Short North White Castle Proposal Gets Design Updates
Borror Properties officially unveiled their plans last month for the redevelopment of the Short North White Castle site, located at the corner of Second Avenue and High Street. The original plan called for a new 11-story building with nearly 150 apartment units, a public parking garage, 12,000 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail space and a modernized White Castle restaurant on the corner. After receiving feedback from the Victorian Village Commission in April, Borror has revised their project with an updated design.
“We were very pleased with how the meeting went,” said Jeff Baur, Executive Vice President at Borror Properties. “They gave us some distinct direction, which you can tell if you look at the differences between last month’s proposal and this month’s proposal. We’re happy with how this project is morphing.”
The biggest functional change to the plan is the conversion of the third floor from residential to office, for a combined total of 24,000 square feet of office space. That would reduce the total number of apartments closer to the 140 range.
“If you look around the country at other neighborhoods like The Short North that are currently developing, you’ll see that commercial office space is very important right now,” explained Baur.
From a design perspective, the look of the building has also changed quite a bit.
“The commissioners asked us to break up the mass so it didn’t feel like one solid building,” said Baur. “We not only moved the setback of building back from the property edge, but we also added glass to take away some of the imposing feel from the street.”
Baur said that the changes in materials allow the building to tier from a more traditional frontage on the north end where it abuts an existing three-story building, to a more contemporary design on the south corner with a look that he described as both “futuristic” and “iconic”. And if you’re seeing something in the facade that resembles the outline of the White Castle logo when looking at the rendering from a diagonal viewpoint, then you should know that was completely intentional.
“This is an opportunity to do something dramatic and cool while highlighting a long-standing company like White Castle and their contribution to the community,” added Baur. “I think that the commissioners are very cognizant that being in a historic district doesn’t mean that all architecture has to be historic-looking. I don’t think anyone wants to only have a bunch of red brick four-story brick buildings and nothing else.”
The Victorian Village Commission will review the updated plans this Thursday to provide additional feedback on the project. Baur said he’s looking forward to more comments and more feedback.
“We still have lot of things to work through, but we’re on board with continuing those conversions and moving toward conceptual approval,” he said. “We’ve had a few one-on-one meetings with neighbors too, and we’ll continue to work with them to address their concerns and make sure everyone is happy with what gets built.”
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All renderings by Berardi + Partners.