Expansive makeover plan for Broad and Hamilton grows

Expansive makeover plan for Broad and Hamilton grows

Whitehall and Continental Real Estate Cos. are fleshing out details of a transformation planned at the site of a crime-ridden apartment complex on East Broad Street and growing the scope of the $50 million project even before work begins.

Four months after the city said it would partner with the Columbus developer to knock down the 42-building Commons at Royal Landing slum, the partners are working to assemble adjacent properties fronting Hamilton Road to the east.

The Norton Crossing site is expected to total 23 to 25 acres, up from about 20 acres initially.

Norton Crossing Site Plan

“We encouraged the city to partner with us in buying the adjacent properties so that the entire 25 acres at the southwest corner of Broad and Hamilton will be a complete, clean, clear palette,” Continental Chairman Frank Kass told Columbus Business First. “Everything we put there will be uncompromised. We said, ‘Hey, we’ll do (the project), but we can’t really do it and have some of these adjacencies to have the kind of quality we want.’

“Driving south on Hamilton and west on Broad, the only thing you’re going to see is a great looking project,” he said.

The additional sites – a retail plaza at 61-91 S. Hamilton Road, a trio of apartment buildings at 35 S. Hamilton and a check cashing store at 4775 E. Broad St. – are expected to make the complex more accessible. Also, it will permit more commercial buildings to be included.

Whitehall is negotiating to acquire the shopping center, and Continental is working to put the apartment buildings under contract. The National Check Cashers, at Broad and Hamilton, would have to be acquired through the federal right-of-way acquisition process, which city officials said is not likely to happen before 2019.

“The city intends to make right-of-way and road improvements,” Mayor Kim Maggard told Business First ahead of a State of the City meeting to discuss the proposal and other community developments. “It will allow for redevelopment of … (the) entire corner of Broad and Hamilton. We’re very excited about that.”

Adds Kass: “The intersection of Hamilton Road and Broad Street is one of the more important, high-traffic intersections in Central Ohio.”

This article originally appeared in Columbus Business First.

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