Historic Downtown Renovation Project Moving Forward
It’s been over two years in the works, but a renovation project slated for a group of four buildings at the Downtown intersection of Front Street and Long Street is finally ready to move forward. Developer Brad DeHays of Connect Realty received approval from the Downtown Commission this morning on the exterior renovation plans for the group of buildings located between 31 West Long and 55 West Long.
“The planning process on historic buildings is exorbitant,” DeHays told Columbus Underground following the meeting. “If you want to save them, and you choose to take the route of public incentives, there’s a lot of questions to answer and a lot of input to seek. But we enjoy it, and enjoy working with the historic preservationists because the end result are building with real character.”
DeHays said that the final step is to have building plans reviewed, but expects to begin ordering materials right away to prepare for the start of construction. The exterior of the three buildings facing Long Street will see tuck pointing and window replacements while the building’s original fire escapes will be repaired and made structurally secure. The smaller building that faces Front Street has already begun construction to become the new home of Cravings Cafe, which was hoping to be open already in time for summer.
“They’re great people and it’s been really hard,” said DeHays. “We had the rooftop deck project on top of their space, which just adds layers of complexity. When it’s all done they’ll have a great product in a fantastic location. I’m happy to have them as a tenant.”
Collectively, the renovated buildings will be home to 40 “micro-unit” apartments once construction is completed, similar to the ones Connect Realty is building inside the Stoddart Block Building on South Fourth Street. DeHayes said that the Stoddart apartments that have already been completed are all leased, with several units still wrapping up construction.
DeHays is hoping to have the Long & Front Micro-Apartments ready for occupancy in the Spring of 2018.
For more information, visit www.microliving.net.