Just like the building they once lived in—and now invite people from all over the country to stay in, the Gergleys have an extensive history in Columbus.
The couple, who both grew up in Northeastern Ohio and attended Ohio State, have lived in Columbus for 10 years—spending time in Brewery District, Grandview, Italian Village, and currently in Old Towne East. But it’s their few years in the Arena District that is closest to their heart—especially considering the condo loft they worked hard to revamp in the historic Yukon Building is now a sweet side gig as an AirBnB.
In the four years since they’ve become hosts the self-styled renovators have learned plenty, and in the process enjoyed the profit and the personal enjoyment that comes with housing Columbus’s out-of-town guests.
Please tell me how you came to the idea to obtain properties and turn them into AirBnBs.
Sam: It started out very organically. One time before a weekend getaway, we decided to list our place on Airbnb to make some extra money. We were nervous to rent out our at first, but were delighted with the way our guest treated our home. After that first experience, we were hooked and have grown our business from there! I can’t say enough about the guests that we have hosted. The vast majority have treated our spaces with such respect. Having the chance to meet them is always great. For example right now, we are hosting for an actor in the Aladdin play at the Ohio Theater. How cool is that!?
What condition was the loft in when you found it?
Sarah: The unit was a bit dated and distressed. Before we purchased it, it was a long-term rental unit for over a decade. Unfortunately sometimes landlords and get lax and not want to make costly updates. We were excited for the opportunity restore a historic property. The unit is in the Historic Yukon Building that was originally built in 1895 and housed a hotel for the nearby Union Train Station.
What changes did you have to make to it?
Sam: We remodeled the bathroom, removed carpeting and restored the hardwood floors, added new lighting throughout, repainted and added a decorative accent wall.
What was a challenge, or some challenges you faced during your restoration?
Sam: The location of the unit posed some logistical challenges. Being in the bustling Short North neighborhood made everything a bit more difficult. Things like parking, and traffic where hard to navigate. Anytime you work within a condo complex bringing supplies upstairs and through hallways is a challenge. It was also important to be very cognizant of our neighbors downtime and to not be loud early in the mornings or late into the night.
Sam: One particular instance that comes to mind though was when I broke a water line while replacing the toilet and flooded the entire bathroom! Luckily I quickly located the water shut off and didn’t flood Marcella’s! I probably should have located that shut off valve prior to messing with the water lines. Lesson learned.
Tell me about the furnishings and light fixtures, hardware, etc. Where did you get them? Did you plan out the style before, or did you buy as you went?
Sarah: We try to be very savvy when selecting our furnish-ings for the spaces. For this space we shopped at the Pottery Barn outlet in Jeffersonville where you can find some great deals. Wayfair.com is quick and easy. They have a sister site called AllModern.com that caters to our style as well. And some of the furniture we found on Craigslist.com. It takes some time to scour craigslist and make offers, but it’s a great way to find deals on high quality furniture. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
How did you make your design decisions? Who is your designer?
Sarah: We work very collaboratively on the design. Sam is great at envisioning a finished product, even in the middle of construction. I like to focus on the details. I think we really complement each other!
How do people enjoy the area/location?
Sarah: The location is great! Our unit is right at the beginning of the Short North and is located above the poplar Marcella’s restaurant. It is a short walk to the convention center, the North Market and Nationwide Arena. The location is what our guests love most about staying. They are a quick walk to practically everything. We enjoy being able to share our great city with people from out of town. In fact we have had people stay here and decide to move to Columbus because they fell in love! We love where Columbus is headed and are excited to be a part of it.