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Schiff Capital

Schiff’s High Street Vision

Michael Schiff says his Schiff Capital Group has never been busier in the six years since he departed Schottenstein Property Group to launch the real estate investment and development firm.

The brother of Columbus injury lawyer Scott Schiff and real estate broker Todd Schiff is taking on several projects along development-hot High Street in the Short North, with the help of Wood Cos. and others.

Columbus Business First talked with Schiff about his plans as activity picks up. The following is an excerpt of that conversation, condensed and edited for clarity.

You’ve been doing a lot in the Short North. Is that by design? I’ve always been focused on trying to create action in the Short North. I saw it was a great area, it has a lot of pulse and a lot of action – technically it’s reached a point where you can park a car on Friday and never get in until Monday. I love what we’re doing and every project we’re working on. I feel very lucky to live in city with opportunities like the Short North. I have great partners who do most of the heavy lifting – that makes me able to be involved in more deals.

Schiff Capital also has a hand in downtown projects, including redevelopment of the Atlas Building (and as a minority investor at LeVeque Tower) – how’s that coming? The apartments are 100 percent rented. That’s good (for us) and good for downtown Columbus, too. It shows people are receptive to that type of urban apartments. I think it’s part of the reason Ricky Day is optimistic about doing that whole block (at High and Gay streets). Abatements and state and federal historic tax credits make a deal like (Atlas) possible … to come in and gut and renovate a building like that.

What’s next on the docket? We just got our financing finalized for Hubbard Park Place behind the Hubbard Grille – Mark (Wood) and I own that. Hopefully it will be the coolest place to live in the Short North. It’s tucked away (on Park Street between West Hubbard Avenue and Lundy Street) so has a real quiet suburban feel, but you’re half a block from all the action. It will be about 105 high-end units with 12,000 square feet of office and 150 parking spaces. The rooftop experience is going to be very exciting: A pool, hot tub, seating areas and glass club room, all of which will overlook the downtown skyline. We’re going to break ground on that in the next 30 days.

How are renovations coming along above Forno Kitchen and Bar? There were 40 apartments (and) those have been completely gutted. We’re going to have 34 apartments when that’s done. It’s all framed and infrastructure put in. We’re waiting for a final sign-off before drywalling. We hope to be done in six months.

And there are plans for a tower on the surface lot just south of that? We’re finalizing a deal with the city for a nine-story office building on the city lot – the tallest in the Short North. There’s no name yet; it’ll depend on our biggest tenant. That would be a May or June (ground breaking) … and would take 15 to 18 months. That’s also going to have a rooftop restaurant with retractable roof that overlooks the downtown skyline. And a ground-floor retail space that we hope to be a restaurant.

Where are you on the Parkside on Pearl project? That’s probably going to be third on our list of starting construction. That’s (currently planned for) about 50 apartments with 50 parking spaces.

Recent and ongoing projects in which Schiff Capital has a hand:

Atlas Building

8 E. Long St.; apartments and retail

Status: Completed

Aston Place

111 W. Third Ave.; apartments and townhomes

Status: Construction

Trotters Park

720 Michigan Ave.; apartments

Status: Construction

The Diplomat

721 N. High St.; apartments above Forno Kitchen and Bar

Status: Construction

Hubbard Park Place

29-49 W. Hubbard Ave.; apartments and offices

Status: Planned

711 N. High St.

Office tower

Status: Planned

Parkside on Pearl

Italian Village Park; apartments

Status: Planned