Old Spaces Find New Life on the South Side

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

The South Side is getting a second look by investors as redevelopment in the historic area picks up momentum. Infused with a motley mix of neighborhoods, buildings and people, the area is seeing major facelifts along the 2-mile-long Parsons Avenue strip, once a vibrant retail destination. From the Nationwide Children's Hospital expansion on the north end to the recent opening of the John R. Maloney Family Health and Wellness Center in the Southern Gateway district, the South Side is becoming a hot-ticket location.

1. Village Pointe

625 Parsons Ave.

Once the site of the old Bobb Chevrolet dealership, this 3-story mixed-use commercial building opened in 2014. The space, located just south of Parsons and Livingston avenues, features a 25,000-square-foot fitness center, retail space, a salon and a juice bar, with plans to open a second Crest Gastropub location here this summer.

2. Reeb Avenue Center

280 Reeb Ave.

The historic Reeb Elementary School is undergoing major restorations in an effort to turn the 110-year-old building into a social services community center. The 67,000-square-foot building sits on two acres and will house services from the South Side Learning & Development Center, St. Stephen's Community House, Mid-Ohio Foodbank and other nonprofit organizations providing education and job training. The center is anticipated to open in August.

3. Barrett Middle School

345 E. Deshler Ave.

Designed by architect David Riebel at the turn of the 20th century, the vacant school is now being transformed into 108 upscale apartments, led by Homeport and Casto. The 6-acre site in Merion Village will also include 22 single-family homes, starting just under $300,000.

4. Columbus Metropolitan Library Parsons Branch

1113 Parsons Ave.

Architecture firm Moody Nolan's design for the new Parsons branch features a lot of glass, allowing for natural light. The new library, stretching across two blocks, will be nearly three times the size of the current Parsons branch and is expected to be finished in 2016.

5. Parsons Village

1854 S. Washington Ave.

Cleveland-based developer NRP Group began leasing its 56-unit senior living community in May. The new affordable housing space, located on what was the former Schottenstein store site on the South Side, is open to those 55 years and older.