Decade in Development: Grandview Yard Rises From Big Bear’s Ashes

Article originally published in Columbus Underground by Walker Evans

A lot has changed in Columbus between 2010 and 2020. In this series we take a look at large-scale development projects and trends that shape where we live, work and play.

In 2004, the Big Bear grocery store ceased to exist when parent company Penn Traffic filed for bankruptcy, and the large grocery logistics hub that the business operated in Grandview Heights shut down. Nationwide Realty Investors (NRI) purchased the property and began publicly presenting their plans for redeveloping the area in 2007.

After working through development agreements with the City of Grandview Heights, NRI announced their first phase for the southern edge of Grandview Yard in 2009, which simply included an office building, a hotel, a parking deck and a fitness center. That phase launched in 2010, kicking off a decade-long piecemeal approach to building out the massive 125-acre site

Grandview Yard aerial photo from November 2017, via NRI.

The first set of Grandview Yard apartments launched in 2012, followed by more in 2014. Also in 2014, it was announced that Nationwide Insurance would become one of the largest office anchors for the area, relocating workers from other suburban communities into a new centralized office. 2014 also saw the opening of the Giant Eagle Market District and Hofbrauhaus, followed in 2015 by the first announcement of townhomes on the site, to be built by Wagenbrenner Development (recently rebranded to Thrive Companies).

The development announcements have continued to pour out of Grandview Yard on nearly a quarterly basis as construction has plowed forward. An event venue and second hotel were announced in the spring of 2015, more apartments announced in the summer of 2015, a pool and clubhouse in the fall of 2015, a five-story condo building in the spring of 2016, and more office and retail buildings in the fall of 2017. Additional apartments were under construction in summer 2018 while new single-family homes to be developed by M/I were announced in fall 2018.

Construction at Grandview Yard in May 2018 — Photo by Walker Evans.

While it’s tough to say exactly how complete Grandview Yard might be as the decade comes to a close (maybe around 65% if we had to take an educated guess) it’s easy to see that it won’t take too much longer to finish filling out. Additional offices and townhomes were announced in April 2019 that are already under construction for a 2020 completion while more apartments and offices were unveiled in October that will bring the current total number of Grandview Yard residences up to 1,450 upon completion, along with 1.2 million square feet of completed commercial space. Not bad for a decade’s worth of work.