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New Plan Calls for Preserving Four Apartment Buildings Across from Library

Brent Warren Brent Warren New Plan Calls for Preserving Four Apartment Buildings Across from LibraryRenderings and site plan by Lupton Rausch Architecture + Interior Design.
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The developer behind a plan to demolish the Grant Oak Apartment buildings Downtown presented a new plan today that calls for renovating four of the seven buildings.

When the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Board of Trustees voted in January to approve the sale of the 1.25-acre site, which sits across the street from the Main Library, the plan was to replace the 1940’s-era buildings with two new buildings that would hold 120 apartments above ground-level retail.

Representatives of the Pizzuti Companies and Lupton Rausch Architects presented the new plan to the Downtown Commission this morning. It calls for renovating the four buildings closest to Grant Avenue and replacing the three others with a five-story building that would hold 76 apartments, including six first-floor units.

Jon Riewald, director of development for the Pizzuti Companies, said that they wanted to make sure they were “on track” with the new approach before bringing a more detailed plan back to the commission to be voted on.

He also said that Columbus Landmarks, the historic preservation group that had raised concerns about the original plan to demolish all of the Grant Oak buildings, had been involved in discussions about the new proposal and that the group is “on board with this on a conceptual level.”

Several commissioners also signaled their approval, with most of the discussion revolving around specific questions about materials, landscaping and pedestrian access.

Downtown Commissioner Bob Loversidge said that he was pleased to see a solution that preserves some of the historic character of the street while still allowing for improved access to the library’s parking garage, adding, “I think this is an incredible win for the city.”



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