November 13th, 2015
69-unit condo project planned for Arena District
Nationwide Realty Investors The Parks Edge project will rise 12 stories above Spring Street across from North Bank Park and the Scioto River. The building at left in this rendering is the Condominiums at North Bank Park. The new building is expected to have about 69 condos, with prices starting at $450,000.
Nationwide Realty Investors plans to jump-start Downtown’s stalled condo market in a big way, with the city center’s largest condo project in eight years — and the most expensive.
Nationwide plans to begin work in a few weeks on the project, called Parks Edge, on the northeast corner of Spring Street and Neil Avenue in the Arena District. It is the first of three residential buildings Nationwide plans for the site.
The 12-story Parks Edge building will include up to 69 condominiums ranging from $450,000 — the highest starting price of any Downtown condominium project — to more than $2 million.
The project is Downtown’s largest condominium building since Nationwide opened the Condominiums at North Bank Park in December 2007, across Neil Avenue from the Parks Edge site.
Nationwide Realty President Brian Ellis said the company was encouraged to move forward on Parks Edge after the last North Bank condominiums sold quickly during the past 18 months.
“We sprinted across the finish line at North Bank. We could have continued to sell,” he said. “ There were other indications, too. When we mentioned that we were starting plans for another condo on the site, our phone really began to ring.”
Parks Edge will feature 15 floor plans. Eight two- and three-bedroom town homes, ranging from 1,500 square feet to more than 2,600 square feet, will be built on the first two floors.
The top 10 floors will include up to 61 one- and two-bedroom flats from 1,500 to about 3,200 square feet.
The building will include a fitness center, conference room, 24-hour concierge service, guest suite and social room with a terrace, bar and fireplace. An attached four-story building will include 327 parking spaces topped by a pool and sun deck.
Ellis said Nationwide will work with buyers to customize upper-floor condominiums. He said he expects some buyers will combine units, reducing the number of overall units from 69.
“I definitely expect we will have units that will exceed 3,200 square feet when done,” Ellis said.
Parks Edge helps relaunch a Downtown condominium market that was hot from 2003 until the housing crash of 2008.
While hundreds of apartments have been built Downtown in the past few years, work progressed on only one condominium project of any size — the Neighborhood Launch project along Gay Street. Construction began this year, however, on condominiums in two older buildings: the LeVeque Tower on W. Broad Street and the Mercantile Building on S. 4th Street.
Todd Moroz, chief operating officer with Kaufman Development, which is working on the LeVeque renovation, said Kaufman also is considering building condominiums in a tower called Two25 Commons overlooking Columbus Commons.
Real-estate agents familiar with the Downtown market say the condo supply has failed to keep up with demand.
“They are way overbuilding rentals, and we have a big shortage of condos,” said Lee Ritchie, a RE/MAX Metro Plus agent. “I have buyers who are just waiting for the right property to come on the market. There’s just nothing there.”
While demand is strong, Ritchie said it starts to shrink when prices rise above $600,000 and gets particularly thin north of $1 million.
“The sweet spot is under $600,000,” she said. “When you get above a million, it’s much more challenging.”
One huge selling point for Parks Edge and other Downtown condominiums is that owners are largely exempt from property taxes for up to 15 years.
Nationwide has prepared the site and plans to start construction as soon as the plan is approved by the Downtown Development Commission. The project is scheduled to come before the commission on Tuesday.
Ellis said he expects the building to be finished in the spring of 2017.
“We hope to break ground a week or two after getting approval from the commission,” Ellis said. “ We’ve had to be patient, but the market’s calling for this.”