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New King and High Plan Calls for Demolishing Buildings

Brent Warren Brent Warren New King and High Plan Calls for Demolishing BuildingsA view of the proposed building at the corner King Avenue and North High Street. Renderings by Bass Studio Architects and BKV Group.
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A new plan for the southwest corner of King Avenue and North High Street calls for tearing down all of the existing buildings on the site.

St. Louis-based Collegiate Development Group has floated several concepts for redeveloping the corner over the course of the last seven months. In July, a proposal to build an 11-story building there – while saving at least portions of three of the existing buildings – was presented to the University Impact District Review Board (UIDRB).

The latest idea, though, appears to go back to what a representative of the developer said in April was the group’s initial plan for the property – to demolish all of the existing buildings and fill the site with a seven-story building that would not require a zoning variance.

Zoning changes enacted by the city in 2017 established a height limit of 72 feet for this section of North High Street. Because the new plan calls for a building that is exactly 72 feet high, it would not require a zoning variance to get built (and therefore wouldn’t have to go before the University Area Commission or the Development Commission for a vote).

The only vote needed for the project to move forward now is that of the UIDRB, which is scheduled to review the building conceptually on November 21.

Renderings and information submitted to the City of Columbus in advance of the meeting show a white and gray building that would hold 216 apartment units over ground-level storefronts. A parking garage would extend two levels below grade and hold a total of 147 cars.

The cluster of buildings that currently occupy the site include a two-story building on the corner, a second two-story building to the south that holds Ohio Exterminating, a small car lot, an auto repair shop, a five-unit row house on King, and several smaller buildings that have been added on to the larger ones over the years. The site made Columbus Landmarks’ list of most endangered buildings for 2019.

The plan from last summer to build an 11-story building on the site would have preserved the two buildings on King and the Ohio Exterminating building.  

The University Impact District Review Board meets at 4 p.m. Thursday, November 21, at 111 N. Front St., Room 204.

Looking north along High Street. The brick townhomes are there now and not a part of the project.
View of the rear of the proposed building, from the corner of Clark Place and Wall Street.
The King Avenue side of the building.
The existing buildings on the corner, photo by Brent Warren.
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