More Buildings Torn Down As 15th and High Project Continues
A block of buildings on the east side of High Street between 15th and 16th avenues – where Brenen’s Cafe, Too’s Spirits Under High and O Patio & Pub used to be located, among other businesses – has been torn down, and more demolitions are scheduled for the next few weeks.
Also set to come down is the building that held SBX Books, at 1806 N. High St., as well as two large brick houses just east of Pearl Avenue, at 32 and 48 E. 15th Ave.
Erin Prosser of Campus Partners, the organization that has taken the lead on the 15th and High project since it was first unveiled in early 2015, said that the demolitions will be complete before the start of fall semester.
That will set the stage for another round of infrastructure improvements. Unlike the first phase of infrastructure updates (which were mostly below-ground), the second phase will be much more visible, as 15th Avenue is realigned and the public plaza at the heart of the nine-acre 15th and High plan starts to take shape.
We could also see proposed designs for the new buildings that will look out onto that plaza before the end of the year, although Prosser stressed that the timing and sequencing of the next round of construction is still very much up in the air.
“It’s like building a Swiss watch,” she said. “It’s a complicated urban development project, and we’re still working through the timing; we want to make sure we don’t build a beautiful plaza then smash it up when construction starts (on the buildings around it).”
“We’ll know more after we get through a review of the plans” with the City of Columbus, added Prosser. The remaining planning and permitting work will likely push the start of most of the infrastructure work to the spring of next year.
The University Impact District Review Board (UIDRB) will need to sign off on the design of each of the new buildings, which will include at least two office buildings, a hotel and a parking garage. A developer for the hotel has not yet been selected, Prosser said.
Also included in the list of improvements for next year is the opening of East 14th Avenue to High Street and the burial of the utility lines along High Street between 14th and 16th avenues.