COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — The high-profile team behind Franklinton’s River and Rich development will present their latest vision for the mixed-use project’s second phase to the neighborhood review board this week.
The second phase – planned for a 5-acre site bounded by West Rich Street to the north, McDowell Street to the east, the Dodge Park Recreation Center to the south, and May Avenue to the west – is set to include two buildings with 234 apartments, 224 parking spaces and 7,500 square feet of commercial space total, according to city documents.
It follows a roughly $40 million first phase that now stands where the Riverside-Bradley public housing complex once was and includes 230 one-and two-bedroom apartments, 25,000 square feet of retail space, a 292-space parking garage, and a handful of notable commercial tenants.
Columbus developer Casto is spearheading the project, with involvement from the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Robert Weiler Co., Kelley Cos. and Smoot Construction.
Brent Sobczak, president of Casto Communities, said the second phase will be complementary to the first phase. The amenities in the two new buildings will include a pool on the second level and a fitness center.
The East Franklinton Review Board will hold a conceptual review of the plans Wednesday. No action or vote will take place. The developers would have to get approval from that board before beginning construction, likely submitting plans for approval in late fall or early winter, Sobczak said.
The plans to be presented this week are the latest iteration of the development group’s vision for this phase; the board reviewed an earlier version this summer. Sobczak said these current plans take board comments into consideration.
The current plan for the second phase includes a four-story residential building on the southern portion of the site with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. There would be a partially covered surface parking lot, planning documents show.
A five-story mixed-use building is also proposed on the northern end of the site, with a one-level parking garage and an amenity deck above. This building would have ground-floor retail and commercial space that fronts Rich Street. There would be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units on floors two through five.
The proposal includes affordable housing units, but the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority said the apartments are still in the early planning stages and they didn’t know for certain what percentage of units would be affordable.
“CMHA is very excited to continue with the redevelopment of our Franklinton property River and Rich with our partners,” said Scott Scharlach, chief operating officer of CMHA. “Phase two will not only serve as a true mixed-income multi-family housing development with rent and income restrictions set on a certain percentage of the total units, it will also include much-needed neighborhood amenities such as commercial space, additional parking, and retail destinations including new restaurants to serve Franklinton, downtown, and the surrounding neighborhoods. This project will take what is today vacant unused land and turn it into a thriving neighborhood to support the Greater Columbus community while providing affordable housing to those in need.”
Additional phases of the project are expected to roll out in coming years, with close to 800 apartments potentially planned for the area, Sobczak said.
“We are excited about the growth in the neighborhood and excited to be part of that growth,” Sobczak said.
Sobczak said the development group is still in the early stages but hopes to break ground on the second phase in about a year from now, with the first apartments being ready about three years from now.
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