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2012 Year in Review: Urban Development

Walker Evans Walker Evans 2012 Year in Review: Urban Development
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If there’s one word that can be used to describe the development landscape of Columbus in 2012, it’s this one: apartments. Every month saw multiple new apartment community developments of all shapes and sizes being announced, approved and breaking ground. Most are either under construction or planning to start construction in early 2013, which means that the urban population spike that will come along with these thousands of new rental units won’t fully be felt until late 2013 and into 2014. Regardless, the impact of this new development was on the minds of many throughout the year.

Below you’ll find a roundup that includes the majority of the urban development news that took place in 2012.

Development Projects Completed in 2012

Signaling the end of a bit of a dry spell for urban development, there were only a few construction sites that actually saw project completion this year. The new Downtown Hilton Hotel opened its doors in October, and the neighboring Nationwide Office building also opened a few days ago to its first employees, though both are still seeing landscaping, nearby sidewalks and parking garages being wrapped up. The Charles mixed-use apartment building on East Long Street in the King-Lincoln District celebrated its ribbon cutting in November. The Benchmark Apartments community on Henderson Road has been moving tenants in. The Rich Street Bridge officially opened Downtown, which put one of the final Scioto Mile pieces into place. Nationwide Childrens Hospital completed their large expansion project. And last but certainly not least, the Columbus Hollywood Casino finished construction and opened its doors in October.

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

Development Under Construction in 2012

Here come those apartments that we previously mentioned. The Leafydale is under construction near Goodale Park in Victorian Village. Lennox Flats is under way with its second phase of rental units. The Flats II apartments just recently broke ground in the Arena District. The Grandview Yard Apartments have started moving residents in, but are still wrapping up construction on their trio of new buildings. The 570 Lofts are still in the works on South Front Street in the Brewery District. Neighborhood Launch broke ground on the first of two new five-story apartment buildings Downtown. The Tribeca apartment community on West Third has been under construction all year. The Columbus Commons Apartments have begun construction, which will continue through 2013. A new apartment building is nearly completed, but still under construction in Harrison West. The second phase of Liberty Place apartments has risen quickly in The Brewery District. 600 Goodale broke ground this year, which will add new apartments in between Grandview and Downtown. The Wonderbread Lofts are under construction in Italian Village, changing an old bread factory into new rental housing. The Hubbard officially broke ground recently, bringing new rentals and new retail to The Short North. The Wood Companies building is also still underway in the Short North. The former Yankee Trader building is being converted into upper floor apartments with a new Flip Side restaurant on the ground floor. And Astor Place in Victorian Village recently broke ground as well.

There’s also plenty of non-apartment development going on. The Arena District is continuing to expand westward with construction beginning on the new Columbus Gas headquarters. A large mixed-use development is under way on Lane Avenue that includes a hotel, retail and offices in addition to apartments. The American Addition neighborhood is being reborn through new housing development via Homeport. The Joseph development in the Short North began this year, which will include a hotel, parking garage, offices and retail when completed. There are a cluster of new homes for sale coming to Weinland Park. The historic Leveque Tower is under-going exterior renovations for an eventual mixed-use conversion. OSU’s new Medical Center Expansion continued with construction throughout the entire year. The interchange at Interstates 71 and 670 has been rebuilt throughout the year, along with a stretch of 71 that includes the Spring Street and Long Street bridges. The Fifth Avenue dam was demolished this year, with work now being done on reshaping the flow of this portion of the Olentangy River. The Vine Street Parking garage serving the Convention Center area was expanded and should be completed next year. Ground has been broken on a new Giant Eagle store at Grandview Yard. Easton grew with a new parking garage structure in the former south Macy’s parking lot.

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

Development Projects Announced in 2012

Many new projects were also announced this year that didn’t quite see construction begin. Many are planned for 2013, though some do not have firm deadlines set yet. The Fireproof building is planned for expansion and redevelopment into a mixed-use apartment and retail project. Jeffrey Park is a massive new development planned for Italian Village that will add 1,350 new residential units to the area. New Art Loft residential units have been announced in Franklinton near 400 West Rich Street. Orange Barrel Media announced plans to relocate their headquarters to Franklinton earlier this year. Port Columbus Airport announced a new upgrade and modernization project. Plans to resculpt the Scioto River in Downtown Columbus were announced as moving forward. Pearl and Lynn Alleys are planned to receive a retail makeover in the near future. A new apartment development was announced in the Marble Cliff area. And last but not least, Lifestyle Communities announced plans for a new seven story apartment building near Columbus Commons Downtown.

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

Urban Planning for 2015 and Beyond

While planning documents aren’t necessarily the same thing as tangible development projects, they are created as a framework to help steer future public and private investments for a neighborhood or area. Several significant plans were completed in 2012 that should help to set the stage for development over the next few decades in several area. The East Franklinton Plan was made to define this near-Downtown neighborhood as a creative hub for young artists. The Bridge Street Corridor Plan in Dublin, Ohio hopes to create a new level of dense urban living in this Columbus suburb. The Scioto Peninsula is being planned for redevelopment, though a finalize planning document is still in the works. The Columbus College of Art and Design announced a new short term plan to add new dormitories and classroom buildings to their Downtown campus. The Ohio State University announced a new North Campus residential plan that will reconfigure a large section of dormitory buildings and add new accommodations for students. Also, a new initiative known as PACT has helped in the process of creating a new community plan for Near East Side neighborhoods that calls for more housing, retail and community development.

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

More and more and more…

Columbus is a rapidly growing and evolving city thanks to the many public and private projects that we’ve mentioned here, as well as others that are smaller individual projects, or new ones that have yet to be fully announced. 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. 2013 will be another big year of groundbreakings and construction cranes, and we’ll continue to keep you updated as we help document the evolution of our city.

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