North Bank penthouse provides the ultimate high view of Columbus

Sherry Beck Paprocki
Former Upper Arlington residents enjoy scenic vistas from their 4,400-square-foot condominium on the 18th floor of the Condominiums of North Bank. Furnishings and finishing touches were done in collaboration with Cary Gerschutz, an interior designer with Darrons Contemporary Furniture.

If there are majestic views of the Capital City-and the river that runs through it-then the upper floors at Condominiums at North Bank Park may be among the crown jewels of Downtown housing.

Floor-to-ceiling windows in this 4,400-square-foot condominium on the 18th floor offer the ultimate distraction to former Upper Arlington residents who have packed up their empty nest and relocated to the center of the city.

North Bank is situated on the edge of the Arena District, connecting the Downtown riverfront-with all its festivals, races and parades-to the restaurants and late-night hotspots in the Short North. "Even in the grayish winter months, it's brighter here," says the lady of the house.

On any given day, the couple is drawn to their various views of the city. There may be kayaks floating on the river below, there may be a bicycle race or, perhaps, even a view of the crane next door where Downtown's next residential high-rise, Parks Edge, is under construction.

On a clear day, the couple can see as far as their childhood homes, each located 30 miles south of the city. And, although they didn't meet until college-she was at Bowling Green and he was at Ohio State when introduced by mutual friends-their Central Ohio roots are important to them.

After 25 years spent working in their respective careers-she was the administrative assistant to a former father of the city, and he was busy using an agricultural background to build a hedge fund-the two no longer need to stay rooted. They like the freedom that life in a high-rise offers. If they are in Columbus, he may be watching the markets from one of four computers on his desk. (It's a desk that automatically elevates to accommodate a standing position from which he can also overlook the city.)

Across the condo in another room, she may be entertaining three tiny grandchildren. He may be using a spacious exercise room to ride an elliptical Trainr and watch Bloomberg. Together, they may be planning their next trip or packing their bags in their large master suite.

They may be off to the Alps so that he can pursue an ultimate bicycle ride, headed out to their California home for the good weather (and more bicycle riding), or their Colorado condo for, perhaps, some skiing. This condominium living allows much more flexibility and less care than their 1950s renovated ranch-style home on an acre lot in Upper Arlington, where they had lived for the last 25 years.

When they first started to look Downtown, the couple was told that all the units in North Bank were sold. But then they viewed the 18th floor where two raw spaces were on hold for another buyer. They decided to buy them both, tear down a wall and double the size of what would have been their living quarters. This was not a scale-down space for these empty nesters.

When the couple decided to remove the wall, they opened a huge space that now accommodates a large, modern kitchen, and a broad living room that includes a spacious game area with its own host bar. The lady of the house is thrilled that last Easter they could accommodate a dinner for 30 family members.

Her parents spent much of the afternoon in the living room's swivel chairs, enjoying the perfect views of the city. That day and anytime he visits, his father is situated in another section of this great room, the older gentleman often searching for the building on Rich Street where he worked for much of his career.

Aside from its large, sweeping rooms, the nooks in this condo accommodate desks and plenty of storage. What was going to be a bathroom has turned into a well-organized bicycle storage space. Who needs one more bath, when four and half already exist?

The master suite is spacious, with views east of the city. Black-out shades are appreciated here, when the early morning sunshine peeks over the high-rises. Calm colors and transitional furnishings give this room with its sky view the ultimate high view. A small guest room nearby includes a host of baby furniture and toddler toys-all meant to accommodate local grandchildren who are frequently on the scene.

A large guest suite on the opposite side of the home perfectly suits one of the couples' two adult children when she arrives from New York. Indeed, with its interesting placement in the middle of the city, this home created for empty nesters seems to be full of life.