An eight-building apartment complex in Franklinton, a transitional neighborhood just west of downtown Columbus, is priming the pump for what is expected to be several large new development projects.

The five-story "River and Rich" mixed-use building includes includes 233 apartments above 25,000 square feet of first-floor retail space. An art gallery, coffee shop and a restaurant will occupy the first floor. “I think it’s going to revitalize Franklinton,” said John Riat, the project's coordinator for Casto, who is the the developer behind the effort. “I think for Franklinton, you’re going to see people start moving down here.” Eight buildings will eventually open with the first one slated for November. The entire project is expected to be finished by March, Riat said.

River & Rich is the first of several large developments to open in Franklinton. Nearby, the multi-dimensional Gravity, on the north side of W. Broad Street, which includes offices, shops, restaurants and residences, is expected to welcome its first office tenants late this year and its first residents in early 2019.

A even-larger sister project of Gravity, on the south side of W. Broad Street, is also planned. Also on W. Broad, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum is scheduled to open Oct. 27.

River & Rich has an industrial feel to it, with a brick exterior and siding meant to look like shipping containers. Franklinton artists will be painting murals in the complex, Riat said. “This whole project is one big art project in my mind,” he said. Apartments range in size from 501 square feet to 1,228 square feet, while rent goes from $959 to $2,349 a month.

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