The owner of a former residence now used as an office building will seek approval of the Marble Cliff Village Council to allow the front portion of the site to be converted into live-work spaces.

The owner of a former residence now used as an office building will seek approval of the Marble Cliff Village Council to allow the front portion of the site to be converted into live-work spaces.

Kathryn Gardner discussed her plans for the property at 2015 W. Fifth Ave. at the Sept. 19 village council meeting.

In the current economic climate, it has been difficult to find office tenants for the building, which sits almost completely empty, Gardner said.

The 110-year-old former residence “is a wonderful old property,” she said. “I would like to be able to keep the property up and running.”

A number of improvements have been made to the building, including upgrading the roof and replacing the entire HVAC system “so that it will last another 100 years,” Gardner said.

But the property’s current commercial zoning is “a two-edged sword,” she said.

There just hasn’t been much interest in the building as office space, but the real estate agents handling the property for her have heard from people who own their own businesses and may be interested in living there and operating their businesses out of their homes, Gardner said.

The property includes the main original house and an attached carriage house, she said.

Her plan would be to continue to use the carriage house as office space and convert the main house into live/work spaces, Gardner said.

The house could easily be divided into separate live/work spaces, she said. A firewall separates the main house from the carriage house, so it would also be easy for the live/work and office uses to co-exist, she said.

“I wouldn’t want to do anything that would destroy the architectural integrity of the place,” Gardner said.

Council members expressed general interest in formally considering Gardener’s request.

Mayor Kent Studebaker told Gardner it is uncertain whether a zoning variance would be needed or if only a conditional use is necessary. A zoning request would require additional information, he said.

A previous request by the owner of an apartment building on West Fifth, in which the owner asked for permission to operate a business out of his own apartment at the building, was approved through a conditional use, Studebaker said.

The owner of the apartment building has requested approval to allow the occupants of two other apartments at the building to operate businesses out of their homes, he said.

Both matters will be on the agenda for the Oct. 17 village council meeting, Studebaker said.

In other business, Studebaker told council the city of Upper Arlington has notified the village it is interested in submitting a proposal for providing services to Marble Cliff.

The village’s current service contract with the city of Grandview Heights will expire at the end of the year. Grandview has also indicated it is “very interested in maintaining our relationship,” Studebaker said.

The village has asked both Grandview and Arlington to submit their proposals for a new contract by the middle of November so the issue can be decided by the end of November for a new contract to begin Jan. 1, he said.