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Neighborhood Opposition Puts Olympic Apartments On Hold

Jesse Bethea Jesse Bethea Neighborhood Opposition Puts Olympic Apartments On HoldPhoto by Anne Evans.
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Plans for a large-scale development project in Clintonville have come to a halt after drawing the ire of certain community groups. Local real estate developer Kyle Katz submitted plans to construct a mixed-use building on the site of the now-closed Olympic Swim Club on Indianola Avenue to the city this summer. The building would include three floors of apartments, as well as space for street-level offices and businesses.

Last week, Katz told The Columbus Dispatch that he and the other developers on the project are looking at “alternative development plans” after reactions to the proposal from many Clintonville residents proved negative. Katz is not ready to abandon the project completely, but said the developers are now looking at other options.

Local opposition to the project first began with disappointment over the closing of the Olympic Swim Club, owned by the family of Katz’s wife, April Zimmerman Katz. Zimmerman Katz told Columbus Underground in August that pool memberships have been dropping and expenses rising over the last decade, leading to the decision to develop the property into something more useful to the community.

Opposition to the pool closure soon gave way to opposition to the apartments.

“The main concern is that the project is too dense for the area, 7.5 to 10 times the density of neighboring streets,” said Nikki Brown Pyzik in an email. Pyzik is a life-long Clintonville resident and member of the grassroots community group Save Olympic Pool, which has taken the lead in airing neighborhood concerns surrounding the apartment proposal.

Renderings via m+a architects.

Renderings via m+a architects.

“The project is also is twice the density of other large apartments in Clintonville,” said Pyzik. “The increased density will create issues with parking, sewer systems and security, among others.”

The group has 931 followers on Facebook, and Pyzik said over 30 people have come to group meetings. The group has been speaking with Clintonville residents at neighborhood events, handing out fliers and keeping followers updated on changes to the development. Members also participated in the public meetings held last month by the Clintonville Area Commission to discuss the project. However, Pyzik said that they have not been able to participate with the developers.

“We are respectful neighbors and community members that want to be involved in the re-development process,” said Pyzik. “Most of our members are not involved in other community efforts to stop developments in Clintonville. We want reasonable development in Clintonville that fits the neighborhood and involves the public.”

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More information can be found online at www.livetheolympic.com.

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