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Columbus: Southside Developments and News

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Along with the 21st century businesses showing interest in Central Ohio, an existing 19th century industry on the city's south side also got a big boost this week:

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/09/03/manufacturer-planning-550-new-jobs-in-boost-for.html

 

http://www.columbusunderground.com/south-side-gaining-550-new-jobs-new-community-center

 

columbus-castings.jpg

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Along with the 21st century businesses showing interest in Central Ohio, an existing 19th century industry on the city's south side also got a big boost this week:

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/09/03/manufacturer-planning-550-new-jobs-in-boost-for.html

 

http://www.columbusunderground.com/south-side-gaining-550-new-jobs-new-community-center

 

columbus-castings.jpg

 

Back when I posted this in 2014, Columbus Castings (formerly known as Buckeye Steel) on the city's south side was riding high and looking to expand its workforce.  This week, the company dropped this bombshell:

 

Business First:  Columbus Castings' 799 jobs in jeopardy as buyer sought

 

Dispatch:  Columbus Castings likely to close if buyer not found

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Everyone's been wondering, "Why the turnaround with Columbus Castings".  Business First published an in-depth look at "why" in today's print edition.  Unfortunately, they don't allow their print articles to be viewed by non-subscribes anymore.  But here's the gist of it in this excerpt:

 

Columbus Castings' fate rose and fell with the oil and gas industry

By Tom Knox, Reporter - Columbus Business First

April 22, 2016, 8:21am EDT

 

The downturn in the oil and gas industry has hammered eastern Ohio since late 2014.  Now its impact has shifted from Appalachia to Columbus.  Part of Columbus Castings’ resurgence was tied to the renewed rise of the rail industry, for which the south side steel foundry made undercarriages.  Now that appears to be over, after officials this week notified nearly 800 workers of an impending closure.

 

When the company’s private-equity owners announced a planned doubling of its 550-employee base in September 2014, oil prices averaged just under $100 a barrel. The U.S. was pumping oil and gas from deposits long thought economically unattainable.  It needed to be sent afar from rural areas, and rail benefited.  So did Columbus Castings.  Indeed, the industry had “a seemingly unending appetite for crude oil tank cars and frac sand covered hoppers,” as noted by a railroad trade magazine.

 

However, oil prices soon tumbled, traditional powerhouse oil producers in the Gulf region didn’t hold back production, and supply outstripped demand.  Last month oil prices averaged just over $37 a barrel.  Rail cars that had carried oil and natural gas across the country stopped their trips.  Those macro-level economics are now impacting Columbus Castings, which faces the likely prospect of closing this summer unless it finds a buyer.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/04/22/columbus-castings-fate-rose-and-fell-with-the-oil.html

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A little more surrounding the Columbus Castings news from Business First...

 

Columbus Castings needs a savior, but Worthington Industries won't be it

By Tom Knox, Reporter - Columbus Business First

April 22, 2016, 2:01pm EDT

 

Worthington Industries Inc. owned Columbus Castings for nearly two decades, when the south side foundry was known by its longtime moniker Buckeye Steel.  ...  Now Columbus Castings' current owners are looking to sell or shut down.  A Columbus Castings official this week said the company is in talks with a potential buyer, but it's unknown who it is and how the serious talks are.

 

But playing savior is not in the cards for Worthington Industries, a global metals processor that ran the Parsons Avenue plant from 1980 to February 1999.  "It was a good 20-year partnership, but it does not fit our present-day portfolio," Worthington Industries spokeswoman Cathy Lyttle said in an email.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/04/22/columbus-castings-needs-a-savior-but-worthington.html

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More Columbus Castings news (bankruptcy phase):

 

Columbus Castings parent files for bankruptcy

By Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 5:44 PM

 

The fate of Columbus Castings, including a potential sale to a new owner, is in the hands of a bankruptcy court, with no timetable for resolution.

 

The South Side foundry's parent company, Constellation Enterprises, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late on Monday in a Delaware court.  The move follows mass layoffs by the company last week that have left 23 workers at a plant that recently had about 800.

 

On Tuesday, Columbus Castings said it has received a letter of intent from an unspecified company that is interested in buying the foundry as part of the bankruptcy process and resuming operations.  In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, a company is seeking to restructure and manage its debt.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2016/05/17/columbus-castings-files-for-bankruptcy.html

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Bankruptcy looks like long road for Columbus Castings

By Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch

Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 6:04 AM

 

The parent company of Columbus Castings had its first day in bankruptcy court on Wednesday, the start of what experts say is a process that likely will take months to resolve.  Constellation Enterprises, the parent of the Columbus foundry, was able to get a judge's approval for interim financing to continue paying some bills while the company works through the process of trying to sell its assets.

