This proposed 262-unit apartment development is located in Schumacher Place and borders German Village on three sides. The 2.3 acre site was formerly home to a Giant Eagle grocery store.
The current design does nothing to respect its location within two historic neighborhoods – not in size, scale, density or height. There are locations where a design like this could be appropriate; specifically, a dense downtown or suburban area where the size, scale and design elements would be less of an issue.
The site at 280 E. Whittier St is currently zoned for a height of 35 feet. This is also consistent with the surrounding area, which is largely residential in all directions. As proposed, the developer is asking to build up to 61'-10", a 77% increase. At this height the houses on the north side of Kossuth and west side of Jaeger will have little direct sunlight.
The proposed “mixed-use” development includes 262 apartment units plus 8,250 sq. ft. of commercial space packed into only 2.34 acres. It is simply too massive in comparison to the mostly historic surrounding structures.
The South Side Plan states up to 28 units/acre are acceptable for mixed-use projects. The Columbus Citywide Planning Policies (C2P2) state the absolute maximum density for a project like this is 45 units/acre. The developer is proposing 112 units/acre – 2.5x higher than the City’s own guidelines.
The developer is asking City Council for a variance from the normally required 426 parking spaces for a project of this size to just 262 spaces for apartments, Zero spaces are allotted for first-floor retail. The remaining 164 required spaces would fill up the streets for several blocks in all directions.
Traffic on Whittier has already increased the past few years with the expansion of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This project would add specific pressure along both Jaeger and Whittier.
Additionally, using Grant Avenue on the east side of the development as a primary point of ingress and egress is problematic since Grant Avenue is effectively an alley in this area, only 20 feet wide, not suitable for large trucks and vehicles.
We encourage the Pizzuti Companies to propose a project that adheres to standards outlined in either the South Side Plan or the Columbus Citywide Planning Policies (C2P2), one that embraces the spirit of those standards and complies with all applicable City Codes and State or Federal laws or statutes.
If you support our goals, here are the ways you can help.
Comments & concerns from city officials and community leaders
Commercial developers have deep pockets. We don't. Your contribution today would help pay for the legal support and professional review of studies we need to fight this proposal. Any amount you contribute will be greatly appreciated. Click the button above to donate with credit card or PayPal. Or write a check to Neighborhoods for Responsible Development and mail it to 858 S. 5th St., Columbus OH, 43206.
Currently, donations are not tax deductible since we are not a non-profit organization. We're looking into changing that status, but until then, we hope you'll still be inspired to contribute to our effort.