This Downtown Columbus Condo Offers a Scenic Retreat
With its spectacular city views and custom details, Angie and Brian Joslyn’s home in the Arena District brings together their love of city life with the desire for a quieter place to enjoy it all.
“Thankful” and “lucky” are the words they use to describe how they feel about living in a home where city energy merges with greenway trails and unique vistas.
The Joslyns live in Parks Edge, a new luxury condominium development along West Spring Street near McPherson Commons and, from the building’s front, overlooking the Scioto River. In 2015, Nationwide Realty Investors kicked off the development, located a block away from Nationwide Arena. The third and final phase is to be completed next year, when a new 10-story building will join the two existing 12-story residences for a total of 201 units. The development includes a 15-year, 100 percent property tax abatement.
“It’s a very quiet area in the midst of so much busyness Downtown,” Brian says. “I feel thankful to live someplace with close access to bike paths and walkways. … There’s so much to see, and we don’t feel sequestered.”
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The Joslyns have called Parks Edge home since moving there in October 2017 from the adjacent Burnham Square condominiums. They loved the Burnham Square condo and had made extensive renovations but sought a bigger space when they learned they were expecting a child. At 3,300 square feet, the Parks Edge condo is roughly double the size of their previous dwelling and feels especially roomy with walls of glass and an open floor plan, Angie says.
Prior to settling in the Arena District, the Joslyns lived in German Village, not far from Brian’s criminal law practice, where both work. “We’ve always been Downtown people,” Angie adds.
At Parks Edge, they chose a tree-level, fourth-floor unit because it maximizes the amount of greenery directly in front of them. The corner unit provides expansive views and includes a wrap-around terrace and outdoor living area. That has been a favorite area, especially this year when many of the nearby sports, entertainment and eating venues have curtailed operations during the COVID pandemic. Plants soften the cityscape and create a sense of privacy, while a custom grill allows them to make warm-weather meals while sipping homemade cocktails and relishing the view.
Inside the condo, clean lines, a mostly neutral color palette and varying textures create interest without being distracting. The focal point is a custom bar at windows’ edge, which produces a perfect city overlook where people can gather and gaze. The bar was fabricated locally and hand-painted in a metallic Champagne finish. Its top is inset with bronze-toned mirrored glass, says Amanda Sexton, the lead designer and owner of Distinctive Residential Design, which counts several Arena District owners among its clients.
As with most families, the kitchen is the hub of activities for the couple and their now 4-year-old daughter, Maryjane. The couple made the kitchen roomier by removing a large pantry, which allowed more seating at the island. Quartz countertops and modern, flat-panel cabinets in a neutral “greige” tone contribute to the clean look, while the handmade ceramic tile backsplash adds texture. The backsplash “was quite a feat,” says Angie, recalling her exhaustive search for the perfect material, which she eventually found at Hamilton Parker. Each handmade tile is glazed to order, giving it a range of color throughout, Sexton explains.
Subtle texture and shades of blue appear elsewhere, in seat cushions, lamps and wallpaper. The accent wallpaper on the TV wall is a handmade D.L. Couch wood veneer in a hexagonal pattern, says the designer.
With windows dominant, the goal was to control light and privacy throughout the day without blocking the commanding view, Sexton says. Window coverings are light-filtering roller shades with a mobile app that allows users to create a schedule to raise and lower them. The design firm’s work room fashioned cornices to finish the look.
The Joslyns home has other custom features, including the master bathroom, which they modified “to account for the fact that we’re a family living Downtown, not a hockey player or a bachelor.” (Several units at Parks Edge and other nearby condominiums are owned by Columbus Blue Jackets players or executives who live there only part of the year.) The large bathtub is adjacent to a window wall rather than free-floating in the room, and ledges hold practical items like soap.
In the master bedroom, two sofa seats with pullout storage underneath are built into a wall of windows and are Angie’s favorite place to relax after a long day. “I love my bedroom. It’s my sanctuary,” she says. “I put my feet up … and I just unwind.”
Brian got the idea for the window seats from a hotel during the family’s frequent travels. In another area, a Houston hotel inspired the entry hall, where two chandeliers hang from a recess in the ceiling. Tube lighting within the recess amps up the illumination in an area that is darker than the rest of the home.
They also closed off an open office and sitting area, turning the space into a third bedroom. Although not a typical family neighborhood, Angie says the greater Downtown area has many nearby attractions for children, including COSI, Columbus Children’s Theatre, the Main Library, parks and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected those attractions this year, and with venues in their immediate neighborhood closed or operating with restricted hours, things are a bit different now. “We miss all of that, and especially the [running] races that come down Spring Street,” says Angie. That said, she and her husband have appreciated how easy it has been to navigate the neighborhood in recent months.
“I spent the first year looking out the windows saying ‘I can’t believe I live here,’” she says. Three years later, she adds: “We feel lucky to live here.”