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Proposal Would Demolish South High Street Building for Drive-Thru Restaurant

Brent Warren Brent Warren Proposal Would Demolish South High Street Building for Drive-Thru RestaurantPhoto by Brent Warren
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A proposal to demolish the Greater Columbus Antique Mall building at 1045 S. High St. was heard by the Brewery District Commission last night. It was presented for conceptual review, so no vote was taken on the proposal; any further action on the site would require a return visit to the commission.

A site plan submitted to the city in advance of the meeting shows a 2,400-square-foot restaurant encircled by a drive-thru lane and enough parking for 17 cars. The building would be set back approximately 55 feet from High Street.

Schiff Properties is the developer behind the proposal but has not yet closed on the property, according to the Franklin County Auditor’s website. The Columbus-based company is best known in recent years for developing the Wilson at Lane and High, which is currently under construction.

A lawyer representing the developer told the commission that the building was deteriorating and invited the group to tour it. He also emphasized that the restaurant plan was preliminary in nature.

A representative of Schiff Properties declined to comment on the proposal.

The antique mall has operated on the site for decades and remains open for business. An employee who responded to a message about the proposal was unaware of any plans to sell the building.

Becky West, Executive Director of Columbus Landmarks, said that the original three-story building was first home to George Janton, “a German immigrant who manufactured fine soaps and candles and delivered them by wheelbarrow.” It later held a funeral home and an Elks Lodge.

A two-story cinderblock addition extends to the rear of the property, which sits less than a mile south of Downtown.

The building is considered a contributing structure, meaning that any demolition approval would require the commission to determine that it “is not historically or architecturally significant,” according to Brewery District Commission guidelines.

The advocacy group Young Ohio Preservationists (YOP) posted about the proposal on its Facebook page and encouraged those opposed to demolition to contact the city.

“Sharing the proposed demolition…led to an outpouring of stories and reasons why people believe the structure should stand,” said YOP Chair Sarah Marsom. “This kind of attention is notable and reflective of the concern Columbus residents (and people beyond) have for the city’s willingness to permit demolition.”

“We believe that the proposed demolition of the structure in the Brewery District would be a disservice to the long term development of the area,” she added.

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