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7 off-campus buildings to be approved for demolition for 15th and High project

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The highlighted buildings are slated to be demolished, most likely later this month. Credit: Courtesy of Campus Partners

The 15th and High project is approaching another major milestone on the multi-year development’s way to completion. As early as Feb. 13, demolition could start on seven campus-area buildings as the first phase of the project is expected to be approved in the coming days by the city of Columbus.

Erin Prosser, director of community development for Campus Partners, Ohio State’s nonprofit development arm in charge of the project, said the first phase is mostly limited to underground infrastructure development along North High Street, North Pearl Street and East 16th Avenue.

The first phase of construction is projected to last from February until July 2018.

“Those dates are flexible until the planning is finalized, and who knows what hiccups could happen along the way,” Prosser said.

The seven buildings set to come down include the building previously housing the FedEx Office on 15th Avenue — next to, but not including, The ‘O’ Patio Pub — and some residential units along East 16th, 15th and 14th avenues, according to Campus Partners documents.

Prosser also said two of the buildings are likely to be managed by Campus Partners. The only building related to the project currently under construction, The Wellington, a high-end apartment building, is being developed and managed by Edwards Communities. All three buildings are zoned for mixed-use development.

The two Campus Partners properties are the buildings set to line both sides of the area along East 15th Avenue zoned to be used as a public square. Requests for proposals are expected to be sent out sometime this spring for the project’s “signature building,” which is zoned to allow a hotel and will sit behind the square on North Pearl Street.

As for planned infrastructure, Campus Partners is having a storm sewer installed along North High Street between East 17th and 13th avenues.

“You know when you walk down High Street and get splashed by a COTA (bus)? That won’t happen anymore,” Prosser said. “That will become an urban legend.”

Over the summer, heavy rains led to flooding along North High Street and in the bar Midway on High.

Prosser said the storm-sewer construction, slated to take place from February to August, would still allow for at least one lane in both directions along North High Street while work takes place.

Additionally, phase one will include a waterline renovation along East 16th Avenue, as well as sewer-line renovation along East 16th Avenue and North Pearl Street.

A second phase will consist of above-ground work regarding “everything in the public right of way,” Prosser said, including street and sidewalk changes and re-openings.

Additional phases and timelines for construction on the remaining buildings making up the 15th and High project are still to be determined.

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