Decade in Development: Dublin Grows Up With Bridge ParkDecember 3, 2019 9:00 am Walker Evans
A lot has changed in Columbus between 2010 and 2020. In this series we take a look at large-scale development projects and trends that shape where we live, work and play.
In 2007, civic and community leaders in the city of Dublin decided that in order to stand apart from other Central Ohio suburbs, some bold moves would need to be made. Out of those meetings, the Bridge Street Corridor plan was born.
That plan outlined the city’s desire to convert 1,000 acres in the center of Dublin into a dense, walkable, bikeable, mixed-use pedestrian-oriented community hub. While the majority of Dublin had grown outward in a suburban fashion, city leaders recognized a need for diverse living arrangements — both for aging baby boomers and upcoming Millennials — who didn’t necessarily want a larger, single-family home with a yard and a mortgage during certain points in their lives.
Those plans may have seemed lofty in early 2012, but in late 2013, a private partnership with developer Crawford Hoying was announced that would begin with a $300-million, 25-acre mixed-use project that would include apartments, condos, offices, restaurants and more. The site was formerly home to a traditional suburban retail strip mall with the majority of land devoted to parking lots.
While Crawford Hoying would handle the private development, the City of Dublin handled the master planning of a new public park that would include acres of greenspace and a pedestrian bridge connecting Bridge Park with Historic Downtown Dublin.
Construction at Bridge Park began in 2015, and has opened in phases with over a dozen restaurants and retailers, hundreds of apartment and condo units, multiple office buildings and an eight-story hotel.
The impact of Bridge Park has catapulted Dublin to the front of the pack in terms of suburban urbanization. The rapid transformation of this site has been a case study for suburban communities that want to adopt urban plans to ensure a diverse growth dynamic for the future — and it has already been sited as an example to follow (to an admittedly smaller scale) in places like Reynoldsburg.
The next decade will see the completion of Bridge Park, as multiple buildings are still under construction – one of which includes the highly anticipated North Market expansion – and future phases include a 5,000-seat Field House event facility.