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Commission Approves Hilton Hotel Expansion

Brent Warren Brent Warren Commission Approves Hilton Hotel ExpansionA rendering of the building's High Street facade, as submitted to the City of Columbus.
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After more than a year of updates and revisions, the plan to build a 28-story Hilton hotel next to the Greater Columbus Convention Center passed a final milestone this morning when the project was approved by the Downtown Commission.

The project has been described since it was first proposed as an expansion of the Hilton Columbus Downtown, which sits at 401 N. High St. The new, $220 million building will connect to the older building via the existing walkway over High Street. Together, the two buildings will hold 1,000 hotel rooms and contain a total of 858,000 square feet of space.

The new building will also feature a ground floor restaurant and two outdoor terraces dedicated to dining and drinking on the 28th floor.

Daniel Thomas, Urban Design Manager for the City of Columbus, said that the city recently assigned certified addresses for the project – 404 N. High St. for the restaurant and 402 N. High St. for the hotel lobby, which will be accessed from Ohio Center Way (the existing loop road that provides drop-off access for vehicles from High Street).

The building’s exterior design hasn’t changed since the project went before the commission in May. Changes to the landscaping along High Street were among several minor updates presented to the board this month.

Representatives of the design team – which includes Cooper Carry, Jeffrey Beers International, JLL and local firm Meyers + Associates – said that a groundbreaking ceremony for the project has been tentatively scheduled for August 9.

Also receiving a vote of approval from the commission was a plan to convert a self-storage facility on Goodale Street into a multi-tenant space geared toward bar or restaurant users.

Although the renovation of the building was approved, the applicant will have to come back with more detailed information on landscaping, lighting, and a plan to use the two existing billboards on the site as tenant signage.

Laurie Gunzelman, of Gunzelman Architecture + Interiors, said that the building’s owner is also interested in using the two billboards for movie screenings, allowing for “the corner to be used as a more social venue.”

Two other building renovations were approved at this morning’s meeting: facade improvements for the long vacant, three-story building at 37 N. High St., which will be home to a Kiddie Academy childcare facility, and changes to the doorways and sidewalks in front of the three-story brick building at 240 N. Fifth St.

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