Brett Kaufman says his new co-living concept at Gravity’s second phase isn’t really novel at all.
Kaufman Development’s Gravity started leasing for the second phase about a month ago and is now about 30% leased, the firm’s founder said. He said the co-living option, in which tenants can rent just a room and share a living room and kitchen with others, has been popular.
And it’s something young professionals have been doing for ages.
“Co-living has been a thing since as long as I can remember,” Kaufman said. “It’s just like renting a house with your friends, except now it’s in a new building with amenities included. It’s an affordable option we’re not seeing in the market right now.”
Kaufman said co-living can be a way to take the stigma away from “affordable housing.”
“When you’re in the gym, no one knows how much rent you’re paying,” Kaufman said.
The shared living space in the second phase is furnished and offers bi-weekly cleaning and capped utilities. Rents start at $685 a month.
Rent for the traditional apartments ranges from $1,275 to $3,800 for penthouse units.
All residents have access to events hosted by Gravity, which range from sound bath events to talks from experts on psychology and meditation. For instance, Bob Roth, a meditation teacher, is coming to Gravity in September.
Kaufman calls the community a “conscious” one, where its residents and the people working there can make a shift in their lives.
“We want to make a difference in people’s lives, in Franklinton and the broader Columbus community,” Kaufman said.
Click through the attached gallery to see inside the newest phase of Gravity.
What’s in Gravity’s second phase?
Gravity’s $120 million second phase started work in 2020.
The 1 million-square-foot project comprises several buildings, including one with 257 apartments and ground-floor retail, an office building with 180,000 square feet of space, a building with shared and private living options and a McDowell Street building with six luxury townhomes and 18 apartments.
The full Gravity project is set to be built over three phases. It now spans nearly 15 acres.
OhioHealth will likely open this fall in the 180,000-square-foot office building.
“We’ve been calling it ‘creative office,'” Kaufman said. “But it’s not just creative because of the art or the way the building has been designed… It can be creative based on what your company makes or the culture you’re cultivating in the office.”
Work continues on the commercial components of the project. Two existing buildings are being renovated to house retail space.
Kaufman said there will be at least four restaurants opening in Gravity’s second phase, and he hopes to make announcements soon on who those commercial tenants are.
After competing with several other Central Ohio projects, Gravity’s second phase won some of the first transformational mixed-use development tax credits in 2022. Kaufman credits the award with helping the project come out the way it was originally planned.
“A lot of the art in this community wouldn’t be here without the tax credits,” Kaufman said.
Kaufman said art is important to him and to the Gravity concept because he wants to be sure artists can have work in Franklinton in a large-scale way.
Commissioned work from more than 30 artists is displayed throughout Gravity.
The Gravity neighborhood also includes Kaufman’s Green|House development, a new health and wellness concept.
Construction on Green|House will start in the next month, Kaufman said, and he hopes to be able to scale the project. Green|House could soon come to new markets across the U.S.
Kaufman said he is actively pursuing opportunities in Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City and Miami, Florida.
Another Green|House project in the Short North is on track to open in the spring of 2024, he said.
The Gravity Experience Park is also readying to start construction in the former parking lot of the Idea Foundry, which was also folded into the neighborhood. The park will have a stage with live music, food trucks, public art, pop-up retail and pickle ball courts in the warm months that will be turned to ice skating rinks in the winter months.
There will likely also be a bar in an unused area on the Idea Foundry lot.
Kaufman said he hopes to complement what already exists at Land-Grant Brewing behind the site.
Elsewhere in the Franklinton area, The Peninsula is coming together, with the recent opening of The Junto hotel.
“The Peninsula is additive,” Kaufman said. “It’s a net positive to have more of everything in this neighborhood. We need enough people to support the retail and restaurants.”