Press Release

Connect Real Estate, GBX Group Announce Opening of Microliving @ Long and Front

Revamped Historic Buildings Offer Affordable Living, Add to Neighborhood Revitalization Efforts

COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 20, 2020 - Columbus-based Connect Real Estate and historic preservation real estate firm GBX Group LLC today announced the opening of Microliving @ Long and Front. This re-envisioned 37-unit residential property includes 6,400 square feet of street-level retail located in a prominent downtown location. The adaptive reuse was designed for affordable living, easy access to popular amenities, and high visibility along Long Street. 

Located in three historic buildings that were neglected for decades at the corner of Long and Front streets, the site encompasses the former Gaetz Music House and Ohio Finance Building and sits steps from the Arena District in downtown Columbus. Following on Connect Real Estate’s success with Microliving @ 260 S 4th Street, Long and Front makes bold statements with beautifully poured concrete floors, top-quality appliances and fixtures, and high ceilings. The project presents yet another attractive, cost-effective option for today's minimalist city dweller. 

Funded in part by a $2 million grant from the City of Columbus, this is the first property to leverage the city’s former Housing Works program. Connect Real Estate’s Brad DeHays says the project is an excellent example of how to incorporate existing infrastructure to balance price disparity in the competitive Columbus marketplace. 

"There's not enough affordable housing, period, which includes workforce housing for local residents who work downtown," said DeHays. “Rental rates for the micro, studio, and one-bedroom options at Long and Front will remain within 100- and 120-percent area median income for the next 15 years. That price point is especially attractive for workforce housing for our service industry individuals in the downtown area," he continued. 

"Our microliving concept maximizes square footage, and when combined with historic preservation incentives it has allowed us to create an affordable living solution that is in high demand in the area. It's a great product that provides people a spot to live and work nearby within this growing downtown district," added DeHays.

GBX CEO Drew Sparacia, whose company specializes in identifying and building incentive-based capital stacks for historic preservation projects, echoed DeHays' comments. 

"Urban areas across the country have reaped great rewards by leveraging historic preservation programs to rehabilitate iconic buildings and revitalize local neighborhoods. The historic real estate industry thrives on our ability to adaptively reuse historic buildings destined for demolition to create living spaces that reflect the richness of local culture, capitalize on street activity, and generate positive economic impact," said Sparacia. "GBX achieves these win-win scenarios that preserve historic buildings for future generations through collaborative developer and community partnerships. Our expertise in combining government-sponsored tools such as federal, state, and local historic tax credits and historic preservation easements make it possible to attract much-needed investment into rehabilitating formerly distressed neighborhoods."

The microliving development is the latest in a line of projects expected to revitalize the Long and Front area, including The Nicholas, an Edwards Urban Community opened last year at High and Gay streets. 

"The key to reigniting an urban area is to build a strong and diverse core of business and residents. That begins by attracting a population base to create foot traffic that drives add-on developments in the form of restaurants, retail shops, businesses, and more," said Michael Stevens, Director of Development, City of Columbus. "Connect Real Estate's new microliving complex is an exceptionally positive addition to the neighborhood because it creates a cost-friendly option for our workforce and preserves the historic fabric of our downtown."

To schedule a tour of Microliving @ Long and Front or for additional information contact: Erin Price @ 614-226-7676

About Connect Real Estate

Founded in 2007, Connect Real Estate specializes in management, development, construction and brokerage services for residential and commercial real estate. A significant portion of Connect Real Estate’s portfolio includes revitalized historic structures including the Municipal Light Plant and Columbus Trolley Barn.

 As published on PRNewswire:

Image Courtesy of UA Creative Services

Image Courtesy of UA Creative Services