Development plans for the old Columbus Maennerchor will proceed, despite some push back from the Brewery District Commission.
The architectural review commission April 5 recommended 3-2 against a lot split that would allow the Columbus singing society and Galbreath Properties to redevelop the site at 966 S. High St.
"It just doesn't make sense not to forward," said Werner Niehaus, president of the Maennerchor.
"It doesn't make sense for the Brewery District. The building is not safe and it's full of mold, so there's nothing to save anymore," he said.
The commission's recommendation isn't binding, said Kevin Wheeler, planning administrator for the Columbus Department of Development.
The commission's decision will be considered by Building and Zoning Services, Wheeler said.
Yet, the vote set a portentous tone because the commission still has a deciding vote on demolition of the old Maennerchor building and any new construction.
The Columbus City Schools district owns the property.
The Columbus Landmarks Foundation and German Village Society both have expressed opposition to the project, urging preservation of the old Maennerchor building.
Niehaus said that is a financially unreasonable position, given the condition of the building.
The Maennerchor has since moved to the German Heritage House, 976 S. High St., a building directly north of the old property.
Galbreath Properties wants to build 3 1/2-story, 18-unit condominium complex on the site.
The Maennerchor wants to build a 2,200-square-foot addition directly north of the Heritage House.
Representatives of both entities have asked the Brewery District Commission to table votes on design plans as facade adjustments are made.
"Sometimes you have to wait," Niehaus said.