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Kaufman Proposal Calls for Apartments and Single Family Homes in Dublin

Brent Warren Brent Warren Kaufman Proposal Calls for Apartments and Single Family Homes in DublinRenderings via Kaufman Development.
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A plan from Kaufman Development to build 231 apartments and 192 single family homes on 60 acres in Dublin is working its way through the suburb’s approval process. The proposal represents two firsts for the Columbus developer — its first single family project, and its first attempt to build in Dublin.

The development, which was presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission in September, would be located within the city’s West Innovation District, at the corner of Cosgray Road and Shier Rings Road. Kaufman Founder and CEO Brett Kaufman recently sat down with Columbus Underground to discuss his latest projects, including the eight-story IBEW proposal in the Short North and a five-story building in Franklinton that will likely break ground soon.

Read on for more details from Kaufman on the Dublin proposal, including his thoughts on the prospect of bringing a similar type of product to  other parts of Columbus.

CU: This is the first single family housing you’ve done, how do feel about jumping into that market?

Brett Kaufman: We’re excited about it, we think that there’s a great opening in that space, to deliver home ownership. They’ll all be detached homes, but with a maintained common area, so it’s really like a detached condo, or a single family house with a master home-owners association.

Our focus is really on giving people an urban, more contemporary way of living in a suburban location, since not everybody wants to live Downtown. People in the suburbs are thinking about the same things that people in an urban environment are thinking about; they care about design, they care about walkability, they care about sustainability, they care about wellness, they want community programs.

They also want modern-day amenities, like agrihoods, community gardens, walking trails, yoga studios. So there’s a similar mindset, but some people want to be closer to where their family is or where their job is, or just prefer a suburban location for a lot of reasons, so we think there’s a huge opening to develop a product that meets that need.

CU: How big are the homes?

BK: They range from about 1,200 up to 2,500 square feet.

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CU: Given demand for single family housing in Columbus in general, do you think there’s a potential to take this single family product and instead of building it in the suburbs, build it in an urban neighborhood? 

BK: We would love to do that, the challenge is finding ground that is affordable enough to do that. The larger sites Downtown or close to Downtown are generally so expensive that you have no choice but to cover the whole site, and to go up in the air.

As a part of a request-for-proposals that the city did in Franklinton, I think it was on Town Street, we proposed to do a single family community there. It would’ve been about 16 to 20, smaller, detached homes, kind of like micro-homes. We thought we could really deliver a more diverse product mix that would complement the density of our project on Broad Street as well as the other mixed-use projects planned now for Franklinton.

We thought that building some detached, low density, affordable product would be a nice addition to the neighborhood. I believe the developer that won that is building something that’s more dense, so that’s what we compete with when we look at urban sites to develop lower density, detached product. I think it would be a home run, it’s just tough to find sites that make sense.

CU: And it’s not worth it to look at individual, scattered lots in urban neighborhoods? Is that just too difficult, too expensive?

BK: Well, it’s just not really our business model. It’s time consuming to build a single home, so our model is really to do larger scale projects. There are some people doing it, and I think they’re doing it really well – Connie Klema built those solider houses (in Italian Village on Summit Street) and they’re awesome… she’s awesome at that. So you’re seeing some of it happen, but for us to do scattered lots, it’s not our model.

For more information, visit www.livekaufman.com.

All renderings provided by Kaufman Development.

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