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List of Finalists Narrowed for Scioto Peninsula Project

Brent Warren Brent Warren List of Finalists Narrowed for Scioto Peninsula ProjectConcept rendering via the Georgetown/Daimler/Kaufman group.
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Although the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) will not officially announce which team of developers is selected to build the 21 acre Scioto Peninsula redevelopment project until September, the list appears to be narrowing.

Columbus Underground submitted a public records request for the proposals submitted by the four finalists, which were announced by the CDDC in April.

What came back were redacted proposal from three teams:

  • Georgetown Company (headquartered in New York, NY), the Daimler Group and Kaufman Development
  • Buckingham Companies (headquartered in Indianapolis, IN)
  • Crawford Hoying and SunCal (headquartered in Irvine, CA)

Amy Taylor of the CDDC said that those “were the three proposals we received,” meaning that one of the four finalists — the team led by Atlanta-based Carter, along with the Robert Weiler Company, Kelley Companies and Casto — is already out of the running.

Columbus Underground has also confirmed that Crawford Hoying was told by the CDDC at least three weeks ago that they are no longer being considered for the project. That leaves two teams still standing: the Indy-based Buckingham and the Georgetown/Daimler/Kaufman group.

Although nearly all visuals, site plans and renderings were redacted from the three proposals obtained by Columbus Underground, enough information was included to provide some idea of the thinking behind each one.

The proposal from the Georgetown team calls for “three anchors which will define the ‘City of the Future.'”

Those anchors include a “demonstration center for Smart City technologies,” to be located west of Belle Street, and a “21st Century Learning Campus” on the southern end of the peninsula. Family-centered destinations could include a children’s theater or an aquarium, according to the proposal.

The third anchor is the office component of the development, which would be concentrated in the northern section of the peninsula and would be marketed as a “Technology Campus.”

Here’s the overall breakdown of uses called for in the Georgetown/Daimler/Kaufman proposal:

  • Office (Technology Campus) – 1.2 million square feet
  • Residential – 1,500 units
  • Hotel – 150,000 square feet
  • Retail – 82,000 square feet
  • Family Destinations – 68,000 square feet
  • Education – 56,000 square feet (the 20th Century Learning Campus)
  • Smart City Expo – 28,000 square feet

Compared to the original plan for the peninsula commissioned by the CDDC, from Robert A.M. Stern Architects, that represents significantly more office space (1.2 million square feet as opposed to 840,000), while calling for less retail (82,000 square feet versus 180,000).

All three members of the team have deep local connections — Kaufman and Daimler are based here, and Georgetown is the developer of Easton. The proposal also included a list of collaborators, which includes locals NBBJ, Moody Nolan, the Jones  Studio, MKSK, and EMH&T. Elkus Manfredi Architects, of Boston, and Olin, of Philadelphia, are also part of the team.

The redacted Buckingham proposal did not contain many specifics about the breakdown of uses or the design of the buildings, but it did specifically call attention to the need for the development to serve a range of ages and incomes.

“Buckingham Companies started with affordable housing,” read the proposal, “we agree that in order for Scioto to be truly successful, it must be inclusive to the growing demographics of Columbus, both from an income range standpoint as well as creating opportunities for age diversity based on design.”

The Crawford Hoying proposal also addressed that issue, stating that “many mixed use projects developed today cater heavily to empty nesters and millennials. However, we believe that Scioto Peninsula has the fantastic opportunity to be very different. The tenant mix… should reflect and serve a broader base of age groups and socioeconomic users including families with children.”

Another interesting element of that proposal concerns parking, with Crawford Hoying suggesting alternatives to building 1,800 underground parking spaces in the first phase of the development, as called for in the Robert A.M. Stern plan.

Because of the expense of building parking underground — and the possibility that autonomous vehicles will render such parking obsolete in the future — the proposal suggests either building temporary surface parking to be used in the early phases of the development, or building a less-expensive garage in an undisclosed, offsite location.

“The parking needs of our community may change as the Central Ohio region tests the applications of the Smart Columbus program,” the proposal read.

The final selection and announcement of which team has been chosen to develop the project is still planned for September, according to the CDDC.

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