New phase of Grandview Yard apartments will have street-level office, retail space

The second phase of apartments within the Grandview Yard redevelopment will have 28,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

Developer Nationwide Realty Investors, Ltd. unveiled plans for 120 apartments within the project before the Grandview Heights Planning Commission Wednesday night after leasing up the 154-unit Apartments at the Yard since the first 46 units became available in October.

The second phase of residential on the former Big Bear Stores Inc. office and warehouse complex and other adjacent industrial properties will consist of a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments offering between 700 and 1,000 square feet on three floors within four interconnected buildings. That’s according to an outline Nationwide Realty shared with me via e-mail just prior to the meeting.

The property also will offer some private garages.

Unveiling of the plans follows a land swap between the developer and the owner of a business at 873 Williams that shifted the company’s parking lot on the west side of the property facing Bobcat Avenue. That opened up the mixed-use project site along Yard Street for redevelopment.

Both Bobcat and Yard will get extended north of Burr Avenue to Williams Avenue as the Grandview Yard inches north of the Apartments at the Yard.

Grandview Heights Director of Administration Patrik Bowman told me the plan has support in part because it keeps an existing employer in place.

The city hopes the commercial space also could attract more office tenants to the Yard, which has little office space available.

The commercial and residential density “is exactly what the city’s looking for,” Bowman told me. “It gives the Yard a vertical as well as horizontal mixed-use look.”

The concept calls for residents to use surface parking during off-work hours while employees of tenants will occupy the parking slots during the day.

The plan “gets people with different agendas on the street,” Bowman said.

Nationwide Realty is not the only developer seeking a mixed-use approach in the urban market between downtown and Upper Arlington.

Business First reported in June 28 plans by Columbus developers Celmark Development Group and Solove Real Estate to build nearly 300 units at 965-1015 W. Fifth Ave and on adjacent parcels south of Holly Avenue.

That complex calls for 24,700 square feet of retail and other commercial tenants along Fifth Avenue and five stories of luxury apartments above.