East Public: Columbus' Mixed Use Space for the Self-made

We admire and commend those doing things the hard way, working to bring forgotten areas of Columbus back to life. They are helping our city move towards the future in a way that honors the past with the intention to maintain the distinct sense of community that Columbus is known for. We relate to them, we look to them for their expertise and well… they’re just good people. We're giving you this opportunity to learn their names; it won’t be the last time you hear them.

Bri DeRolph of Sidecar Creatives + Sidestreet Development 
Sidecar Creatives | East Public - Columbus, OHSidecar Creatives Office at East Public

East Public 

If you pay attention to local press publications, you’ve certainly heard about the East Public development on the South Side of Columbus. East Public is now home to Compton ConstructionSidecar Creatives and Sidestreet Development as well as an impressive roster of self-made business owners. Blake Compton of Compton Construction teamed up with Bri DeRolph and Killian McIlroy of Sidecar Creatives to form Sidestreet Development. These 3 make up a killer partnership team that has transformed a forgotten block of buildings on Parsons Ave into a community hub — East Public.

East Public Outdoor Courtyard - Columbus, OHNew East Public Courtyard and Shared Green Space
East Public Parsons Ave DevelopmentEast Public Courtyard Before Development

A New Breed of Mixed-Use

Bri and Killian worked together in a past life before forming Sidecar Creatives. They were quick to add industry friend and construction connoisseur, Blake Compton, to the Sidestreet Development partnership, all sharing the “desire to do something for ourselves, rather than for a client; and it all felt very serendipitous, including finding these buildings.”

Custom Butcher Block Countertop by Edgework CreativeSidecar Creatives Office at East Public | Custom Butcher Block Worksurface by Edgework Creative
Compton Construction Offices at East Public Compton Construction Offices at East Public | Moss Logo Installation by Planthropy

The location of East Public has been a work-in-progress since 2015 and appealed to the partners because of the green space that anchors the buildings together. Sidestreet Development has this ‘thing’ with finding old things, rehabilitating spaces with backstories, character, and energy.

New East Public Courtyard and Shared Green Space

They asked themselves, “do we begin with something small and manageable, or just go big?” Spoiler alert, they went big — “this project was like jumping into the deep end of the ocean. And just like the birth of Sidecar Creatives, Sidestreet Development also came with the help of a little barrel-aged courage.”

Build It and They Will Come

Bringing East Public to life happened through a waterfall of personal connections. This project was built on a strong sense of community, and that sentiment has been carried through from conception to opening. East Public tenants include Parson’s North Brewing Co, The Space Yoga Studio, Comune, Mindful Leadership Coach Juan Alvarez, Sidecar Creatives, and Compton Construction. Everyone that calls East Public home is self-made and happened upon the opportunity by what is referred to by Comune co-owner, Brook Maikut as total kismet.

Parsons North Brewing Co - Columbus, OHParsons North Brewing Co at East Public 

East Public - Sidestreet DevelopmentThe Parson's North Space at East Public used to be an old tire shop filled from floor to ceiling.

Parsons North Brewing Co | East Public - Columbus, OHParsons North Brewing Co Taproom 
Parsons North Brewing Co - Columbus, OH
Parson's North Brewing Co | Millwork and Metalwork by Edgework Creative

A Chance to Do Things Differently

Every tenant of East Public shares the mindset of growing intentionally, with the community instead of against it. There is an undertone of responsibility and pride shared by each business owner; it ties them together much like the outdoor spaces they share. Nathan Klein of Parson’s North said, “We want to see the area grow but want to make sure it’s not pushing out people who have called this home for a long time. Progress is great but it must be measured steps forward that allows the community to be engaged in the process.”

“As designers, it is our responsibility to make the spaces we design relevant to the lives of those they serve. Commercial businesses are not merely engines for monetary gain, they provide critical services to a healthy community. They can entertain, they can provide, they comfort, they can educate, they can inspire, they can feed, they can do any number of things that make the human experience more meaningful every single day. And the more of those elements that you can design into a space, in a unique and meaningful way, the better for everybody.” 


— Killian McIlroy, Sidestreet Development + Sidecar Creatives
Killian McIlroy of Sidecar Creatives and Sidestreet DevelopmentKillian McIlroy of Sidecar Creatives + Sidestreet Development

Comune Space at East Public Before DevelopmentThe Comune space was once used as an adult bookstore, and later a bike shop before becoming what it is today.

Comune Vegan Restaurant at East Public
Comune Vegan Restaurant - Columbus, OHThe new Comune space at East Public

Finding Success, Together

Having a shared investment in East Public and being connected by an innate desire to look at things in new ways has allowed the businesses at East Public to thrive together. The partners of Sidestreet Development did an amazing thing when they brought this complimentary mix of people together. Joe Galati of Comune shared that each business helps to “fuel each other in a way I haven't seen that often in Columbus.”

Our city has a storied past and a bright future. It's home to many artists, makers, dreamers, and doers all working together — including us here at Edgework Creative. We are lucky to work with Sidecar Creatives, Parson’s North and Compton Construction, and we are happy to share their work with you.

East Public - Columbus, OHEast Public Tenants

Photos provided by East Public and Signal Interactive

Edgework in the Wild

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