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Work is Under Way on a Mixed-Use Conversion for LeVeque Tower

Walker Evans Walker Evans Work is Under Way on a Mixed-Use Conversion for LeVeque Tower
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LeVeque Tower is the most iconic building in Downtown Columbus, and if you’ve been by it lately you’ve probably noticed scaffolding up around the bottom floors of the structure. Building owners Tower 10, LLC have begun work on repairing some of the terracotta exterior as the first step in a major renovation to the building which calls for new apartment units, new ground floor retail and a boutique hotel.

“We’re starting with the outside and restoring the first five floors,” said architect Bob Loversidge of Schooley Caldwell Associates, who is leading the project. “Underneath that we’re completely redoing the entrances to the building, getting rid of the 1970s-era aluminum storefront and putting windows back to what was there originally.”

Restoring the lobby of the building is also already underway, which Loversidge describes as being more “in scale” with the rest of the building. The ground floor is being reconfigured to make space for a coffee shop tenant at the corner of Broad and Front streets, while a former ballroom on the second-floor is being planned for renovations for a potential restaurant space. These types of amenities are expected to serve a new demographic within the building that will be a drastic change from the traditional nine-to-five office crowd.

Bob Loversidge standing in what will become a portion of the new grand lobby of The LeVeque Tower.

“In the end we hope to see a mixed-use building that has rental housing up in the top, office space in the rest of the building and maybe a boutique hotel in part of the lower tower,” says Loversidge. “The owners are in discussions with several hotel operators, and while it may not happen for sure, they have expressed a lot of interest.”

The size of the hotel is yet to be determined, but Loversidge envisions it as a smaller limited-service hotel that caters to clients looking to stay close to the nearby government buildings which includes the Ohio Statehouse, Columbus City Hall and the Supreme Court of Ohio.

“A boutique hotel would do well in this building because of the unique address,” he explained. “Intuitively it seems like a good idea.”

Similarly, the apartment portion of the building is still being planned and developed with few concrete details at this point in time. Loversidge anticipates between 75 and 85 units with a mix of large three-bedroom suites and smaller studio apartments. He also anticipates that pricing will be on the higher side of the Downtown market given the location and high-end amenities.

“The rental housing market in Columbus is really strong right now, and the owners of the building are interested in apartments because they want to own the building long term,” he said. “We think there will be a unique market here because the views are just spectacular.”

The apartment-unit view facing northwest from The LeVeque Tower.

Building owners Tower Ten, LCC is made up of a group of investors and headed by local residents Don Casto and Robert Meyers.

“These are local people who have long-term investments in the community, and I think that’s a really good thing for a building like this,” said Loversidge. “The building is worn and tired, but it’s a fabulous building and we’re trying to bring it back.”

The LeVeque Tower is just one of the many ongoing projects in the immediate area, with the new Columbus Commons Apartments located two blocks south, the Scioto River Greenway planned one block west and a wide range of other residential and mixed-use buildings scattered in and around Downtown. Loversidge sees all of these projects as complimentary to each other.

“The location of the LeVeque is right in the middle of where there’s been a lot of investment,” he said. “The Scioto Mile, the new Police Headquarters, Broad & High, Gay Street… this part of Downtown is really coming back.”

More updates on LeVeque Tower can be found on the Columbus Underground Messageboard.

LeVeque Tower under reconstruction.

LeVeque Tower under reconstruction.

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