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Columbus: Downtown: Atlas Building Renovation

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Anchor mulls apartments as way to save Atlas Building from bank

Business First of Columbus - by Brian R. Ball

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

 

A local real estate company hopes to turn a high-profile downtown building into commercial space and apartments even as the bank moves to foreclose on the property.  Two affiliates of the Anchor Cos. investment and property management firm were hit with an $8 million judgment April 7 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court against the 12-story Atlas Building at 8 E. Long St. and a 100-space parking lot next door.

 

Anchor partner Jason Gunsorek said he and other partners believe that rather than surrender the properties, the best way to secure refinancing for the two-year loans taken out in early 2008 is to renovate the building into a mix of commercial space on the first three floors and 104 apartments on floors four through 12.  Gunsorek said Anchor’s Atlas Partners LLC affiliate always had contemplated apartments or a hotel in the Atlas Building as the best use of the 106-year-old property.  Anchor bought the building and parking lot for $8.9 million, capping a $25 million investment in the central business district between Gay and Spring streets that began in September 2005.

 

MORE: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2010/05/03/story11.html

 

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Atlas' newest owner wants to turn it into apartments

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 

By Marla Matzer Rose, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

The historic Atlas Building has changed hands for the second time in three months, with its new owner planning a multimillion-dollar renovation to turn the Downtown office building, at 8 E. Long St., into apartments.

 

Schiff Capital Group closed a deal on Friday to acquire the building, erected in 1905 and designed by architect Frank L. Packard, and its adjacent 130-space surface parking lot from Carey Realty Investments.

 

Michael Schiff, principal of Schiff Capital, said it likely will cost about $15 million to renovate the 12-story building with marble lobbies and detailed stonework into 110 to 120 one- and two-bedroom units.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2011/03/02/atlas-newest-owner-wants-to-turn-it-into-apartments.html?sid=101

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Good news! With Downtown apartment occupancy at 95% but an oversupply of empty condos, these owners have put together a plan that should result in a much easier-to-obtain revenue stream.

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Atlas' newest owner wants to turn it into apartments

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 

By Marla Matzer Rose, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

The historic Atlas Building has changed hands for the second time in three months, with its new owner planning a multimillion-dollar renovation to turn the Downtown office building, at 8 E. Long St., into apartments.

 

Schiff Capital Group closed a deal on Friday to acquire the building, erected in 1905 and designed by architect Frank L. Packard, and its adjacent 130-space surface parking lot from Carey Realty Investments.

 

Michael Schiff, principal of Schiff Capital, said it likely will cost about $15 million to renovate the 12-story building with marble lobbies and detailed stonework into 110 to 120 one- and two-bedroom units.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2011/03/02/atlas-newest-owner-wants-to-turn-it-into-apartments.html?sid=101

More about the historic Atlas Building in Downtown Columbus.  The Ohio Department of Development announces last week that the Atlas Building will be receiving a tax credit award from the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program.  Below is the article from Business First:

 

Atlas Building rehab among 3 in Central Ohio to get historic tax credit

Business First - by Jeff Bell

Thursday, July 28, 2011, 2:16pm EDT

 

The $15 million Atlas Building rehab will receive a $3 million tax credit.  Built in 1905, the building at 8 E. Long Street will be converted from offices to 100 market-rate apartment units.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2011/07/28/atlas-building-rehab-among-3-in.html

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Updating the previous posts about renovation plans for the 12-story Atlas Building in Downtown Columbus:

 

Atlas Building lands $300K Clean Ohio grant

Business First

Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 9:41am EST

 

A $16 million project to redevelop the historic Atlas Building downtown got a $300,000 leg up from the state.  . . .  Last summer, the project also received a $3 million Historic Preservation Tax Credit from the Ohio Department of Development.

 

Schiff Capital Group bought the 107-year-old building last year for about $3.5 million after two other developers failed in their plans to redevelop it into a residential project.  At the time, real estate investor Michael Schiff said he likely would partner with a developer to put up to 110 apartments in the building.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2012/01/31/atlas-building-lands-300k-clean-ohio.html

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It seems that most good things take longer than anticipated to get underway.  And that's certainly been the case with the renovation of the historic 12-story Atlas Building in downtown Columbus.  But according to the Business First report excerpted below, it is going to start next month.  Unless you are a paid subscriber, you'll have to wait one month to read the full article.  But the excerpt hits the highlights and gives the most relevant information for the building's renovation. 

