Council to consider rezoning former Joe Willy’s site

Columbus City Council is being asked to rezone the site of the former Joe Willy’s Burger Bar and neighboring properties so the area can become an apartment and retail complex.

The council will consider the first approval for a rezoning request that would turn the area from Commercial:Neighborhood zoning to the Commercial:Downtown district, which will allow for more dense development at that location. Rubicon Investment Group of Bloomington is requesting the rezoning for just over two acres including four properties at the corner of Washington, 11th and Jackson streets and are planning a mixed-use commercial and residential project.

According to the developer, the lots contain a vacant home, the former restaurant which has been built in a renovated home, and a vacant drive thru bank building. The residential buildings are in disrepair after being empty for some time.

The proposal received a positive recommendation from the city plan commission last month, although several residents expressed concerns about increased traffic and the historic nature of the neighborhood. According to county property records, the former Joe Willy’s structure was built in 1889.

The city and county planning department staff is also recommending approval of the zoning change.

City Council meets at 6 p.m. tonight at Columbus City Hall.

Map courtesy of Columbus Planning Department.