King and High Building Will Not be Saved
Demolition will begin this week at the corner of King Avenue and North High Street, including the small service station that a local preservation group had hoped to save from the bulldozer.
Columbus Landmarks spearheaded an effort to find a user for the building, which has occupied the spot for nearly a century. The organization obtained a commitment from Subtext – the developer of the seven-story mixed-use project planned for the corner – to pay for the relocation of the building, but in the end ran into structural issues that couldn’t be overcome.
Executive Director Becky West said she reached out last Friday to individuals who had expressed interest in the building, and earlier today posted the news on the organization’s website:
Columbus Landmarks received hundreds of inquiries about the property and many creative ideas for its adaptive reuse. Unfortunately, while the developer was willing to pay to move the building, there were significant realities that surfaced including the stability of the structure to withstand a move plus rising costs. We pursued every angle to make moving the building a reality (including manual deconstruction), but our efforts fell short and time is up.
The plan to redevelop the corner had been through many revisions before finally getting a vote of approval from the University Impact District Review Board last summer. The approved plan calls for the only the facade of the existing building at the corner of King and High to be preserved. The development will hold 153 apartments, about 7,000 square feet of commercial space, and a parking garage with room for 176 cars.
Columbus Landmarks, in its announcement, also lamented the loss of “authentic and affordable commercial space” throughout the city, as increasing development pressure leads to the demolition of more buildings. The group has established an Endangered Properties Fund geared toward the preservation of historic commercial buildings.
For more information on the fund, see columbuslandmarks.org.