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UPDATED: Proposal Calls For Colorful Apartment Tower in Franklinton

Brent Warren Brent Warren UPDATED: Proposal Calls For Colorful Apartment Tower in FranklintonThe initial concept for the building. Renderings by Berardi and Partners.
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Editor’s note (11/18/20): This article was updated with more information from the project’s developer.

A new proposal calls for a 13-story apartment building at 567-575 W. Broad St. in Franklinton.

The development, which would contain 80 residential units and about 2,700 square feet of ground floor commercial space, would require the demolition of a single-story commercial building.

Plans submitted to the City of Columbus show apartments on floors two through 12, with a clubhouse and other amenities – including a large rooftop deck – located on the top floor. A rear surface parking lot with room for 18 cars is the only parking outlined in the documents.

The proposal, from Arch City Development, will be presented to the East Franklinton Review Board for conceptual review at its November 23 meeting.

Brian Higgins, Principal of Arch City Development, said that his company is working with OZ Development Group on the project, and that they are working to ensure that a significant portion – as much as two-thirds – of the units are priced below market rate.

Although the exact break down of affordable units is still “to be determined as we work through our cost model,” Higgins said he expects to exceed the minimum requirements set by the city to be eligible for tax abatements.

A staff report prepared for the meeting describes the exterior of the building as featuring colored glass panels “in the style of Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian,” and the submitted renderings refer to the building as “The Mondrian.”

“George Berardi of Berardi + Partners architects came up with the idea of an homage to the art of Piet Mondrian and I thought it was a very compelling look,” said Higgins.

The proposed development is located at the southwest corner of Broad and Gift streets. That puts it just a couple of blocks west of the Gravity project – both the completed first phase, which sits on the north side of Broad, and the under-construction second phase, across the street – and next door to the former Byers Chevrolet, which was bought by Nationwide Realty Investors in 2014 but remains vacant.

As for the thinking behind pursuing a development of this height on what is a relatively small site, Higgins said that it really boils down to being a “big fan of Franklinton.”

“I worked on the ground with Jim Sweeney and the Franklinton Development Association for years and partnered with Metropolitan Partners on the Out of Town project,” he said. “The height is driven both by our cost benefit analysis and the fact that we think the project can take advantage of some beautiful downtown vistas.”

For more information on the East Franklinton Review Board, including how to access the meeting virtually, see www.columbus.gov.

A view of the opposite side of the building.
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