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ZenCha Opening Downtown Location on Gay Street

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cab124 was the first I know of to catch wind of this. It appears to be far enough along to make it official. Apparently Tom Fortin of the Grandview Fortin Ironworks family and Carlyle’s Watch is behind the new ventures in the Gay St. building:

C Magazine wrote [Fortin’s] newest venture at 51 Gay Street, a once vacant photo store, will soon house the second location of the popular Short North ZenCha Tea Salon and Fortin also hopes to attract other social businesses to the location, such as dance, yoga and Pilates instructors.

“One of the issues facing our downtown is the fact that we suffer now from affordability and connectivity as it’s actually about 40% higher … to live downtown versus suburban locations,” he says. “To help attract and retain people to live downtown, we really have to market and accentuate lifestyle amenities. As I build and redevelop properties into residential or retail spaces, I keep that in mind.”

In that same spirit, during City Hop on June 14th, Fortin held a fundraising event at Carlyle’s Watch featuring local artists and photographers. All proceeds benefited the Columbus Symphony.

I walked by today and there were signs of work being done in that space. Does anyone know if ZenCha plans to create a copy of the Short North location or do something different with the new space? Gay St. is really being cemented as the core of the downtown redevelopment.

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