Tri-Village News

Marble Cliff mansion thrives as offices

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Although Justin and Allison Collamore decided their company's growth meant they needed to move the business out of their residence, they are still running a home-based operation in a way.

Collamore Built relocated in March to the office building at 2015 W. Fifth Ave. in Marble Cliff, a three-story mansion that was converted decades ago into office space.

The residential design and construction firm earned $1 million in revenue last year, and the increased business was a strain at their home, Mrs. Collamore said.

"We have a 12-year-old boy and there were just too many people coming to and from our home," she said.

The company also needed more space to accommodate new staff members, Mr. Collamore said.

"I wanted to find a place where I would want to come to work each day," he said. "Not just some (generic) office building."

As soon as they saw the West Fifth Avenue building, they knew they had found the kind of site they were looking for, Mr. Collamore said.

The firm moved its office into what was once the master bedroom of the building, built in the early 1900s as a private residence.

"We also use the former dressing area for storage," Mr. Collamore said.

"We both have a passion for older homes, so this is a perfect location for us," Mrs. Collamore said.

The large windows that look out on the grounds and large trees on the property are among their favorite elements of the space, she said.

"When you look out the window, you feel like you're sitting in a tree house," Mrs. Collamore said.

The light streaming in from the windows has led Mr. Collamore to set up his easel and use the space to work on his paintings.

The mansion first was converted into offices for Burgess & Niple, and the Ingram family also located its White Castle headquarters in the building for a time, Mrs. Collamore said.

"It's exciting to be part of a building that has such important local history," Mr. Collamore said.

The Grandview Area Chamber of Commerce also recently moved its office into the building.

The Collamores still live in their Upper Arlington-area home, but the building is available for a live/work use.

Two years ago, the Marble Cliff Village Council approved rezoning the buildings at 2015 and 2000 W. Fifth Ave. to allow for live/work uses.

"We're always looking for ways that we can help our property owners make best use of their buildings," Mayor Kent Studebaker said.

"The live/work concept is becoming more common, but it's a newer one for us," he said.

"It's great that this wonderful old mansion has been maintained and not gutted," Studebaker said. "The original woodwork has been retained and there's a shared conference room on the first floor that originally was the dining room, and it still has that kind of a feel to it."

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