COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — The first two buildings in Astor Park, the mixed-use development planned near the Columbus Crew’s new home, are ready to start construction soon.

After getting a certification of appropriateness from the Downtown Commission, Pizzuti Cos. and Haslam Sports Group will now start the entitlement process and work to get the project rolling.

“We’re excited to build on the momentum of Lower.com Field,” said Jon Riewald, vice president of development at Pizzuti.

The first building approved is a five-story 247,000-square-foot, 247-unit residential building. It will include a mix of townhomes and one- and two-bedroom units, which will be served by a 4,200-square-foot fitness center, pool, courtyard area, and amenity area. The townhomes will face either the street or the courtyard area.

The design for this building was previously reviewed by the commission in February. The design approved Tuesday features a darker brick and a lighter wood than the earlier version.

There is also a second apartment building planned for a later phase.

A five-story, 147,000-square-foot office building was also approved Tuesday. It will include near 17,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. This building would be across Columbus Crew Way from the stadium and across the alley from the residential building.

MKSK and Goettsch Partners are designing the buildings. Developer Joel Pizzuti previously said the buildings will feature an angular, inset design that creates a distinct neighborhood from the existing Arena District development.

Astor Park has been named for Astor House, the New York City hotel frequented by U.S. Soccer Federation founder Thomas Cahill, who elevated soccer to a major sport in North America. Cahill will also have a roadway named after him: the alley that will run between the residential and office buildings.

The area around the Crew’s new home was originally to be called Confluence Village. The developers decided that Confluence Village was too similar to Confluence Park across the river and might not slip off the tongue as easily as Astor Park.

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