German Village Gazette

Man wants to convert former bank into home

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The retired founder of Cardinal Health wants to turn the U.S. Bank building in German Village into a 13,250-square-foot private residence, which would make it the second largest single-family house in the city of Columbus.

The German Village Commission May 7 considered, but did not take action, on Bob Walter's conceptual plan to convert the commercial building at 673 Mohawk St., which is home to the bank and a few other office tenants.

Mr. Walter and his wife, Peggy, who were not at the meeting, plan to spend a significant amount of money refurbishing the property, their architect, William Hugus, told the commission.

The three-story structure, which has a basement, was built in 1887 as an elementary school for St. Mary Catholic Church, which is adjacent to the west.

The school, which was expanded years later, was a high school until 1967, when St. Mary closed the facility.

The parish then sold the parcel in 1972. It has housed a bank, and other commercial uses, since.

The plan calls for converting a portion of the basement into a three-car garage and ripping up much of the 37-car parking lot and replacing it with a manicured green space. The Walters would keep seven spaces for guest parking.

"I think that's a big asset for Mohawk Street," Hugus said.

The Walters would maintain an access point to the St. Mary parking lot, located to the rear of the church.

St. Mary intends to construct an exit onto South Third Street. They also would eliminate one access point to the property, creating three on-street parking spots on Mohawk.

The Walters, who now live in Dublin, purchased the property for $830,000 Jan. 4 under the name Mohawk Village Properties LLC, according to the Franklin County Auditor's Office. Its appraised value is $923,000, the auditor's web site shows.

Hugus said the property has been on the decline for years, with the building becoming harder to lease as more competition has opened up nearby.

"It's in pretty bad shape overall," Hugus said.

The Walters have agreed to replace the concrete sidewalks with brick, build new curbs and swap out the iron fencing with new wrought-iron fencing along Mohawk.

Many details, such as specifics about landscaping and exterior improvements, are forthcoming, Hugus said.

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