 

My only criticism of the excellent Business First report is the use of the word 'unloved' in the title.  The Atlas Building might be one of the most beloved buildings in downtown, second only to the LeVeque Tower.  I know it is with me.  Mostly because it's a beautiful building - but also because it has some family history with me.  My father worked in an insurance office located on the top 12th floor of the Atlas Building.  I can remember him taking me there a few times when I was around 9 or 10 years old.  Even at that age, I was impressed by the magnificent marble and terra cotta entrance lobby.  And especially with the original brass trimmed elevators.  My father still talks about how the Atlas Building was his and most of his co-workers favorite office location - and how disappointed they were when the office moved to Worthington. (But the office manager lived in Worthington, so you know how that goes.)

 

The below photo from the article shows the new owner in the ornate lobby, which apparently is unchanged from its original appearance.  Much like the Atlas Building's exterior is largely unchanged from its 1905 opening.

 

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‘Unloved’ Atlas Building getting new life as apartments

By Brian R. Ball, Staff reporter

Business First - August 16, 2013, 6:00am EDT

 

When developer Michael Schiff took over the historic Atlas Building in early 2011, the nearly empty office high-rise in downtown Columbus had been mired in financial distress. ... But transforming the 12-story building at the corner of East Long and North High streets by developing 98 apartments and street-level retail has proceeded at anything but double-time pace.  The 108-year-old property had environmental troubles that needed to be cleaned up, and Schiff and his partners debated whether to build more housing on a parking lot to the north that came with the purchase.

 

Now the developer and his partners are ready.  Construction is expected to start in September and the apartments are expected to be ready 13 months later. ... “It’s a pretty complicated project,” Schiff, the principal of Schiff Capital Group, said of the $19.5 million transformation initiative, “but we were confident we could get it done.”

 

The Atlas Building was among the first skyscrapers that began to rise in Columbus during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Erected for the former Columbus Savings & Trust Bank, it was among the works of Frank Packard, a prolific and highly regarded architect during that era.  The Atlas Building, along with the Brunson Building at 145 N. High St. and the Seneca Hotel property at 367 E. Broad St. that now serves as apartments, went up during an age when steel construction allowed developers to build high on crowded urban sites.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/print-edition/2013/08/16/unloved-1904-high-rise-getting-a-new.html

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Nice series of photos of the Atlas Building interior at the Dispatch site.  They also have a good listing of Frank Packard designed buildings in Columbus and Central Ohio to go along with the article:

 

Century-old Atlas Building bringing more upscale living Downtown

By Steve Wartenberg, The Columbus Dispatch

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 10:39 AM

 

Work will start soon on the $20 million renovation project to convert the 1905 office building into a 98-unit, upscale apartment building with retail space on either side of the lobby.  Ruscilli Construction is the general contractor, and work is expected to be completed by the fall of 2014.  “We’re taking it down to the studs,” local developer Michael Schiff said of the second through 12th floors, which have been vacant for about four years.  “Everything inside the apartments will be brand new, but the building will still have all that old-time charm.”

(. . .)

The Atlas was designed by Frank Packard, whom Robert Loversidge, CEO of Schooley Caldwell Associates and the architect for the renovation project described as the city’s preeminent building designer from the late 1880s through the first two decades of the ensuing century.  It was originally built for the Columbus Savings & Trust. ... Packard’s design followed a tried-and-true pattern that can be seen in many of the city’s first tall buildings. “It has an elaborate base,” Loversidge said of the first three floors. “Then there’s a simple, shaft center, topped by the most fabulous cornices of any building in Columbus.”

(. . .)

While impressed by the design, it was the price — about $2.5 million, plus $500,000 to cover back taxes — that sealed the Atlas deal for Schiff and his partners.  The renovation project will also receive about $6.4 million in Ohio and federal historic-preservation tax credits. ... Completion of the project will mean more residents living along this section of N. High Street, extending the Downtown revitalization a little farther north. “It’s critical we fill in the gaps along High Street, especially between Gay Street and Nationwide (Boulevard),” said Michael Brown, a member of the Downtown Commission and the Experience Columbus director of public affairs.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2013/09/29/an-old-time-charm.html

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More Atlas Building renovation website news.  They have a facebook page that is tracking the renovation of the building at https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasBuilding.

