Offices and Coffee Shop Planned for Edna Building on Long Street

Brent Warren Brent Warren Offices and Coffee Shop Planned for Edna Building on Long StreetRenderings courtesy of Tim Lai ArchitecT
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A building that has stood vacant on the Near East Side since the 1980s could soon see new life. Tim Lai ArchitecT (TLA) has submitted plans to the City of Columbus to renovate the Edna Building at 879 E. Long St.

“The Edna project is a three-story, 8,000-square-foot rehab of a historic structure built in 1905, one of the few remaining historic building on East Long Street” explained principal Tim Lai. “The program for the project is to have a restaurant/coffee shop on the first floor, TLA’s office will be on the second and A&R Creative Group’s office on the third floor.”

A&R Creative Group – the company behind restaurants like the Crest, the Market Italian Village, and Trism – will also be tasked with coming up with a concept for the first floor space, although Lai said that those plans are still in the early stages.

“One of the features is a community space with tiered seating on the second floor that (will be) open to groups in the neighborhood,” added Lai.

A vacant lot behind the building will be repurposed into a 14-space parking lot. With a rezoning application for both parcels currently working its way through the city process, Lai said that he hopes to see construction start next summer, and the $1 million project completed by early 2019. TLA would move its offices from 400 West Rich in Franklinton at that time.

The building was purchased by the city in 2003, according to John Turner, Administrator of the Land Redevelopment Division and Land Bank. The city elected to stabilize the building in 2007, putting on a new roof and shoring up structural issues, after a plan to demolish it was met with opposition from the Near East Area Commission.

“Early on, we had conversations with various developers, but all of the proposals required a significant amount of public funds to make the numbers work,” said Turner, adding that the city waited until “we felt the market was right” to list the property for sale, in 2015.

“We received other applications for apartments, but we really liked this team, the proposed first floor café/small restaurant, and how two great companies will locate their offices on the upper floors,” said Turner. “Overall, we wanted to be patient with this building and waited until we got a use that we wanted, that fits the goals of the Near East Area Plan and what the city envisions for the King-Lincoln District.”

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