January 25, 2018

Library to sell Grant Oak Apartments

Trustees approve purchase agreement with The Pizzuti Companies

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) Board of Trustees today unanimously approved a purchase agreement with The Pizzuti Companies for the sale and redevelopment of the Grant Oak Apartments.

Joel S. Pizzuti, president of The Pizzuti Companies, said the development plan for the 1.25-acre site, located at South Grant Avenue and Oak Street just north of CML’s Main Library, will include ground-floor retail space and multi-family apartments in two five-story buildings.

“We’re extremely pleased to continue our work with Columbus Metropolitan Library,” Pizzuti said. “This is a key site in the Discovery District and will further cement the area as one of our city’s vibrant, walkable neighborhoods.”

The new development will include approximately 120 apartments ranging from studio to two-bedroom units. The two buildings will be separated by green space and a road from Oak Street leading to the entrance of Main Library’s underground parking garage. The building on the eastern portion of the site will have views of Topiary Park; the building to the west will have views of downtown Columbus. First-floor retail space on Grant Avenue will complement walk-up apartment units along Oak Street.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2018.

CML purchased the seven-building Grant Oak Apartments in 1992 with the intention of eventually expanding Main Library’s footprint northward. With the 2013 purchase of land just east of Main Library, CML could no longer justify owning the apartments. CML informed tenants of its plan to sell Grant Oak in a May 2016 letter and offered them month-to-month lease agreements ahead of the sale.

CML has worked to ensure that any sale and subsequent redevelopment of the apartments benefits library customers and adds to the vibrancy of the Discovery District.

The Pizzuti Companies is a recognized leader in the development, marketing and management of real estate. Pizzuti has developed more than 45 million square feet of institutional-quality residential, commercial, industrial, and hospitality projects throughout the United States. A leader in sustainable design practices, Pizzuti has completed build-to-suit and speculative construction projects in each of their major markets. Pizzuti also has considerable experience working with local governments in the development of creative public-private partnerships. Pizzuti Solutions LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary, boasts a staff with decades of combined public sector work experiences, and focuses extensively in the areas of public facilities, sports and recreation, cultural facilities, education and strategic planning.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.