Zimmer Development Co. eyes end-of-year construction start for Columbus’ Whittier Peninsula apartments

By Bonnie Meibers – Staff reporter , Columbus Business First | Feb 1, 2024

A project that would transform the Whittier Peninsula is expected to start construction by the end of the year.

North Carolina-based Zimmer Development Co. plans to build three seven-story buildings at 142 W. Whittier St., near Scioto Audubon Metro Park.

The project was approved by Columbus City Council in 2022. Development was delayed about a year by concerns about how the project would impact the nearby park, including any impact of increased traffic.

The developer is now building its own two-way road that would allow residents to turn off of Whittier and drive into the development to work around those concerns.

Landon Zimmer, managing partner of Zimmer Development Co., said environmental work has started at the apartment site, but remediation to residential standards takes time. The peninsula was once an industrial dump.

“It will be cleaner than the park,” Zimmer said. “Remediation will take a while, but we want to do it right.”

Each building in the development will have 260 units. About 10% of them will be priced those making 80% of the area median income.

“There is a lot of demand for housing in Columbus, and we want to fill that demand,” Zimmer told me. “We’re at a point now where we can go full speed ahead.”

The apartments will also have a resort-style pool.

The final version of the project is smaller than the developer’s original vision. In 2019, Zimmer pitched a mixed-use development with a hotel alongside office, retail and residential space. About 10 buildings were proposed at that time, including a handful of towers in the seven- to 12-story range.

The first phase of construction will include one of the apartment buildings and a multimodal trail, which will be connected to downtown Columbus following along the railroad tracks.

The development will also include 10 acres of green space, which will be open to the public.

Zimmer also plans to donate $1 million to the city to help build a new bridge near the site connecting the Brewery District to the park or make other improvements.

Work on that effort should also start this year. Columbus City Council has approved funding for the bridge that will link the Brewery District and the Scioto Audubon Park.