban-centric chains that you may not currently find in the central part of the city.

Over 200,000 Square Feet of New Office Space is in the Works

The biggest boost that the Short North will see in the coming years is an increase in available office space. Nearly every proposed mixed-use building includes some amount of office space, often located on the second floor of a building to serve as a buffer between the ground floor retailers and the upper level residential units. Approximately 202,000 square feet of office space is currently proposed or under development for the area, with the largest office-centric projects including the nine-story Wood Companies office building just south of Buttles, the 10-story Kaufman Building, and the proposed redevelopment of the Haiku parking lot at Hubbard.

1,000 New Parking Spots Are Coming Soon

The Short North is widely considered one of the pedestrian-centric areas in Columbus with a wide variety of transportation alternatives available, but many also consider it to still have a shortage of parking spaces for visitors, office workers and residents alike. While many of the new developments proposed are slated to replace surface parking lots, many do include new structured parking facilities, which will make up a combined 1,000 spots for both public and private use. Two of the larger parking garages that will have dedicated public parking include the 244-space Wood Companies garage in Italian Village, which will feature 125 public parking spaces, and the 206-space White Castle parking garage, with 104 spaces dedicated to public parking.

The Future and Beyond

While the current crop of development proposals and project represent a sizable amount of change in the next two years, there are still opportunities beyond that could bring even more new residents, offices and amenities to the area. The Columbus-based Schiff Capital Group has proposed a 190-unit hotel in the 11-story Bollinger Tower, which would bring new visitors and convention attendees to the neighborhood.

Additionally, there are several more surface parking lots along High Street that could be filled in with new development, continuing the ongoing trend of urban infill. Several prominent development opportunities exist among them, including the large surface parking lot next to the Yoga on High building, and the Family Dollar site at Fourth Avenue. Of course, continued growth is expected to spill over to nearby areas in Italian Village, Victorian Village, Harrison West and Weinland Park, but the landscape of High Street is likely to remain the area where the most dense concentration of new development will remain at least for the short term future.

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