Columbus, OH

Bier Stube proposal moves forward, passes in University Area Commission

The Lantern
Bier Stube, a south campus bar, faces potential demolition due to new apartment complex. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor

The Bier Stube’s fate is in the hands of the University Impact District Review Board and Columbus City Council.

A proposal for housing on the site of longtime campus bar, the Bier Stube, passed unanimously in the University Area Commission Wednesday night and will now face the review board before its final vote in front of the Columbus City Council.

The plan, proposed by Columbus rental agency Buckeye Real Estate, is for a six-story apartment building with 105 units and 48 parking spaces at 1493 N. High St., This project would impact other businesses in addition to Bier Stube — including Yau’s Chinese Bistro, 14-0 Express and Portofino’s Pizza.

Dave Perry, founder of real estate firm Dave Perry Inc., represented Buckeye Real Estate , sharing information about how the project has changed since it was first shared with the commission in December. He addressed concerns expressed by the community about the loss of the Bier Stube, asking commissioners to focus on voting on the variances being considered. The variances include the building’s proposed height and amount of parking available.

“Let’s keep in mind that the Bier Stube is a commercial tenant, and whether Buckeye Real Estate builds this project or not, there is no guarantee that the Bier Stube will be there,” Perry said. ”

The proposal also includes commercial space where Justin Garland, vice president of business development for Buckeye Real Estate, has discussed putting in the Bier Stube if it is replaced. Perry said there was “quite a bit of interest” in making this transition.

No one from the public spoke for or against the project, which Commissioner Michael Kehlmeier said was unexpected. A few comissioners raised concerns of the historical loss of the bar.

“I am kind of surprised no one is here to speak since we’ve gotten several emails about this particular project and about the displacement of the Bier Stube,” Kehlmeier said during the meeting. “As far as the variances go, they’re not that big, and they’re not that bad.”

Commissioner Katie McDevitt said she thinks the lack of speakers might come from rescheduling of the meeting due to a power outage last week. She said she had concerns with loss of historical spaces but recognized this is up to the landowner and not the businesses on the lot.

Commissioner Tim Sublette said he supported the project since it is an appropriate height for the area and included a reasonable amount of parking with the included commercial space.

Seth Golding, a member of the zoning committee, said he hates to see an old business leave but recognizes that it will likely happen with or without this proposal.

The Bier Stube proposal is not the only construction proposal introduced in the last year. The Little Bar and the University Baptist Church could face demolition for another apartment complex. However, the commission failed to pass the proposal twice.

Perry said the project’s design will continue to be discussed with the University Impact District Review Board, but they also approve of the zoning variances for the proposal. He said he is excited for the project to move forward with the commission’s vote.

“There’s more work to do as it goes through the review board process, but we’re in a good place,” Perry said. “The Bier Stube is a popular place, and there’s a lot of memories there from when people were in school, but people move on, and Justin is doing everything he can to make a space available for it.”

Bier Stube was unable to be reached at the time of publication.

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