Cassady, Livingston developers promise to work with Bexley residents
Developers of residential and commercial buildings planned for 420 North Cassady Ave. and 2300 E. Livingston Ave. say they will work with residents to ensure the developments complement the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Cassady development is a joint venture between the Bexley Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), the city’s nonprofit development entity, and The Community Builders (TCB), a national nonprofit housing developer. TCB also will be the property-management company for the Livingston Avenue development, which is owned by Columbus resident Sally Woodyard, according to BZAP’s records.
Upon receiving approval Feb. 26 from the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning (BZAP), the developers agreed to engage with the community to address concerns that residents raised about traffic and parking congestion and a potentially negative impact on property values.
Attorney David Hodge, who represents the developers of the Livingston site, said the developers will work with the South Bexley Neighborhood Association to address the concerns of residents on Francis Avenue and other streets near the development.
“It’s a great way to hold feet to the fire and to mandate community engagement, to be on hand to mitigate and address any issues that would arise in perpetuity,” Hodge said.
In addition to engaging with the community, BZAP approved the developers’ application to build a 3-story structure with residential uses on all three floors with the following conditions:
• The building’s parking lot will allow no more than 30 cars
• The final design must be approved by the city’s Architectural Review Board
• The development’s landscaping plan must be approved by the city’s Tree and Public Gardens Commission
BZAP approved the Cassady site as a 3-story structure with retail space on the first floor and eight residential units on both the second and third floors.
The approval also included a promise from the developers to engage with the community as well as a parking-management plan and working with the city to determine where to place a crosswalk.
Nicole Boyer, senior development manager in TCB’s Columbus office, said the organization has had conversations with residents in the surrounding neighborhood and plan to continue community outreach.
“As part of that ongoing public outreach, we’ll come back to the community and have a conversation with them once we have a contractor selected,” Boyer said. “There will be a chance to ask questions and… get an understanding of what is going to happen and when.”
CIC President Nate Green said the Cassady site, which was formerly a gas station, will require environmental remediation at an estimated cost of $100,000 to $150,000.
“The environmental concerns onsite are very limited. There’s some dirt that we need to clean up. The tanks that were on the site for years are no longer on the site,” Green said. “We’re going to hire a firm that's going to follow all (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) regulations.”
Green said the CIC closed on the purchase of the property March 12 at a cost of $425,000.
Green added that both projects are expected to begin in the spring of 2022.