Dublin purchasing eight North Riverview Street lots to redevelop or repurpose

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
The city of Dublin is buying eight parcels on both sides of North Riverview Street, just west of the Scioto River and just north of Bridge Street, for $1.95 million to continue the development of the Bridge Street District.

The city of Dublin is buying eight parcels on both sides of North Riverview Street, just west of the Scioto River and just north of Bridge Street, for $1.95 million to continue the development of the Bridge Street District.

Two parcels are nestled between the Scioto River and North Riverview Street; one has a residence and the other is vacant.

Six others, those between North Riverview Street and North Blacksmith Lane, farther to the west, have a house on them.

The unoccupied houses could be refurbished according to the standards of Dublin’s historic district or they could be demolished and new structures rebuilt, according to city officials.

That determination would be made by an advisory committee that would report to Dublin City Council “at certain checkpoints,” City Manager Dana McDaniel said.

This map shows the eight parcels Dublin plans to purchase for $1.95 million.

Multiple sellers approached the city about the possibility of selling the parcels, said Lindsay Weisenauer, a public-affairs officer for Dublin.

“Staff believes the acquisition of these parcels will further the implementation of the Bridge Street District Area Plan,” Weisenauer said.

The Historic District of Dublin has been the site of several changes in recent years, with the Bridge Park development and new Dublin branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library constituting two major changes to the area.

The two parcels on the east side of North Riverview Street would enhance Riverside Crossing Park, and the six parcels on the west side of North Riverview Street include houses that potentially hold significant historical value to the city, Weisenauer said.

All eight parcels total 2.8 acres.

To help determine how the parcels will be refurbished or redeveloped, McDaniel said, the city will send requests for proposal to developers for ideas.

Dublin City Council members Andy Keeler said he sees the proposal as “a huge opportunity.”

“Who wouldn’t want to live near the Bridge (Street) District?" he asked.

Council member Jane Fox said she sees it as an opportunity to create affordable housing, but that they must be owner-occupied.

Fox said she did not want the residences to be purchased and flipped.

Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes, also a member of council, cautioned that any future developer must establish clear timetables and that any modification to the residences be historically accurate.

“I’d rather demolish” the houses than they be refurbished “halfway,” said Groomes, who described the appearance of the area as “unsightly.”

Groomes also reiterated that modifications to the structure needed to meet the city’s standard, regardless of cost.

“I’m less concerned about (the houses) being affordable than being right,” Groomes said.

McDaniel said although the city should recover what it invested, he cautioned about placing too many limits on what developers might offer up.

The city needs “to be open-minded” in its approach and let potential developers “be creative," McDaniel said.

The seven-member advisory committee is expected to be finalized “soon,” Weisenauer said.

It will include three staff members, two council members and one representative each from the city’s architectural-review board and historical society.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo