Five-story building proposed for Livingston Avenue

A five-story mixed-use building has been proposed for a key block on East Livingston Avenue, across from the expanding Nationwide Children’s Hospital campus.

The project would require the demolition of several buildings between Ninth Street and Washington Avenue, including the former home of Shane’s Gourmet Catering, an Enterprise Rent-a-Car location, and the building that once housed the Art Outside the Lines studio.

The proposal calls for a 163-unit building with ground floor retail and a 179-space indoor parking garage. A council waiver was submitted to the city since the building is taller and offers less parking than current commercial zoning allows. The gap also includes provisions to bring the building closer to the street and allow ground floor residential uses (first floor townhouses are proposed for the Washington Avenue side of the building).

The new building would span what is now Dutch Alley, allowing cars and pedestrians to pass underneath.

Schiff Capital Group and Northstar Realty LLC are the developers of the project, which is a revision of an earlier proposal that Northstar first brought to the neighborhood in 2018.

Michael Schiff, chairman and CEO of Schiff Capital Group, said the two companies have worked together in the past, but never on such a large, mixed-use project.

“The key to this location is the fact that Children’s is growing so much and now has around 14,000 employees,” he said. “These people need places to live and places to shop, so hopefully that’s what we provide.”

“Our goal is also to donate some units to the hospital, for needy families who come to town and can’t afford housing,” Schiff added, though details of such an arrangement are unclear. have not yet been defined. “We’re talking to Children’s and we’re going to find out, so we can give back to this great organization…we’re thrilled to be able to.”

Neighbors and other interested parties will have the opportunity to hear about the proposal and provide initial feedback at a meeting scheduled for Saturday, January 8 at 11 a.m. at the Barrack Community Center. The Schumacher Place Civic Association and the Columbus Southside Area Commission will both hold votes on the project, although the timing of those votes has not been set.

Northstar Realty, whose offices are located just down the street from the project site, is best known for developing shopping malls in central Ohio, but also built the five-story Home2 Suites building at 412 E Main St.

Schiff Capital Group has been one of the most active developers in the City of Columbus over the past ten years. Ongoing projects include the redevelopment of the Copious Building on South High Street in the Brewery Quarter, and a renovation and new build project on Rich Street Downtown.

Schiff said work is on schedule to wrap up the Rich Street project – now called Discovery Park Place – in March. He added that the 30-story Harmony Tower proposal “is still on our drawing board, something we hope to achieve”, but acknowledged that, “with today’s uncertainty, it is a little more difficult… but it is our goal to have [Harmony Tower] or something else amazing built on that land.

For more information on the upcoming meeting on Livingston’s proposal, see the Schumacher Place Civic Association website.

East of the corner of Livingston and South Ninth Street.
An overview of the proposal.
The site as it is now, looking east on Livingston Avenue. Photos by Brent Warren.
Buildings at the east end of the site, at the corner of Livingston and South Washington Avenue. Across the street are the new buildings of the National Children’s Hospital.

Bonny J. Streater