A roughly $20 million building project will give some Columbus residents balconies overlooking High Street in about a year.
A new retail and student apartment complex under construction as part of a project on North High Street is set to open January 2015. The complex, named “The View On High,” is set to be located between East Woodruff and 18th avenues.
The building is set to offer 46 one to five bedroom luxury units with a range of amenities including fully furnished rooms, high-speed Internet, a 24/7 fitness facility and street level and underground parking, according to the View On High’s website.
No prices have been set for the apartments yet, said Tom Heilman, owner of Hometeam Properties Management, the management company of the building.
Heilman said there is a possibility of a discounted price for the first year’s leasers.
“Price could start as low as four bedrooms for $800 each (bedroom), and as high as a single for $1,000. It could be lower for the first year because of supply and demand issues,” Heilman said.
Heilman said Hometeam will be flexible with leasing options for the first batch of students because the apartments are opening halfway through the normal leasing year.
“We are going to work with students individually. You can just sign a six month lease (for the View On High) or we can put you in something else for the first six months (until moving into The View On High in January),” Heilman said.
Mike Balakrishnan, founder and president of Celmark Development Group, developing partner on the project alongside Solove Real Estate, said construction so far is on schedule.
“We started on the parking garage in the ground and everything is on track right now,” Balakrishnan said.
Heilman said Hometeam will use an apartment complex on W. Fifth and Holly avenues scheduled to open in May to house students for the first six months if they choose to sign a 12 month lease with the View On High. Heilman said Hometeam will help these students move their belongings to the View On High when it opens.
Heilman said he’s confident the timing of its opening will not hinder interest in the new apartments, a project totaling close to $20 million. Heilman said he foresees residents coming from undergraduate upperclassmen, faculty and graduate students at Ohio State.
“When you’re dealing with 20,000 to 30,000 people, there’s enough people with similar interests and there’s a lot of people who come in second semester and need a place to stay … All the people that come in and see all the good stuff taken, now they have an option,” Heilman said.
Some students, however, are unsure if the included amenities would be worth the extra money. Second-year in political science Josh Freedman said he would have to compare the exact cost of the apartments to living in the dorms to make a decision.
“If it costs more than living on campus where you already get all that stuff then it wouldn’t be worth it to me,” Freedman said.
Lindsay Gorby, a second-year in health information management and systems, said the location is prime, but she has other reservations.
“The location is so close but I would rather live in a house … and all that (the included amenities) would be awesome but I would be worried about the cost,” Gorby said.
Jimmy Barouxis, owner of Buckeye Donuts, which is located next door to the work site, said construction has put a small damper on business, specifically because some parking spots have been fenced off since construction began.
“We lost about a dozen parking spaces … Our delivery guys have a harder time getting in and out, and now there’s no handicap spot,” Barouxis said. “Then about a week later, we raised our voices a little and they (the city government) gave us some meters in the front. I think the developers pushed for them.”
While he said the construction is “annoying,” Barouxis said he’s excited for the finished product, which he thinks will be successful.
“They’re going to do great, it’s prime location … When it’s done, we’re going to do even better than before,” Barouxis said. “That’s like having an additional city block of customers vertically. Right now it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not the worst we’ve gone through.”
So far, Wendy’s, the business that existed previously on the site, is the only other retailer set to open in the complex. Balakrishnan said, however, the developers are in talks with other companies.
“The only food operation will be Wendy’s. Most likely there will be a bank and another typical retailer, like (a) clothing (company),” Balakrishnan said.
While no leases have been signed yet, Balakrishnan said he has already seen a lot of interest in the complex. Heilman said some alumni in particular have contacted him with interest.
“It’s about giving people what they want, giving people a choice. It’s for a number of people who will pay that extra $200 a month to have that experience,” Heilman said.