Developer Takes Grand Central Plans Off Table After Floating Site for New Crew Stadium
An ambitious plan from Schottenstein Real Estate Group to build a mixed-use development on 20-plus acres of land next to the Arena District will not be moving forward.
“After months of meetings with city and state officials, prospective users, and neighboring owners, Schottenstein Real Estate Group has decided not to move forward in the purchase of the proposed development in downtown Columbus known as Grand Central,” the developer said in a statement released today.
Although managing partner Corey Schottenstein characterized the site as a “great location” when the preliminary plans were unveiled in August, it appears as though the limitations of the two irregularly-shaped parcels ended up outweighing their proximity to the Arena District and downtown.
“It was determined that, in our opinion, the property has severe development restrictions including: A) defective access; B) railroad tracks in impeding locations with no ability for any crossings; C) major area traffic problems which would greatly limit approvals for desired land uses and adequate density for a developer of its size.”
Also included in the statement was an assertion that Schottenstein Real Estate Group reached out to an “officer” of Columbus Crew SC and “offered free land to the sports franchise, indicating that the company would work a deal with municipal governments for a discounted and fair reimbursement plan.”
“This was a bold offer of free land to gauge the Crew’s interest and ‘Save the Crew,'” the statement continued, “but was not pursued by the Crew, due to the inability for a stadium to fit on the site and/or probably because of the issues stated above.”
The site in question sits on the other side of I-670 from the White Castle headquarters, which is being developed into an office and residential mixed-use project. It also sits just to the east of the 25-acre former Jaeger manufacturing site on Nationwide Boulevard that is controlled by Nationwide Realty Investors.
The press release also touted the progress of other Schottenstein Real Estate Group projects, including the 308-unit Powell Grand Communities, Northlake Summit near the Tanger Outlet Mall, Jerome Grand in Jerome Township, and a new plan for a 45-acre development at the intersection of Home Road and State Route 23 in Delaware County.