Columbus developers, including the Weiler and Kelley families and Spaghetti Warehouse chain owners, have proposed an ambitious project for the site of the former Spaghetti Warehouse building in Franklinton.
The historic structure, which closed in March 2022 after a roof collapse, is set to be replaced by a 15-story mixed-use tower that could reshape the area’s landscape.
The submitted preliminary site plan, developed by The Robert Weiler Company, outlines a 534-unit building with a 577-space parking garage and approximately 15,000 square feet of commercial space. The location at 397 W. Broad St., nestled between two elevated railroad tracks, holds sentimental value for many, having been home to the Spaghetti Warehouse for over 40 years.
Despite concerns from historic preservation advocates, the proposal suggests demolishing the existing building. The developers aim to address challenges such as limited access, parking, utilities, and costs associated with the narrow 2.6-acre site. Skip Weiler, President of The Robert Weiler Company, acknowledged the hurdles when speaking to The Dispatch, but emphasized the potential for the location’s development, positioned between major projects like the Peninsula and Gravity developments.
The former Spaghetti Warehouse building, dating back to the 1890s as a warehouse and ice factory, faces an “unsafe building order” following the roof collapse. According to reports, City officials will have a meeting with the development team to discuss the new proposal for the site.
The absence of renderings or visuals in the submitted materials has left the community eager for more details. If the project progresses through the city’s approval process, it will be presented to the Downtown Commission for design review. Moody Nolan is listed as the architect for the proposed 15-story tower.
The Spaghetti Warehouse, a beloved gathering place for decades, closed its doors in March 2022 but reopened in a new location in December. The developers envision the return of the iconic restaurant to the site, occupying part of the retail space in the new tower.
The ambitious project faces challenges and debates over the demolition of the historic building, but developers remain optimistic about the potential for revitalizing the area. With discussions ongoing between the development team and city officials, the fate of the former Spaghetti Warehouse site hangs in the balance, awaiting the next chapter in Columbus’ ever-evolving urban landscape.
Featured image via Franklin County Auditor.