City Council Gives Green Light To Backpacker Haven


UPDATED: Wednesday August 1, 2012 10:38 AM

A building filled with dark, musty rooms will soon become a haven for tired travelers.

The Columbus City Council gave developer Matt Bietrich the green light to transform a Bryden Road building into a hostel, a mix of dormitory and private rooms for travelers from around the world.

"You're looking at the future home of the Wayfaring Buckeye," Bietrich said. "A European-style bed and breakfast."

Back in the early 1900s, the building at Bryden road and Garfield was called The Lodge. The Columbus School for Girls used it to house a growing number of students who needed boarding.

Bietrich envisions roughly 60 guests who will pay anywhere from $25 - $50 a night. On average, guests will stay about three nights.

Some neighbors were concerned about the lack of parking on the property and the number of people the hostel would house. What sold the Near East Area Commission was the opportunity to restore a historic building to its former glory.

"It caters to people who want to see the real side of a country, who want to bypass the tourist spots and come in and see the neighborhoods," said Kathleen Bailey, of the Near East Area Commission.

If all goes as planned, the Wayfaring Buckeye will be open for business by summer 2013.

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