 

In court filings, Constellation and its affiliates presented a schedule that would lead to a sale within 75 days.  But any schedule at the point is subject to change for any number of reasons, said A.C. Strip, a Columbus attorney who specializes in companies in financial distress.

( . . . )

On Tuesday, Columbus Castings said that it has received a letter of intent from one potential buyer.  Sources familiar with the situation have told the Dispatch that the buyer is Stellex Capital Management, a New York private-equity firm.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2016/05/19/1-bankruptcy-looks-like-long-road-columbus-castings.html

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Update from Business First:

 

Columbus Castings sale is off, creditors say

By Tom Knox, Reporter - Columbus Business First

Updated: June 13, 2016, 3:22pm EDT

 

The sale of Columbus Castings' idled South Side foundry, which just a few weeks ago seemed imminent, has been called off, according to creditors involved in the company's bankruptcy case.

( . . . )

In bankruptcy documents filed Monday, however, a committee of creditors ... said they've been told the deal is off.  "The committee was informed by the debtors that they will not seek approval of, or proceed with, the private sale option and will instead only seek approval of the bidding sale option at the June 15, 2016 hearing," the group said in a filing.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/06/13/columbus-castings-sale-is-off-creditors-say.html

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^ Welp.  Maybe this isn't bad news...

 

Columbus Castings auction coming as another interested party shows up

By Tom Knox, Reporter - Columbus Business First

Updated: June 15, 2016, 5:45pm EDT

 

The planned private sale of Columbus Castings fell through this week, but it's not as dire as it sounds.  As I reported Monday, creditors of the South Side foundry’s parent company said in bankruptcy filings that a purchase by an undisclosed company was no longer imminent.  Instead, Columbus Castings could be sold at auction.

 

Constellation Enterprises, the parent company, is asking the federal bankruptcy court for an auction, with a deadline for bids on July 11 and the auction taking place three days later.  The deal would close Aug. 22, if the court approves the proposed timeline.

 

The auction ... means other interested parties have come forward since the bankruptcy filing.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/06/15/columbus-castings-auction-slated-for-july.html

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Nevermind about that auction. It didn't occur yesterday:  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2016/08/09/columbus-castings-auction.html

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/08/10/columbus-castings-auction-delayed-with-no-new-date.html

 

I think I'll stop posting any Columbus Castings auction updates -- until one actually happens!

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The auction is done.  And it looks like this is the end of the road for Columbus Castings:

 

Winning bid for Columbus Castings points to foundry closing

By Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch

Friday, August 12, 2016 - 5:35 PM

 

A winner has been declared in the auction for Columbus Castings, a result that likely is bad news for people who want to see the foundry reopen.  Late this afternoon, a company affiliated with Reich Brothers Inc. was named the winner with a bid of $29.7 million, coming out $1.6 million ahead of the next-highest bidder, according to a court filing.

 

The results will go before a judge for approval Tuesday in bankruptcy court in the state of Delaware.

 

On Thursday, the Dispatch cited sources familiar with the case who said Reich Brothers was the leading bidder and that the company was planning to strip the foundry's assets and sell them rather than reopen.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2016/08/12/1-columbus-castings-winner-declared.html

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Columbus Castings' new owner planning mixed-use development on the site

 

castings.jpg?w=650

 

The new owner of Columbus Castings plans to turn the foundry site into "an environmentally clean mixed-use redevelopment."

 

Reich Brothers LLC, which agreed last week to buy the plant for $30.3 million, won't keep it running but says it plans to employ some workers during the transition. Early in the bidding it indicated it could keep on 30 employees at the biggest single-site foundry in the U.S.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/08/17/columbus-castings-new-owner-planning-mixed-use.html

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Columbus Castings update: Land sells for $2.6M

 

The land where Columbus Castings stood for decades has sold for $2.6 million.  Reich Brothers, the New York company that purchased the steel foundry out of bankruptcy last month in a deal valued at $30.3 million, bought the 1.82 acre property this month, according to property records.

 

Early plans for the site at 2211 Parsons Ave. include a mix of industrial and retail use, though last month Co-CEO Jonathan Reich said "we have a long road before the shovel hits the ground.”

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/09/29/columbus-castings-update-land-sells-for-2-6m.html

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South side getting boost as Columbus Realtors Foundation makes largest grant in its history

 

south-side-renaissance-map*750xx1200-675-0-63.jpg

 

An effort to rehab vacant and blighted homes on the city's south side is getting a big boost.

