New Plan for Barrett Site in Merion Village Adds Single-Family Houses
Homeport’s new plan for the Barrett Middle School site in Merion Village drops the total unit count from 152 to 130, replacing several rows of two- and three-unit condo buildings with 22 single-family homes.
The historic school building will still be renovated and turned into apartments, and small apartment buildings are still planned for the area immediately surrounding the school, but the overall layout of the site has been changed significantly, with about half of the acreage now devoted to single-family houses.
The changes, which were first unveiled at an August 21st neighborhood meeting, are meant to respond to criticism of Homeport’s first proposal – many area residents felt that the density and look of the development were out of place in their predominantly single-family neighborhood.
George Tabit, Vice President of Real Estate Development at Homeport, said that feedback from the community helped to directly shape the new proposal.
“We had two meetings last year that were very productive, that gave us some good insight into how to proceed. We heard from the participants; first that they did want to renovate the historic building, and also that there was a need to incorporate some single family, so that’s what we’ve done.”
In order to make the changes work financially, Homeport went back to Columbus City Schools – armed with a new appraisal of the property – and negotiated a lower purchase price.
“We had to get a little bit creative,” Tabit said. “We went to the schools and said this is what we think is going to work on this site, and they agreed to work with us and lower the price, based on the appraisal.”
Homeport also brought on CASTO as a partner in the project; “we liked what they proposed in terms of a partnership, and we have a good history of working with them,” said Tabit.
The next step for the project will be a presentation to the Merion Village Civic Association on September 10th. That organization will take a vote on the necessary zoning changes and make a recommendation to the South Side Area Commission. Pending zoning approval and permit-acquisition, Tabit said that Homeport hopes to begin construction in the first quarter of 2015.
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More information is available online at www.barrettredevelopment.com.