Renovation of Unique Apartment Complex Near Graceland Under Way

Brent Warren Brent Warren Renovation of Unique Apartment Complex Near Graceland Under WayWorthington Gardens pool and clubhouse, with renovated building in background. Photo courtesy of Schottenstein Property Group.
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Local developer Schottenstein Property Group (SPG) is about halfway through a renovation of Worthington Gardens, a 1970s-era apartment complex nestled into a surprisingly secluded 10-acre parcel just off of North High Street.

Dirk Greene, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at SPG, said that 96 of the complex’s 216 units will be fully renovated by June, and that the response so far from renters has been encouraging.

“We’re signing more than five leases a week,” he said. “We’ve even had several original tenants relocate within the property during the renovation and then sign leases in the completed units.”

The fact that some longtime tenants have decided to move into renovated apartments despite a pretty hefty rent increase – new units start at $999 for a 700 square-foot one-bedroom, significantly more than what the pre-renovation apartments rented for – speaks both to the comprehensive nature of the renovation and to the unique setting of the complex, which has a wooded ravine running through it yet sits just across the street from the Graceland Shopping Center.

Two-bedroom units clock in at 1,000 square feet and are renting for $1,350 a month. All of the renovated apartments feature new kitchens and appliances, stacked washer/dryer units, and 100-square foot balconies with new floors. And in a nod to current preferences for more open floor plans, a wall dividing the kitchen from the living room in each apartment was removed.

A community building that overlooks the swimming pool and ravine was also reconfigured – a floor that created a split-level configuration was taken out in favor of a more open space with high ceilings and large windows.

The four separate, three-story apartment buildings were built in 1971 – recent enough to lack many of the architectural features that inspire historic preservationists, but old enough to require significant expense to update. Despite that, Greene said that renovating the buildings made more sense than demolishing them and building new.

“For this project, renovating was far and away the best direction…it allowed us to lean heavily on the mid-century modern architecture and capitalize on the unmatched setting this property provides,” he said. “Nowhere else in Columbus can you find a property on High Street with this peaceful and picturesque feel.”

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One of the apartment buildings pre-renovation, photo courtesy of SPG.

The same building post-renovation, photo by Brent Warren.

An interior shot pre-renovation, photo courtesy of SPG.

A unit post-renovation, photo courtesy SPG.

The pool pre-renovation, photo courtesy of SPG.

Clubhouse and pool, photo courtesy of SPG.

Clubhouse interior, photo courtesy of SPG.

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