A historic building in Columbus' Brewery District that once faced the business end of a wrecking ball has a new lease on life.
Veridian Dynamics LLC, a group looking to preserve the building -- which the Franklin County Auditor's website lists as constructed in 1930 and was intended as the home for the Columbus Maennerchor singing society -- purchased it from the Columbus City Schools in February for $527,000.
Veridian plans to give the 10,700-square-foot building at 966 S. High St., called the Good Haus, to the Jefferson Avenue Center, which owns and operates historic and newly developed properties that support a community of nonprofit organizations in central Ohio.
According to the Franklin County Auditor's Office, the land transfer had not been filed as of June 24.
Other community philanthropists who asked not to be identified committed up to $3 million for physical improvements, said Katharine Moore, executive director of the Jefferson Avenue Center, which is headquartered at 65 Jefferson Ave. in downtown Columbus.
A small addition to the structure will include an elevator that stops at all four floors, Moore said.
"It is really going to be a handsome space," she said.
The development team, consisting primarily of Lehman Daman Construction Services and Mode Architects, will spend the next year renovating the space, which is expected to open in fall 2020, Moore said.
No leases have been signed, but the plan is to open the space to two nonprofit organizations, she said.
"We've had lots of interest but we are not there," she said. "The interesting thing is there's a window of opportunity early in the design phase. That's what would be a real advantage to having a tenant who has committed early on."
The Columbus Maennerchor singing society is interested in leasing a small area in the revamped building for a rehearsal space and a history room, said Werner Niehaus, president of the singing society.
Niehaus further floated the idea of making a rooftop patio part of the Good Haus.
"We we would like to talk to them," he said of the Jefferson Avenue Center.
The Maennerchor organization moved to the adjacent German Heritage House, 976 High St., in 2011 after the Columbus City Schools purchased the Maennerchor building for $1.3 million to expand its Stewart Alternative Elementary School, Niehaus said.
The district initially had planned to raze the entire building, but instead only needed to demolish a portion of the 18,000-square-foot structure.
In January 2015, the Maennerchor unveiled the renovated German Heritage House.
Members donated an undisclosed amount of money and pitched in over the course of three years to update the structure, the singing society's officials told ThisWeek in January 2015.
In 2018, a proposal by Galbreath Properties to purchase the site from the school district and build 18 condominium units fell through when the developer's plans were rejected by the Brewery District Commission.