 

It looks like interior demo work started in October.  They've got photo updates of the demo work from 10/31, 11/5 & 11/15 - as well as a bunch of historical photos of the building.  Really nice site.

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Here's a peek at some of The Atlas Building facebook photos from https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasBuilding:

 

Some of things that will not be changing during the Atlas Building renovation.  The magnificent exterior (close-up of the Long Street entrance):

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And the magnificent ground floor lobby:

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Some of things that will be changing during the Atlas Building renovation are the interiors from the 2nd floor up to the top 12th floor.  Partially to convert the 11 floors into the 98 apartment units and bring everything up to current code.  But also because this was their starting point:

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From the 80's fab office space back to the bones of the building:

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Upper floor demo views - 11-05-13

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Upper floor demo view - 11-15-13

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Larger versions of those photos are at The Atlas Building facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasBuilding

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Sounds like construction has wrapped up (at least on the residential portion), and that leasing is going very well at the Atlas Building. Should be completely full soon I'd bet!

 

So glad this building was saved and renovated. It's such a gem and adds a lot to this part of downtown.

 

New Apartments in Downtown's Atlas Building Leasing Up Quickly

 

It's been only a few weeks since tenants began moving into the newly renovated, historic Atlas Building Downtown, but already demand for some units has outstripped the available supply.

 

Several one and two bedroom floorplans are now completely leased, and many other have only a few units remaining.

 

Of the total 98 units - only 25 are still unspoken for and available for lease, according to leasing office representatives.

 

http://columbusight.com/2015/05/18/atlas-building-downtown-apartments-leasing-up-quickly/

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Historic downtown building getting small grocery store

By Brian R. Ball, Columbus Business First

Updated: July 8, 2015, 5:38pm EDT

 

The redeveloped Atlas Building downtown is having a strong early showing with leasing activity – and those who rent at the East Long Street property soon will have a grocery store on the ground floor.  Todd Schiff of the Robert Weiler Co. told me an upscale micro grocery tentatively dubbed “Grab-and-Go Fresh” will take 2,500 square feet in the building.

 

Schiff is the brother of Columbus developer Michael Schiff of Schiff Capital Group, the man behind the project that went into redevelopment mode nearly two years ago.  The project includes 6,500 square feet of street-level retail in the historic property.  The grocery will be located near the Long Street lobby entrance and will offer “fresh produce, a coffee bar and salads and sandwiches to go,” Todd Schiff wrote.  He declined to name the proprietor.

 

Michael Schiff told me 75 of the 98 New York-style apartment units have leased in the last three months or so, with about 50 of the units already occupied.  “It’s leasing up nicely,” he told me, “and we’re not even done with the construction.”  He expects that to wrap up by the end of July.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2015/07/historic-downtown-building-getting-a-grocery-store.html

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More about this from CU:

 

Micro Grocery Store Opening Downtown in The Atlas Building

By Walker Evans, Columbus Underground

July 9, 2015 - 10:47 am

 

Downtown residents, workers and visitors will soon have another new grocery store option, when a small square foot convenience-style shop opens inside The Atlas building at 8 East Long Street.  Ryan McGahan, National Marketing Director at Homestead America (the leasing management company at The Atlas) confirmed the news today.  Full details on the new 2,500 square foot store will be made available next week, but it is expected to focus on a mix of fresh and convenience items.

 

“Obviously this is great news,” said Marc Conte, Deputy Director at the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District.  “We’ve been on a retail recruitment kick for several years now, and generally we got a lot of interest from bars and restaurants.  So to see a non-bar-or-restaurant is wonderful.  I hope this bodes well for the other retail spots vacant up and down High Street.”

 

Located at the corner of High Street and Long Street, the new store is nearly equidistant — around a half mile, or a 10 minute walk — from both The North Market and The Hills Market Downtown, giving those on the north end of Downtown three different options for grocery shopping.

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/micro-grocery-store-opening-downtown-in-the-atlas-building

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In the Dispatch's article about the small grocery store, they hint at a second phase that would be located in the existing parking lot north of the Atlas Building along High Street:  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/07/09/atlas-building-to-be-home-to-corner-grocery.html

 

"The project has come along so well, in fact, that (the Atlas Building owner) is considering a second phase.  That would consist of a parking garage and retail space with close to 100 apartments above it on the parking lot behind the Atlas Building along N. High Street."

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