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Eleven Projects Approved by Downtown Commission

Brent Warren Brent Warren Eleven Projects Approved by Downtown CommissionThe commission approved a new design for this home on Normandy Avenue. Rendering via Edwards Companies.
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The Downtown Commission met virtually this morning, the first convening of the board since the spread of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of all such meetings in March.

The agenda was longer than usual, with 11 applicants seeking certificates of appropriateness for their projects and another two going before the board for initial conceptual reviews.

The first three major elements of the Scioto Peninsula redevelopment were approved unanimously – an eight-story office building, an eight-story hotel (with a one-story retail building behind it), and two residential buildings – one 11 and the other six stories tall.

The designs of the buildings presented at today’s meeting were similar to those brought before the commission previously, although new detailed renderings of the residential buildings were included this time.

Amy Taylor, Chief Operating Officer of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, said that the approval clears the way for construction on the project to begin in September, with an estimated completion by the summer of 2022.

Also approved at today’s meeting:

  • Edwards Companies’ plan to renovate the 24-story PNC Building and build a sunken plaza along its East Broad Street frontage. 
  • A series of murals by artist Kirk Mangus on the exterior walls of Pizzuti Companies’ Library Park Apartments
  • The renovation of a two-story brick building at 123 E. Spring St., where Freedom a la Cart hopes to open a new cafe and bakery.
  • The renovation of the North Bank Park Pavilion, adding a permanent roof canopy to the river side of the building.  
  • A four-unit building to be built on a small parking lot at 106-112 E. Lafayette St., near the Firestone Auto Care facility.
  • A plan from Franklin County to tear down the elevated pedestrian bridge across South High Street that connects the Karnes Building to a parking garage. The county announced in January a larger plan to build a new municipal courthouse on the site now occupied by the Karnes Building and Dorrian Commons Park.
  • Changes to the design of a proposed single family home at 83 Normandy Ave.  
  • A second single family home, this one at 96 N. Fifth St., to replace what is now a parking lot squeezed between two existing homes.

The commission also weighed in on the design of a new, three-acre riverfront park near the new Crew Stadium. Brad Westall, of the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, presented the latest plans for the area around the Olentangy River-spanning pedestrian bridge, which the commission approved in February. The park will need to be brought back to the commission for final approval.

A plan to update the Fifth Third Center at 21 E. State St. was also presented conceptually. In addition to improvements to the landscaping and streetscape outside the two buildings that sit at the corner of State and High streets, significant alterations are proposed for the first two floors. Although the commissioners seemed to appreciate the streetscape changes, some pushed back on the changes to the lower levels, arguing for a solution that integrates better with the building.

For more information on the Downtown Commission, see www.columbus.gov.

A view of the changes proposed for 21 E. State St., rendering by NBBJ.
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