–The Columbus Dispatch | Steve Wartenberg
The Columbus Buggy Works closed 101 years ago, a victim of the newfangled, horseless-carriage technology sweeping the country then.
But now, one of the long-vacant buildings of the works on W. Nationwide Boulevard is set to undergo a $10.5 million renovation and reopen as a modern office building.
It’s part of a new national trend: downtown revitalization and urban infill.
On Tuesday, Nationwide Realty Investors is to present plans for its building at 400 W. Nationwide Blvd., on the western edge of the Arena District, to the Downtown Commission, whose approval is needed.
“The building actually has two parts,” said Nationwide Realty spokeswoman Tina Guegold.
The first section was completed in 1902. Later, a concrete-block structure was added to the original timber frame to create the current building, she said.
“Our proposal is to demolish a large portion of the concrete structure and renovate the earlier, timber-framed structure.”
The completed office building would have 108,000 square feet of leasable space on four floors, about the same amount as a larger grocery store. There also would be covered parking for 92 vehicles and space for 148 more behind the building.
“We hope to get started this summer and have it completed in about a year,” Guegold said.
The Buggyworks project will be a speculative build — that is, a project begun without signed tenants.
Capitol Square Ltd., the commercial real-estate arm of The Dispatch Printing Company, publisher of The Dispatch, is Nationwide Realty’s partner in the Arena District and owns a 20 percent stake in the Buggyworks project. The Buggyworks Loft Condos next door at 448 W. Nationwide Blvd. is not a Nationwide Realty project.
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Photo Credit: The Columbus Dispatch | Adam Cairns