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Plan Calls for 448 Apartments at Kroger Bakery Site

Brent Warren Brent Warren Plan Calls for 448 Apartments at Kroger Bakery SiteA view of the site looking south toward Downtown. Renderings by REALM Collaborative.
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A plan to transform the former Kroger Bakery site into a 448-unit residential development has been submitted to the Historic Resources Commission.

The two existing buildings on the site would be renovated, and three additional apartment buildings would be constructed around them on what is now a large surface parking lot.

The 9.4-acre complex, which sits at 457 Cleveland Ave., was bought by a team of local developers in March of last year. CASTO, Kelley Companies and the Robert Weiler Company – the same partnership behind the River & Rich development in Franklinton – paid $8.15 million for the property.

The site is located just north of Downtown, immediately south of the large Abbot Nutrition facility and across Cleveland Avenue from the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center.

During a tour of the complex early last year (pre-pandemic), representatives of CASTO told Columbus Underground that they were considering a range of uses for the project, including apartments, offices, hotel and event spaces. Since then, the plan seems to have evolved to emphasize the residential component.

In addition to the apartments, the current proposal calls for 8,850 square feet of restaurant space and a 2,400-square-foot office for leasing and maintenance. A total of 599 parking spaces would be provided – 420 of them within buildings and the rest outside.

A zoning application has been submitted for the site, requesting a change from manufacturing to residential as well as a parking reduction and height increase. The two existing buildings are both 66 feet tall. One of the proposed new buildings will match that height, while the other two will be about 15 feet shorter.

According to the zoning application, the developers plan on applying for historic preservation tax credits to help finance the renovation of the two buildings. They will also be pursuing National Historic Register designation for the south building, which was built in 1914 by the Ford Motor Company for Model T assembly.

The proposal will get an initial review by the Historic Resources Commission at its next virtual meeting, on April 15.

Operations at the Kroger Bakery, which employed over 400 workers, were shut down in February 2019.

A view of the complex looking north, with I-670 in the foreground.
A site plan shows the layout of the new buildings as well as proposed landscaping and amenities.
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