Downtown Columbus property owner Edgar Chancellor made a decision a couple of years ago to take a postage stamp piece of property at 15 11th St. and transform it.
That transformation from a tiny parking lot to a three-story residential and retail building is almost complete as the first tenants start moving in this week.
“The reason I did it was the parking lot got to be such a pain in the neck,” Chancellor said Tuesday morning. “It was too small to mean much and wasn’t big enough to really manage.”
The end result is four apartments, two on each of the top floors. All four of those two- and one-bedroom units rented before construction was complete, Chancellor said.
The bottom floor will be retail and Chancellor is still looking for a tenant.
“We got real close to a deal with two or three restaurants,” he said. “I would say a lot of folks are circling right now, but it is not rented.”
The new building is in the middle of 11th Street between Broadway and First Avenue, a prime downtown location. It had been used as a side entrance to Chancellor’s, a men’s clothing store once owned by Chancellor and his family.
Architect Scott Allen with 2WR Partners said it wasn’t a problem working in the tight space created by the adjacent buildings and the Columbus Bank and Trust parking garage.
“We are used to working in tight spaces,” he said. “I think the constraints were a good thing. We were able to use them to our advantage. ... We were able to do what Edgar wanted to do, which was to compliment the other 19th century structures in that area.”
The building was constructed by Thayer Bray Construction and was done in about nine months, Chancellor said. A walkway connects to the CB&T parking deck at the corner of 11th and First Avenue.
“I can’t say enough about how CB&T has worked with us on this,” Chancellor said.