City to Seek Proposals for Long Street Site Downtown
The pending relocation of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging to the South Side will be leaving a prime development site open downtown; the agency’s six-story office building and adjacent parking lot at 174 East Long Street.
The City of Columbus will be sending out a Request for Proposals before the end of this year seeking a buyer for the site. The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, which is administered by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, will be moving to Bob Evans’ former headquarters at 3776 South High Street. The city recently agreed to buy that site, which had sat empty since the company relocated to New Albany in 2011.
Steve Schoeny, the city’s Director of Development, said that there’s a big potential upside in the move for all involved.
“The COAAA needed a new space, the Bob Evans location needed a great tenant, and downtown needs more parking, more jobs and more residential, and I think we can get something done that accomplishes all of that.”
Schoeny added that, while the details of the RFP were still being ironed out, the city’s number one focus for the site is alleviating the parking crunch downtown, an issue that’s come up with increased-frequency as more and more surface parking lots are developed; “we’d like to see parking, jobs, and residential, in that order.”
Schoeny also confirmed that the city had been in talks with Continental Realty, which produced a marketing video for their Continental Centre office building that showed a rendering of a 700-car garage on the site with multiple floors of residential above. The city ultimately decided that an open RFP process was more appropriate given the significance of the site.
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