COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A proposed 10-story apartment complex would bring new LGBTQ-friendly living spaces to the Short North.
Developers want to build the complex at the former Garden Store on High Street, right next to Stonewall Columbus.
“It is intended to be welcoming and inclusive, and just wanting to be an environment where people can be themselves,” said Densil Porteous, executive director and CEO of Stonewall Columbus.
The building would be renamed the Garden Park and would include 60 one- and two-bedroom apartments along with 60 indoor parking spaces.
David Hunegnaw, a real estate developer and partner at Black Gold Capital, said the apartment would be built in partnership with Stonewall Columbus. Through that partnership, he said original plans for a 20,000 square-foot building grew to 92,000 square feet.
Design plans for the 60-unit complex include apartments ranging from 600 to 1,700 square feet and a top-floor fitness center for residents and community members. In line with its mission to be LGBTQ-friendly, at least 20% of the units would be reserved for LGBTQ seniors.
“We want to give back to the Stonewall community and the LGBTQ+ community,” Hunegnaw said. “So, what better way to do that?”
Porteous said the senior LGBTQ population is among the most vulnerable — in Columbus and elsewhere.
“A lot of folks have had to reconsider where they’re living in the Short North, or just in general,” Porteous said. “One, for a cost of affordable housing in the area, but two, when we’re talking about seniors, we’re also thinking about safety.”
Before any construction can begin, the proposal must go through Columbus City Council and the Italian Village Commission.
If approved, developers plan to start work in the spring.