BEYOND THE BRICK
Photography by Gordon Beall
If you have been in business long enough, you might be lucky to have one grand, knocked-it-out-of-the-park success story that stands the tests of time, economy, shifting market trends, and even a global pandemic and social unrest. For development company Crawford Hoying, it’s going to be hard to top the resounding triumph of a public-private partnership that began just over 10 years ago at the edge of the Scioto River and historic downtown Dublin. Among the dizzying array of retail, entertainment, and office options at the massive complex known as Bridge Park are a select number of high end residences in projects that tend to sell out before the ink is dry on city approvals.
Such was the case at 95 North Riverview (also known as Bridge Park West), where 39 of the 41 luxury condos were sold well before construction or formal marketing were underway - making it arguably one of the fastest selling condo projects ever in Columbus. As the head of Crawford Hoying’s residential real estate division, Tom Goecke has watched multi-million dollar residences in the 7 story building sell by word of mouth, sustaining value despite aggressive initial prices for the base units, most of which underwent extensive customization. “The demand for this lifestyle hasn’t let up at all,” Goecke shared with me by phone. “Across
the river, at The Warren, we have only about 13 of the original 43 units left.”
One of the original buyers called on noted interior architectural designer Mark Huffman, of Huffman & Huffman, to help him plan and finish a two-story penthouse condo in Bridge Park West. Huffman knew they would need to push the envelope on materials and craftspeople in order to meet the standards of opulence at which the client had lived in prior residences. Downsizing from a Muirfield estate, the homeowner was attracted to the convenience of the Bridge Park community.
Huffman’s team conceptualized an art deco-inspired interior while incorporating a definitively New York City apartment lifestyle. “The Penthouse was basically a white box when we started, ”explained Huffman. “The result is a bespoke residence for a discerning client whose many interests include wine collecting.
In fact, a wine room that would showcase the homeowner’s extensive knowledge, ambitious pursuit, and sophisticated collection became a focal point of the project. Cleverly designed to integrate within the foyer stairs, the sculptural white oak, steel, glass, and antiqued brass wonder greets guests and contains the client’s curated collection. Initially contractors initially said it could not be done. The problem was with a mechanical room that couldn’t be sufficiently cooled as a result of a number of other necessary appliances that it needed to house. One of Crawford Hoying’s approved contractors, Matt Hatem (owner of QBR) made a determined effort to troubleshoot the issue, trading bulky equipment for high-efficiency systems and installing a dedicated air conditioning unit to boost the cooling factor for the space that demanded a temperature- and humidity-controlled atmosphere. “That wine room is a great example of finding the right person to champion the client’s vision and get it done,” Huffman said. “Matt was amazing, and instrumental in bringing the vision to reality.”
Huffman is the kind of professional who finds the best contractors and collaborates with them for years. A perfect example of this is his relationship with Stan Cooley (Cooley Custom Cabinetry) on this project. Though Cooley had not yet been added to the approved contractor list for the building, Huffman knew Cooley would be the perfect addition to the project team and went to bat to have him added. As a result, the home is filled with Cooley’s signature, superior craftsmanship. From rich walnut cabinetry in the kitchen to the bedroom wardrobes and bathroom vanities. Cooley and team set a backdrop of understated perfection that is highlighted by dramatic stone installations by Konkus.
In every room, Huffman points out unique elements created specifically for the residence. At the stair landing is a bas-relief sculpture by Brooklyn artist Alan Carroll of the Roman goddess, Aurora - the personification of dawn, announcing the arrival of the sun. Lighting the stairs is a grouping of vintage Doria glass pendants at varying heights from fabric cords and handmade brass cylinders. Where a large window offered a less than desirable view, his team designed a sheer window treatment that blocks the view but not the natural light and functions as a backdrop for a major still life painting, another work commissioned from Alan Carroll. Beneath this piece sits a custom designed settee fabricated by Fortner Upholstery. Huffman and team also incorporated notable works of art from the client’s collection throughout the home including pieces by Picasso, Renoir and Albert H. Krehbiel.
Though the client wasn’t interested in cooking as much as a beautiful backdrop for meals with friends and family, special effort was made to create an enviable but discreet kitchen. The symmetry of the walnut cabinets on the range wall is broken up by a handsome custom hood of stainless steel and brass fabricated by Mark Metal Works. Though the penthouse life is thought to come at the expense of outdoor living, a 2,000 square foot wrap-around terrace with glass railings envelopes the home without compromising views, inviting rest and restoration overlooking the river and the bustle of the busy streets below.
For Huffman and team, this project was an opportunity to demonstrate that urban living isn’t always about bricks and steel.
For more information on living at Bridge Park, visit https://www.bridgepark.com/