Original story By Mark Ferenchik
The Columbus Dispatch

Original article here: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191113/new-apartments-fueling-near-east-side-revival

A new South African restaurant is being planned for Columbus’ King-Lincoln area, another sign that people are willing to invest in the neighborhood as new apartments go up nearby.

Brad Ransier already lives in the King-Lincoln District on Columbus’ Near East Side. Now he wants to sink more money into the neighborhood by opening a South African-themed restaurant.

He said he’s willing to spend $500,000 to open Kasi Township Grill at 1190-1194 Mount Vernon Ave. He’ll be adding on to an existing building and hopes to be open in the spring.

The restaurant will have a patio, serve dishes such as peri peri chicken, a spicy dish, and be on par with local restaurants such as Northstar Cafe, said Ransier, a restaurant consultant who started in the business by busing tables, becoming a chef and later a manager.

It’s an illustration of new projects coming to an area that has struggled to rebound, but where some are seeing growing opportunities.

“This community has seen a revitalization in the last five years. I just want to be a part of it,” said Ransier, who is using a Small Business Administration loan to finance the work.

The project is on the Columbus Development Commission agenda for Thursday for zoning changes.

Al Edmondson, the owner of A Cut Above the Rest, a barbershop on North 20th Street in King-Lincoln, said there’s a new community developing in the area.

“He’s looking down the road at what the neighborhood is going to look like,” said Edmondson, who leads the Mount Vernon Avenue District Improvement Association.

“I believe the clientele is definitely here,” he said. “You have to find some to make sure they spend their money here.”

He said people who live in the neighborhood might currently be spending their dollars in places such as the Short North.

“I think the restaurant is something positive. People need a place to gather and have a meal and fellowship.”

Kathleen Bailey, who leads the Near East Area Commission, said the residential construction in and near the area is helping to drive commercial ventures such as Ransier’s.

“This stuff piggybacks,” Bailey said.

And more residential is coming to the area. Construction is expected to begin within the next two weeks on the Adelphi Quarter, a $23 million, 130-unit apartment development to be built at 818 E. Long St. on the site of the former McNabb Funeral Home. The development is expected to be completed in 2021.

Arch City Development plans to build a four-story, 67-unit apartment building at 750 E. Broad St. that will be called the Frisbie, replacing a 32-year-old, three-story office building. Arch City bought the site for $1.56 million in March.

Arch City’s Brian Higgins said he hopes to break ground on the $13 million project in a few months, then open to residents in 2021.

“The Near East Side is an untapped giant in terms of its potential,” Higgins said. He said there are great amenities nearby, including the Lincoln Theatre on East Long Street and the Columbus Museum of Art on East Broad Street.

Columbus developer Metropolitan Holdings has just opened the Yardley apartment building at 122 Parsons Ave. north of Bryden Road in Olde Towne East, not far from the King-Lincoln District.

The four-story building includes 78 apartments, with rents ranging from $945 to $2,465 a month. Amenities include a fitness center and parking. Retail space on the first floor has not yet been leased.

Michelle Cordle, Metropolitan’s director of property management, said the developer chose the site because of its proximity to Downtown.

Dispatch Reporter Jim Weiker contributed to this story.