March 2, 2021

Proposed development threatens the future of the Zig

The attempt to turn the land where the Leipzig Haus currently stands into a Sheetz convenience store is facing strong community opposition, primarily because of traffic concerns.

Last night, the Mideast Area Commission (MAC) hosted a virtual town hall, giving the 81 attendees the opportunity to ask questions of Andrew Richlen and Frank Petriziello, two representatives from the Sheetz project. Also in attendance was Anthony Celebrezze, the Assistant Director of the City of Columbus’s Department of Building and Zoning Services.

The proposed development would include three parcels of land, stretching from College Avenue to the land on which the Zig currently sits. Yes, this project would be the end of the Zig as we know it.

A street view of the proposed Sheetz development. Screenshot by Emily Dietz.

The exact status of the project was not clarified at yesterday’s meeting; however, the project has certainly not yet obtained the required approval from the City Council of Columbus. As such, the property for the development has not yet been purchased.

The development proposed by the contractor Silken Gold would create a 6,000 square foot building at the northeast corner of the property. The building would contain the restaurant and convenience store that are trademarks of the Sheetz franchise. The proposed landscape plan includes restaurant seating both indoors and outdoors, as well as bike parking and greenery.

Screenshot of a sketch detailing the Sheetz development plan.
An aerial view of the proposed Sheetz development. Screenshot by Emily Dietz.

Entrances and exits to the property include a right-in and right-out curb cut onto College Avenue, an entrance from Livingston Avenue, and an entrance and exit onto Livingston Ave. from the alleyway continuation of Sheridan Avenue.

The only left-turn onto Livingston Avenue would be possible from this extremely undeveloped section of Sheridan Avenue, although the developers are also proposing significant upgrades to the section of Sheridan in order to meet traffic demand.

Project Manager Andrew Richlen referred to the proposal as, “A very well-baked plan, created in close coordination with the city.”

Meeting attendees, including representatives from the South Bexley Neighborhood Association and the Berwick Civic Association, expressed considerable concern about the management of traffic, as well as questioning the demand for another gas station/convenience store along the Livingston thoroughfare.

Because of the lack of a traffic light, citizens are worried about the safety of a left-turn onto the five-lane Livingston, as well as stating the easy possibility of a traffic build-up.

The Mideast Area Commission has another virtual town hall scheduled for March 10, and a representative from the city of Columbus will be in attendance in order to speak to the traffic concerns. Future meeting information can be found on the Berwick Civic Association Facebook page.

  • Emily is a sophomore English literature major at Capital, and a reporter and distribution manager for the Chimes. When she's not carting papers around campus, Emily enjoys watching Jeopardy, bothering her cats, and eating mac and cheese. edietz@capital.edu.

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