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Rich Street Pedestrian Bridge Approved by Downtown Commission

Walker Evans Walker Evans Rich Street Pedestrian Bridge Approved by Downtown CommissionRendering via NBBJ.
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Representatives from NBBJ, Kaufman Development and The Daimler Group returned to the Downtown Commission this morning to review an updated design for the proposed pedestrian bridge over Rich Street that will connect the Columbus Commons parking garage with the new 12-story Two25 Commons mixed-use building that will be located adjacent to the park.

Several Commission members expressed concern with the updated design, hoping that it will stand out as an interesting architectural element. They also reiterated what was first stated back in May — that pedestrian bridges are generally frowned upon, and only a few exceptions have been made for their construction over the past decade.

“I happen to like that it’s not rectilinear and I like the fact that it stands out,” stated Commissioner Kyle Katz. “The materials themselves however, I wonder if that will dilute the form. I’m hoping that it’s not so industrial and not so easy that it betrays the design.”

The architects defended the design choices, showcasing multiple views of how the bridge will change in appearance from different vantage points, as well as how the appearance would change with different natural lighting during different times of day. The bridge would also feature decorative exterior LED lighting that would make it stand out at night as well.

After a lengthy review, the Downtown Commission voted to approve the pedestrian bridge design. NBBJ Design Principal Daniel Ayars stated that the final step for the Two25 Commons is to return to the Commission soon for approval of the landscaping, lighting and signage package. He said that Kaufman and Daimler are expecting to break ground on the project sometime in December or January.

Rendering via NBBJ.

For more information, visit www.two25commons.com.

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  • jtwill84

    Thanks for the updates on this. I’d been wondering when ground would be breaking.

    As an aside, from a reader’s perspective, it would be nice to see these development stories featured more prominently on CU’s main page. Hidden down at the bottom of the page, I often miss big updates, especially when there’s no picture to accompany the post (for example, the other story posted this morning about the approval of the 11-story building downtown). Just some feedback!

    • Thanks for the feedback. We rotate featured images at the top, so this one will likely bump up there later today. Also waiting on a better visual from the architects. What you’re looking at now is a photo from a slideshow at the meeting. Not optimal for a featured story. ;)

  • Steve Szuter

    I just don’t buy the argument that the skywalk is necessary in any way. Why are they so adamant on including one? In an area that has a 97% occupancy rate, they’re not going to have any trouble finding occupants, and no the developers won’t need to cater to that higher-income demographic by adding a skywalk to the building. It just seems idiotic, ugly, and a waste of the developers’ money. Think this one was a miss.

    • I don’t think it’s quite as essential for residents in the new building, but it is more so for office users. If you want to rent your brand new Class-A office space to tenants for as high of a price point as you can, then having attached parking via skywalk is required.

      I’d rather not have a skywalk either… but I can understand why they want to build it.

      Hopefully we won’t be seeing more of these in the future, outside of hotel-convention connectors.

      • Jon

        The problem is that a precedent is being set. While other cities are tearing them down, Columbus continues to allow them. There is no reason to deny any future proposals, as there appears to be no standards set other than a developer wants it. I don’t buy that they’re rejecting them left and right, which is the impression given. The city has built 2 themselves in the last few years- both to the convention center, and now this one. What other projects proposed them in recent years that they’ve rejected? I honestly don’t recall any other proposals that featured them.

  • I would rather them spend the money of the skywalk on a raised crosswalk across Rich and/or facade improvements to the garage — considering it’s new neighbors and users, the garage facade is both in need or repair and updating. Even just an effort at this corner would be a vast improvement.

  • Mxx

    A skywalk as terrible as the one attached to that awful hotel and to go along with the inexcusable Columbus Commons apartments… Whoever approves these projects needs to be removed and replaced with people who have some idea of what architecture can be and the role it plays it enhancing the image of a city and the lives of the people who view and interact with it. These structures make Columbus look like a strip mall.


    The image shows the outdoors being rainy. Aside from the building numbers, all “warm” colors are inside the skywalk and building. The skywalks appears to be saving the day.
    Having said that, I like the building design minus the skywalk. Skywalks breed gentrification. The street level under the City Center’s main skywalk was a panhandler’s paradise. Above that was a shopper’s paradise.

    • dalias

      Less about the skywalk and more your projection…but the image actually shows several people actively engaging the street. By my count at least 9+. The skywalk appears to have a few (2-3) obscured people using it.

  • Java Master

    Skywalks may be a disfavored architectural feature in some circles, but there can be no denying that they come in very handy in the event of inclement weather, extreme summer heat, drizzly spring showers, and cold, slushy winters daze.

  • JDS

    When I worked for Nationwide at 1 Nationwide Plaza years ago, I loved having the skywalk to use to go over to the restaurants in the Convention center.
    Also lest you forget there was a connecting “bridge” between Lazarus and City Center Mall.

  • loudiamondtabs

    Good, keep all those pesky pedestrians off the street so I can zoom around in my car, which is what streets are meant for! Get a car hippies! Now if we could only replace all the sidewalk shops and street level permeable facades and with solid concrete walls, we might finally be rid of the pedestrian problem downtown. They really get in the way of my commute from my suburban house, to my parking garage parking space, and back every day.

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