Sep 6, 2023 - News

Developer proposes Brewery District factory glow-up

The vacant Jones Heel Manufacturing Co. and a rendering of residential development. Via Google Maps and courtesy of the Brewery District Commission

A Gahanna developer hopes to take another step forward this week in turning a vacant Brewery District factory into a new apartment complex.

Why it matters: The project is seen as a win-win for new housing and historic preservation, while a requested parking modification could set the tone for future developments.

Catch up quick: The Stonehenge Co. spent $1.85 million in 2019 to buy the former Jones Heel Manufacturing Co. factory at the corner of Front and Whittier streets.

  • An early proposal called for demolition, but Stonehenge now wants to incorporate the brick buildings into its plan for 107 residential units.
  • The back tower would be renovated and several stories would be built atop the shorter building facing Front Street, with a courtyard placed in between.

Driving the news: City planners with the Brewery District Commission will consider the latest design at a meeting tomorrow.

Yes, but: The city and developer remain at odds on the issue of required parking minimums.

  • City code demands at least 99 parking spaces for this project's specifications, but Stonehenge wants to build dozens fewer.
  • The company noted there are 171 on-street spaces nearby and pointed to other cities' efforts to do away with similar parking requirements.

What we're watching: As Columbus looks to become less car-dependent, a planned 2024 overhaul of the city zoning code could involve changes to these parking space rules.

Flashback: The factory dates back to when Columbus was once the "footwear capital of America."


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