On Tuesday, October 6, Columbus, Ohio–based developers at the Edwards Companies held a public meeting to discuss their proposal to build a mixed-use project on a sizeable assemblage including the old Phoenix Hill Tavern site at the corner of East Broadway and Baxter Avenue.
Last month, we spoke with Jonathan Wood, vice president at the Edwards Companies, ahead of the meeting to find out initial details about his company’s plans. “As it appears, there’s an opportunity to develop something that would be great for the neighborhood and be better than what’s there today,” Wood told Broken Sidewalk in September. “We want to understand if the opportunity exists that we believe exists.” This week he explained those plans in more detail to the neighborhood.
The Phoenix Hill Tavern site is just down the street from another project by the Edwards Companies, a 200-unit apartment building on the former campus of Mercy Academy at 1170 East Broadway. That plan just cleared its last hurdle and is now ready for construction, which is expected to commence early next year.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Edwards Companies revealed a conceptual rendering that appears to be of a similar style and massing of Lupton Rausch Architecture’s Mercy Apartments. The rendering shows a four-story building with three floors of apartments over ground floor retail. The project could include 200 to 300 apartment units. A parking garage would be built in the center of the block.
That rendering is intended as only a first draft, according to WDRB’s Ryan Cummings who was at the meeting. He reported that the developer will take community input from the meeting and update the plan in more detail by the end of the year. There will be another meeting to discuss the update.
As we pointed out before, the site is a hodgepodge of surface level parking lots, several houses, three historic commercial buildings along Baxter Avenue (pictured above), and cinderblock modern buildings. The acute-angle corner is today a parking lot, formerly housing a gas station dating back to the 1930s.
The concept rendering appears to show a tabula rasa scheme where the entire site is cleared, something Wood previously said would be the case. “We’ve looked at [the Phoenix Hill Tavern site] as if it were a blank canvas—as a piece of dirt,” Wood said in September. “It’s obviously not a piece of dirt. It’s a neighborhood with a lot of charm and history and it has buildings on it.” He hinted that some buildings would have to be torn down to make the project feasible on such an irregularly shaped lot.
Stay tuned as more details emerge on this one.