Upper Arlington Growing Vertical
With two zero-setback, five-story buildings currently under construction, Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington is suddenly taking on a decidedly urban feel. Although some may be surprised to see the words “urban” and “Upper Arlington” in the same sentence, this type of relatively dense, mixed-use development is starting to be the norm for land-locked suburbs looking to make the most of their limited development options.
Rising rapidly in the space previously occupied by a church and several single family homes is a 109-room Hilton Homewood Suites (at 1576 W. Lane), and a 107-unit apartment building at 1600 W. Lane that will feature a 299-space parking garage and space for retail and restaurants on the first floor.
Much like Dublin, which has charted an even more ambitious course with its Bridge Street Corridor Plan, Upper Arlington has been following a blueprint established through planning efforts; a 2001 Master Plan calls for increasing density strategically and encouraging a variety of uses.
City officials insist that they like Upper Arlington the way it is, but need to plan for the future.
“It’s certainly not the intention of the city to change the residential character of the city, it’s to make the best possible use of the very limited area suited for non-residential development,” says Dean Sivinski, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Upper Arlington. “The future of Upper Arlington depends on the financial health of the community, and the best way to maintain that is to incorporate some of these urban principles.”
As for what might be next for the suburb, Sivinski mentioned the possibility of offices in the Kingsdale area, which would complete a redevelopment that includes a new Giant Eagle and five-story condos on Tremont. He also sees room for more development on Lane Ave, as developers respond to what is being built now and look to fill in the rest of the corridor with buildings of a similar design and density.
Photo by Walker Evans.