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Homes Proposed for German Village Parking Lot

Brent Warren Brent Warren Homes Proposed for German Village Parking LotA view of the site from Nursery Lane, with the Big Red Rooster building in the background. Photos by Brent Warren.
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A plan to build single family homes on a German Village parking lot is getting a warmer reception from the neighborhood than an earlier proposal for the site that called for an apartment building.

Lykens Companies purchased the collection of parcels at the southeast corner of Thurman Avenue and South Fourth Street in 2017, bringing a plan to build a three-story, 36-unit apartment building to the German Village Commission in April of that year.

In addition to the parking lot, which serves the former firehouse-turned office building on the west side of Fourth Street, the site includes two historic homes and an empty lot where several buildings that once housed a brass foundry once stood (they were demolished in 2017).

A 2015 proposal for the site called for a three-unit condo building behind the homes on Thurman, but did not include the adjacent parking lot. There’s been no movement on the site since the 2017 apartment plan received a cold reception from the commission.

The new plan calls for 11 new single family homes to be built on the site, and for the two historic homes to be renovated. Carriage houses (featuring living space over a garage) would be built behind four of the homes.

Design details of the homes were not presented because the initial request is only about splitting the lots up, not about the final look of the buildings.

Commissioners had some questions about the plans for the southeast corner of the site – where four narrow homes would share two garages – but expressed support for the overall concept.

The new pro-housing organization Neighbors for More Neighbors Columbus submitted a letter to the commission with comments about the proposal. The group made an argument not typically heard at a German Village Commission meeting – that something larger and more dense than what is proposed should be built on the site.

“Since the establishment of the German Village Commission, the number of single-family homes in German Village has increased while the number of multi-family housing options has decreased,” the letter read. “Because of the Commission’s preference for single-family lower density structures, hundreds of people have lost out on the opportunity to live in German Village. This preference for single-family over multi-family housing has led to the creation of an elite residential enclave lacking in affordable housing options or basic retail services.”

Because the proposal was only scheduled for a conceptual review, no vote was taken.

For more information, see www.columbus.gov.

The two homes on Thurman Avenue that would be renovated under the plan.
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