 

The Columbus Realtors Foundation announced the biggest grant its history – $300,000 that will go to the South Side Renaissance, an initiative to turn 45 homes into affordable rental properties.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2017/02/02/south-side-getting-boost-as-columbus-realtors.html

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36045114566_57be44e7d9_z_d.jpg

 

Fortner Upholstering moves to South Side, bringing jobs and space for creative tenants

 

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170718/fortner-upholstering-moves-to-south-side-bringing-jobs-and-space-for-creative-tenants

 


An 88-year-old Columbus maker of upholstered furniture has moved into a large complex of buildings on the South Side at 2000 S. High Street.  Fortner Upholstering sold two buildings near John Glenn Airport and moved into this facility to consolidate and expand its manufacturing operations.  Fortner is using more than half of this 200,000 square-foot facility for its operations and is leasing the remaining space to Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, which is using it to build and store sets for its productions.

 

Above is an aerial view of the complex of buildings at 2000 S. High Street, some of which date to the late 1800's.  The facility is also adjacent to the former Columbus Castings/Buckeye Steel foundry site.

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Another bit of industrial development news for the south side.  On Monday, City Council approved a tax abatement deal for Franklin International to build a $3.4 million, 12,300 square-foot R&D lab at 145 Hosack Street.

 

Below is an aerial view showing 145 Hosack Street.  I also highlighted the former Columbus Castings/Buckeye Steel property at 2211 Parsons Avenue (outlined in blue) and the previous mentioned Fortner Upholstering property at 2000 S. High Street (outlined in orange):

 

35949659242_6834bcd979_b_d.jpg

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New Housing Development, Workforce Training Center Opens on South Side

 

A ribbon cutting ceremony today marked the official opening of the Residences at Career Gateway, a 58-unit affordable housing development on the South Side.

 

Residents have already moved into the 14 townhomes on the site, while the 44 apartments in the main building will start filling up this weekend. Amenities include a fitness center, a community room with a kitchen, an outdoor playground, and a children’s obstacle course.

 

More below:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-housing-development-workforce-training-center-opens-on-south-side-bw1

 

timthumb.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.columbusunderground.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F08%2FResidence_Career_Gateway.jpg&q=90&w=650&zc=1&

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South Side Project Latest to Use Shipping Containers for Housing

 

timthumb.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.columbusunderground.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F09%2FContainer_Whittier_1.jpg&q=90&w=650&zc=1&

 

Brett zumFelde and Naomi Sakuma want to turn a small vacant lot on the South Side into the next shipping container development in Columbus.

 

The couple closed on the 34 by 110-foot parcel in April and plan to place two shipping containers on it, each providing about 320 square feet of living space. A deck in between the two structures will lead to small porches in front and private patios in the back. Plans also call for a rear carport topped with solar panels, and a third shipping container in between the parking spaces that would be used for storage.

 

More below:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/south-side-project-latest-to-use-shipping-containers-for-housing

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Residences at Career Gateway brings work force housing to south side

 

Another milestone has been logged in the ongoing work to revitalize the city's south side.

 

The Residences at Career Gateway, 755 E. Whittier St., has opened as a workforce housing and training center community that's a public/private partnership. It's the latest Low Income Housing Tax Credit initiative of Community Development for All People (CDAP).

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2017/09/15/first-look-residences-at-career-gateway-brings.html

 

 

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Residences at Career Gateway brings work force housing to south side

 

I love the intent and the mission, but I don't understand why the existing historic school building couldn't have been saved and retrofitted as part of this project. The architecture of the new buildings is horrendous and the build quality is as cheap as they come. It's a shame.

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Chase donates $1.5 million toward South Side housing

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Updated: September 21, 2017 at 9:05 PM

 

A $1.5-million grant will pay to renovate 75 rental units on the city’s South Side over the next five years.

 

The money from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation is going to Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families initiative, which will redevelop single-family and duplexes with the nonprofit Community Development for All People.  Both groups have been working together to redevelop and build housing on the South Side for years.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170921/chase-donates-15-million-toward-south-side-housing

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Business First:  Rev. Edgar's South Side mission: Community Development for All People is changing the neighborhood for good

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2017/11/02/rev-edgars-south-side-mission-community.html

 

Friday's print edition of Business First ran a cover story about the Community Development for All People, a group that focuses on South Side development projects.  The full article is only available to subscribers or those who sign up for a free trial view at their website.  But here's a brief history about the Community Development for All People (CDAP) from the article plus a chart and map of the CDAP projects on the South Side:

 

-- In 1999, the United Methodist Church for All People launched a retail operation along Parsons Avenue called the Free Store.  The store did well and led to Community Development for All People being formed in 2003.  CDAP completed their first development project - a small duplex - in 2005.  Since then CDAP has moved up to larger projects and is partnering with the City of Columbus and Nationwide Children's Hospital on larger development initiatives.

