A key commercial piece of the Columbus apartment development known as The Rapids is starting to fall into place, with the owners of Trevioli Italian Kitchen, a popular restaurant on Blackmon Road, now preparing to take a 5,200-square-foot space on the northeast end of the downtown complex facing TSYS.
“We’ll have a lounge on one side, and the kitchen and dining room on the other side,” said Sanjay Choudhury, the Columbus businessman who co-owns the existing Trevioli restaurant on the city’s north side with chef Trevor Morris.
The partners have been searching downtown for a spot to open an eatery. They said it should be sometime next summer, perhaps in June or July, when the new restaurant makes its debut very near the Chattahoochee RiverWalk.
“I think that will be a great spot for us. It’s a nice corner. The pedestrian bridge goes across the river to the Phenix City side, so we’re facing that. It’s a better spot for us because all of the people are right there,” Choudhury said of Trevioli Downtown.
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“People can come in for lunch or dinner,” he said. “After hours, there will be happy hours and we’ll have a nice lounge separate from the dining area. We’ll have music.”
Morris, who got his start in a storage unit on Tower Road in north Columbus, cooking Italian dishes and handmade pastas for loyal patrons, said he likes the “old school feel” of the downtown area, with its older architecture and how the area is now growing. Choudhury said the success of the river’s whitewater rafting attraction and the development of more apartments and hotels make this an attractive moment to enter downtown.
Pace Halter, president of W.C. Bradley’s Real Estate Division, said Monday there is about 16,000 square feet of space at The Rapids earmarked for restaurants and retail along the north side of the structure adjacent to the corporate headquarters of credit-card processing firm TSYS. He called the space “undefined,” meaning it will be able to accommodate various designs and tenants.
“We have gone ahead and put in grease traps on both sides” of the building, he said. “Both sides have ventilation for hood vents all the way up through the roof. We’ve given ourselves, hopefully, maximum flexibility and (what goes in the development) will be driven by demand more than anything else.”
The Rapids is a 226-unit apartment complex located between the 13th Street Bridge and the TSYS complex. Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie, which has a Columbus office, is the general contractor for the $52 million project that, aside from the restaurant and retail space, will include a swimming pool, 300 parking spaces and scenic views of the river and the city’s downtown area.
Work on The Rapids started in the summer of 2017 and has progressed steadily since. Halter said the contractor should turn a portion of the apartment units over to his company by late February or early March, with the first residents moving in shortly thereafter.
As more portions of the complex open every month to six weeks, residents will be allowed to move into the development until it is filled. Rents should run from $900 monthly for smaller units to more than $3,000 per month for larger apartments that have high ceilings and windows, and premium views of the river and downtown, said Halter, calling the pricier apartments “definitely very special.”
The Rapids is the second major downtown residential development along the river by the W.C. Bradley Co. Just south of the new complex is the Eagle & Phenix, a complex converted from a former textile mill that includes 90 apartments and 83 condo units, all of which have done very well in terms of occupancy as the downtown area has blossomed in recent years.