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2011 Year in Review: Urban Development

Walker Evans Walker Evans 2011 Year in Review: Urban Development
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  • Sumo

2011 was a year of sluggish national economic recovery, but that didn’t necessarily mean a slow year for urban development in Columbus. Several large public and private projects were completed, including two expansive new Downtown parks. Construction work progressed on neighborhood-sized projects in Weinland Park and Grandview Yard. We also saw the announcement of at least 12 new apartment projects located in and around Downtown, many of which will begin construction in 2012. Below you’ll find a roundup that includes the majority of the urban development news that took place in 2011.

Development Projects Completed in 2011

The Flats on Vine apartments in the Arena District were completed at the beginning of this year. The Abigail apartment building was also completed earlier this year and is now housing new Downtown residents.The new Downtown Columbus Commons park opened over Memorial Day Weekend to much fanfare and excitement. The Scioto Mile greenspace was opened in July, which includes the new riverfront promenade and a beautifully renovated Bicentennial Park. A large portion of the Riversouth redevelopment wrapped up in November when three streets opened to two-way traffic for the first time. The NoBo on Long condo development was completed in October, adding nine new units to The Near East Side. The long-awaited Short North / Weinland Park Kroger was completed and opened in July. And the Old National Road condos on East Main Street were completed back in May.

(Click the photos for more information on each project.)

Development Under Construction in 2011

A lot of construction began in the Weinland Park neighborhood in 2011, as a large multi-year effort gets underway to add and improve the housing stock in the area. Interstates 71 and 670 were under heavy construction during the latter part of 2011 as the Split Fix highway project began. The Wood Companies began the long-planned development of apartments and offices atop their Short North retail building that houses Northstar Cafe and zpizza. The Columbus Museum of Art is expanding again with the new West Garden addition. Construction began this year on the first 154 apartment units at Grandview Yard. Construction also began earlier this year on the new Hollywood Casino, located on the west side of Columbus. Work continued all year long on the Downtown Hilton Hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2012. Progress was made throughout the year at Neighborhood Launch, the ongoing development adding 9 city blocks of Downtown residential development along Gay & Long Streets.

(Click the photos for more information on each project.)

Development Projects Announced in 2011

The failed Ibiza condo project will be getting a replacement starting in 2012 when The Hubbard apartment building is planned to begin construction. The Arena District continues to grow with the announcement of new office buildings and residential development. Lane Avenue may be growing taller soon, with the announcement of a proposed mixed-use hotel development in their new entertainment district. A new five-story 84-unit apartment development was proposed at the corner of High & Seventh, adjacent to the new Kroger. The announcement of the Cooper Park Racetrack came several years ago, but in 2011 we saw the project moving forward with approval from city officials. It was announced earlier this year that an apartment renovation was in the works for the historic LeVeque Tower. The historic Fireproof building in The Short North will also be reconstructed into apartments in the near future. And more new-build apartments are being planned for Downtown at the Discovery District Commons.

(Click the photos for more information on each project.)

More and more and more…

2011 was flush with new urban development announcements… almost too many to keep track of. You can find more information in our Development News section and the Development Discussion area of our messageboard. You can also watch the work in progress with the regular installations of our Construction Roundup photo series. 2012 will be a year of groundbreakings and construction cranes, and we’ll continue to keep you updated every step of the way.

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  • Pickerington_Kyle

    How come you didn’t mention Ohio State’s Project ONE, and Children’s Hospital Expansion.?

  • columbusmike

    Walker, thank you for not using the words, “Urban Renewal” ;)

  • @Kyle — There were probably a dozen projects left out. This list was not meant to be 100% comprehensive. More of a general “feel” of the type of development that occurred in 2011.

    @Mike — No problem! ;) Never been a big fan of that term.

  • columbusmike

    I’ve always wondered if the state/local governments could provide some sort of insurance for banks on projects located in urban centers.  Basically, allowing people to borrow at lower rates in urban areas.  It could even be coupled with requirements that they follow strict design guidelines in order to obtain the low rate loan/tax credit — very similar to how the Historic Tax Credit works.

  • futureman

    Also announced this year is this apartment complex – http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/69-apartments-to-be-built-at-3rd-and-denision

    The apartments on Goodale across the street from the White Castle HQ, the apartment complex on 3rd across the street from police station / Gowdy field and the apartments next to the lennox are all now under construction.

  • columbusmike

    Was the new Nationwide office complex announced this year as well?

  • futureman

    @ columbusmike
    Indeed it was, and it’s under construction as well.

  • Great stuff, Columbus!
    Lest we forget, GROOVE U is currently giving the former Fifth Avenue Elementary School in the Short North a new lease on life as a music career college.

  • I really enjoy watching this city continue to build and grow.

  • ThermistoclesOTE

    Amazing progress everywhere.  Nice to see all the new residential developments in Franklinton, Olde Towne East, Weinland Park and King Lincoln District too – the next up and comers and actually only remaining downtown urban gems that have location and history and architecture to boot!  Thanks Walker for the montage.  10 years out and we may only hope that we will have 5 new Short North Art Districts than just 1! 

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