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Commission Weighs In On Scioto Peninsula Plans

Brent Warren Brent Warren Commission Weighs In On Scioto Peninsula PlansImages courtesy of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation.
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The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) presented plans for the first phase of its Scioto Peninsula development to the Downtown Commission this morning.

The plans largely mirror those first released in August, which call for three apartment buildings, an office building and a hotel to be built along Belle Street. The buildings would range from eight to 11 stories, and would be centered within the site. Future phases would see development extend to West Broad Street to the north and West Town Street to the south, and then eventually to the undeveloped parcels beyond those two streets.

The project was only presented conceptually – meaning no vote was taken – although the initial comments on the design from the commission were almost universally positive. The board did vote to approve the demolition of a small, one-story building at of 322 W. State St., the future site of the hotel.

Representatives of the three developers associated with the project each presented – Chris Rupp from Rockbridge spoke to the hotel element, Bob White, Jr. of Daimler to the office, and Deron Kintner of Flaherty & Collins to the residential portion.

The ground floor of the hotel building would contain a restaurant, a coffee shop and several other retail spaces. Rupp said that the goal was to create “a social hub of activity, not only for hotel guests but for our residential neighbors and the office tenants,” adding that the building with the sawtooth roof could potentially hold a neighborhood market.

Each of the developers will be back within the first quarter of next year to present refined designs of the different elements to the commission for final approval, according to Amy Taylor of the CDDC.

Taylor said that the CDDC will also return to the commission for approval of two parking garages planned for the western edge of the site. Together, the garages will hold between 1,200 and 1,400 cars, providing the primary parking option for an estimated 1,000 employees, as well as hotel guests, residents and visitors. Elevated walkways would connect the garages to the rest of the development.

Work is scheduled to begin on the project next spring, with completion of the first phase targeted for June of 2022.

Commissioner Danni Palmore raised concerns about a lack of “architectural diversity” on the downtown-facing sides of the buildings on Belle Street, although she joined other commissioners in praising the overall concept. “Guy (Worley) and the CDDC have come back with a fantastic team,” she said.

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