 

-- CDAP partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital for the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families Initiative.  This initiative focuses on the neighborhood located south of the Children's Hospital campus along Livingston Avenue.

 

-- CDAP partnered with the City and has been joined the Grote, Weiler, Kelley, Crane and Yoakum families and groups such as the Columbus Foundation, United Way, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County for the South Side Renaissance project.  This initiative seeks to revitalize the neighborhood around the Reeb Avenue Center recently built in a historic school building by the City.  This area is shown on the attached map.

 

37505922064_acf0a4dbc2_o_d.png

24364186448_841debe661_o_d.png

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38958468915_d9780a51fc_z_d.jpg

 

Above is an aerial view of the former non-profit Columbus Community Hospital that closed and later re-opened as the for-profit Select Specialty Hospital at 1430 S. High Street.  Now, a below linked article reports that a 55-bed treatment center offering immediate care for overdose patients has opened at that location last Friday.

 

The Addiction and Stabilization Center, operated by Maryhaven, opened on two floors in the Select Specialty Hospital building at 1430 S. High in Merion Village.  Officials say this is a first-of-its-kind effort to relieve pressure on hospital emergency rooms and provide better chances for recovery.  Paramedics responding to overdose incidents will be able to transport patients directly to this new center:

 

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180118/emergency-overdose-treatment-center-to-open-friday

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Demolition permits filed for Columbus Castings complex

By Tristan Navera – Staff Reporter, Columbus Business First

Updated: January 22, 2018, 3:29pm

 

The new owner of the former Columbus Castings plant on the south side wants to knock down at least part of the labyrinthine complex.  Reich Brothers has filed for permits to demolish up to 664,000 square feet of commercial building space at the site of the old steel foundry at 2211 Parsons Avenue.

 

"At this point, just demo and clean-up," was how Reich Brothers co-CEO Jonathan Reich described the project in an email.

 

He said it remains to be determined how much of the complex of buildings would ultimately come down. ... Reich said in 2016 he envisioned transforming the site into a mixed-use development, and that the company was exploring a mix of industrial and retail uses for the site.

 

MORE: https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/01/22/demolition-permits-filed-for-columbus-castings.html

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Columbus Castings demolition will make way for future development

By Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch

Posted: March 31, 2018 at 5:00 AM

 

Demolition is starting at the complex formerly occupied by Columbus Castings, a key step in the redevelopment of the property that was a foundry for more than a century.  The property’s owners have obtained permits to clear the seven main buildings, according to city records.  As of Friday, workers were at the site preparing for the demolition and doing work inside the buildings, but the buildings remained standing.

 

Reich Brothers Inc. bought the complex in bankruptcy court in 2016, a few months after the prior owner had ceased operations and laid off about 800 employees.  The company, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, buys and sells industrial properties.  Previously, it has said it plans to turn the Columbus Castings property into a development that could have industrial, retail or other uses.

 

“I think a mixed-use situation would be nice,” said Curtis Davis, zoning chairman for the South Side Area Commission, the neighborhood group that advises Columbus city government.  One important factor is the environmental cleanup of the property.  Davis said he was told by Reich Brothers that the property is less polluted than originally thought, which could lead to a faster process.

 

The foundry complex is gigantic, with 44 acres under roof, and many more acres on the surrounding grounds.  Reich Brothers has not yet determined whether every building will be demolished. ... Jonathan Reich, the co-CEO, said in an email that the demolition process likely will last for the rest of 2018.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/business/20180331/columbus-castings-demolition-will-make-way-for-future-development

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The former Buckeye Steel/Columbus Castings site was also mentioned in a recent Business First article about the tremendous amount of warehouse construction going on in Central Ohio.  The article mentioned that despite the huge amount of square footage coming on-line, Central Ohio warehouses still have historic low vacancies.  This in turn could make other sites attractive for warehousing uses - like the 70-acre Buckeye Steel/Columbus Castings site, where the new owner is said to be looking to land warehouse users in its redevelopment:

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/05/03/columbus-warehouse-frenzy-showing-little-sign-of.html

 


Below is view showing the Buckeye Steel/Columbus Castings site along Parsons Avenue with the downtown skyline in the distance:

42419647421_990051b082_b_d.jpg

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^The work to untangle Jackson Pike from the ramps isn’t scheduled for a couple years, however; it is a separate project than the l-71 mainline widening.

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Meh, call me crazy but I'm just not that excited about that site becoming a bunch of warehouses.  I understand the logic behind it, I just think it has so much more potential.

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Meh, call me crazy but I'm just not that excited about that site becoming a bunch of warehouses.  I understand the logic behind it, I just think it has so much more potential.

 

Think outside the box a bit, warehouses equal jobs and an economic boost to a neighborhood that sure could use it.

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