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Old McChristy building has new owner

April 7, 2019

New life is being breathed into the old McChristy building in downtown Columbus.

The property on the corner of 13th Street and 26th Avenue was home to McChristy Jewelers for six decades. But, it has remained empty since 2015 after the company moved to a larger location at The Village Centre along 23rd Street.

Now the building has a new owner: Scot Rosendahl.

The owner and operator of Nebraska Sandhills Outfitters purchased the property about three weeks ago. His plan is to turn the first floor into an office space that will be rented out while the upstairs will be converted into a single-unit apartment. Rosendahl said he hasn’t decided exactly what to do with the apartment just yet, whether to rent it out as a standard residence, an executive suite or to list it on Airbnb.

When it comes to renovations, this isn’t Rosendahl’s first rodeo. About six years ago he purchased the building at 2507 13th St., fixed it up and today it’s home to Valencia Salon & Spa. So far, Rosendahl has removed the old McChristy building’s carpet and plaster, exposing the bones of the building - its brick walls.

Rosendahl said he loves the rustic aesthetic of the old brick, adding that it draws out the building’s natural beauty.

“I love the old architecture in buildings, that’s what gets me into this,” Rosendahl said about renovating buildings. ”And these downtown (buildings) are full of it.”

The building at 2517 13th St. was the former home McChristy Jewelers, which first opened its doors in 1952. It was run by Roger and Dorothy McChristy who have both since passed away. Today, the jewelry store is run by their son, Chuck McChristy, and his wife, Amy. In a statement the couple emailed to The Columbus Telegram, the two expressed their thoughts on the sale.

“So many of our family members, and even us, have grown up in this building,” Amy wrote. “Of course we are a little sad to see it transfer to a new owner. It has been in our family so long that it has always felt like home. It is time for it to be enjoyed by someone else who will love it as much as we have for all these years. Scot has a proven track record for beautiful buildings downtown and we know he will give it the love and care it deserves.”

While the inside will be renovated, the exterior of the building will be left unchanged. In 2013, the exterior facade was restored with the help of a $30,000 grant from the City of Columbus. The project was part of a city initiative to restore the look of commercial properties in the downtown area, according to The Columbus Telegram archives.

“It’s absolutely gorgeous on the outside. So I’ll keep the front foyer area (the same),” Rosendahl said about the building’s exterior.

Rosendahl plans to do as much of the renovation work as he can by himself with assistance from family. Contractors for plumbing and electrical wiring will be hired in order to bring the building up to code. Rosendahl estimated it’ll take two to three months to complete the street-level floor. For the apartment, he estimates it’ll be finished in six months to a year. He said the apartment will be a great addition to the downtown area since its in need of housing.

“There’s great places to eat, and the one thing it’s lacking is (apartments),” Rosendahl said. “And Columbus is short on housing, price is up right now. It’s just a good investment.”

Eric Schucht is a reporter for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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