Eastern Columbia Building
Eastern Columbia, 849 S. Broadway, is one of downtown’s iconic historic buildings. It is also an early adaptive reuse success story that helped pave the way for Broadway’s transformation. But first, the underutilized former department store had to prove its functionality as a live-work loft condo project. As a partner with the project developer, The Kor Group, Kate Bartolo worked early on with a key historic group to get their support for adding windows and balconies to the solid concrete rear wall. Devising viable parking solutions for the project with a new attached building posed additional permitting hurdles to overcome. When unanticipated construction costs threatened project viability, she devised the then pioneering solution of separating out the retail and garage to later sell to two separate investors at different cap rates. The project received entitlement approvals for 97 loft condos via a condo tract map and new CUP’s for some of the 7 commercial condo units in record time. KBA subsequently spearheaded and obtained entitlement approvals for conversion of the surface parking lot for a ground up mixed use high rise project comprised of 158 live work residential condos and 7 commercial condos in a 21 story high rise. Ms. Bartolo led developer efforts to incorporate historic design influences in the new project’s contemporary design to make the design compatible with the historic blue terracotta clad Eastern Columbia building. condos. Entitlements included Site Plan Review and the Condo Map, as well as variances and adjustments.