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Two25 17 Story High Rise Proposed for SE Columbus Commons

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development Two25 17 Story High Rise Proposed for SE Columbus Commons

Viewing 15 posts - 151 through 165 (of 304 total)
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  • #1113203

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    Perhaps the contributions we make to the city aren’t in the form of Internet message board complaints :)

    Frankly, I find it offensive when you call my home a cow town. Is every metro area evaluated on its maturity as an urban metropolis? If so, it’s a zero sum game, because there are only so many people on Earth.

    So you’re just here to tell others how to post, is that it? If I was super excited about this and had nothing but praise, would that be any different?

    Columbus is my hometown. I spend an inordinate amount of time discussing and writing about it. I didn’t actually call it a cow town, but rather suggested that some of the attitudes perpetuate that image. And I don’t think I am saying that Columbus should be a megalopolis, only that it should strive for the best possible result instead of always simply accepting whatever happens to come. I see that attitude over and over and over. I happen to think Columbus deserves better than that.

    #1113205

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    I think it’s hardly swallowing mediocrity in this case. The design is still solid, the height is still solid. This concept of being stuck in a 6 story bubble is simply false. This, 250, the LCs and the project in the discovery district (name slips me) all prove that mentality wrong.

    To us, it’s a few stories, to them, it’s a few million dollars. So yes, until there are actual enforceable design standards for downtown regarding height and architecture for each property, a more persuasive tax system to encourage more upward growth etc, we don’t really have much say in telling a private company what to do with their private finances and private land (although I’m not sure this classifies as private land in which case there is more leverage). We can force a company to spend more on safety, environment, accessibility and the like but we can’t force companies to spend more for the sake of our inner sim city builder. I’m all for bigger and better designs, but we need to just stop arbitrarily saying that these companies need to just add more floors like they’re lego bricks. That and maybe, they ACTUALLY went too ambitious to begin with and couldn’t make the books work. Not that they’re wimping out arbitrarily. That’s all. Nothing more than that and nothing to do with a cowtown mentality, particularly seeing as I’m not from this cowtown. I like to think I retained my NEO mentality regarding urban development. I would love to see us match and exceed our peer cities and I often look at what others are doing and wondering why Columbus isn’t and can’t, but again, we just don’t have the big players with big pockets here. And it probably has something to do with the banks thinking the same way.

    Edit: And I’ve brought this up before, I’d be curious to see if the major developers for the large projects we see in our peer cities have so many projects over a large area or if they are concentrated to downtowns. I stand by possibility that this may an issue where our biggest players are spread so widely among Central Ohio dividing resources and capital.

    When comparing the number of 10+ story buildings with those 5 and under that have been built or proposed the last decade, the totals aren’t even close. Hell, add up every floor that has been removed from projects just in the last few years and you’d have more 10+ story buildings than are currently proposed. I have already acknowledged and stated more than once that Columbus may not have developers who have the will or ability to handle the bigger projects, but that isn’t the only problem, IMO. There has been and continues to be this pervasive attitude where reductions in size and scope are now a matter of expected course. Or that small or low-rise scale projects are totally fine on High Street Downtown… because hey, better than that surface lot! I’m reminded of that “Lowered Expectations” skit from MadTV. We can blame the banks or the developers, but ultimately the problem may actually just be that many residents still just think of Columbus as that small college town where big things don’t happen. Banks and development companies are run by people who live and work in the area. If we can’t even get the people who are supposed to most value the urban concept on board, I can understand why the people who could have the biggest impact are not.

    #1113206

    Roger846
    Participant

    My two comments are:

    1. I think it would be helpful if, in addition to inviting travel writers from other cities to visit Columbus so they can spread the word, the Chamber of Commerce or some group invited suburban Columbusites who rarely visit downtown for a 2-3 day junket to show them what’s new in the last 15 years. Then, those people could spread the word on their vacations and business trips. I think they already have some kind of ambassador program, but I’m not sure if they do this kind of thing.

    2. In general I don’t think it’s helpful when comments are made like if you don’t like our lack of tall buildings, leave town, or if you want to see tall buildings be built, you have a phallic obsession. Maybe, we, including me, overdo the tall buildings agitation, but I think it’s safe to say that everyone that comments on this page likes Columbus and wants a good future for it. People have different ways of wanting that to happen (tall buildings versus not, light rail versus self-driving cars, etc.), but I think there’s room in the tent for everyone. Although, I guess the final say is up to Walker since it’s his site.

    #1113208

    CB_downtowner
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>ohbr wrote:</div>
    I think it’s hardly swallowing mediocrity in this case. The design is still solid, the height is still solid. This concept of being stuck in a 6 story bubble is simply false. This, 250, the LCs and the project in the discovery district (name slips me) all prove that mentality wrong.

    To us, it’s a few stories, to them, it’s a few million dollars. So yes, until there are actual enforceable design standards for downtown regarding height and architecture for each property, a more persuasive tax system to encourage more upward growth etc, we don’t really have much say in telling a private company what to do with their private finances and private land (although I’m not sure this classifies as private land in which case there is more leverage). We can force a company to spend more on safety, environment, accessibility and the like but we can’t force companies to spend more for the sake of our inner sim city builder. I’m all for bigger and better designs, but we need to just stop arbitrarily saying that these companies need to just add more floors like they’re lego bricks. That and maybe, they ACTUALLY went too ambitious to begin with and couldn’t make the books work. Not that they’re wimping out arbitrarily. That’s all. Nothing more than that and nothing to do with a cowtown mentality, particularly seeing as I’m not from this cowtown. I like to think I retained my NEO mentality regarding urban development. I would love to see us match and exceed our peer cities and I often look at what others are doing and wondering why Columbus isn’t and can’t, but again, we just don’t have the big players with big pockets here. And it probably has something to do with the banks thinking the same way.

    Edit: And I’ve brought this up before, I’d be curious to see if the major developers for the large projects we see in our peer cities have so many projects over a large area or if they are concentrated to downtowns. I stand by possibility that this may an issue where our biggest players are spread so widely among Central Ohio dividing resources and capital.

    When comparing the number of 10+ story buildings with those 5 and under that have been built or proposed the last decade, the totals aren’t even close. Hell, add up every floor that has been removed from projects just in the last few years and you’d have more 10+ story buildings than are currently proposed. I have already acknowledged and stated more than once that Columbus may not have developers who have the will or ability to handle the bigger projects, but that isn’t the only problem, IMO. There has been and continues to be this pervasive attitude where reductions in size and scope are now a matter of expected course. Or that small or low-rise scale projects are totally fine on High Street Downtown… because hey, better than that surface lot! I’m reminded of that “Lowered Expectations” skit from MadTV. We can blame the banks or the developers, but ultimately the problem may actually just be that many residents still just think of Columbus as that small college town where big things don’t happen. Banks and development companies are run by people who live and work in the area. If we can’t even get the people who are supposed to most value the urban concept on board, I can understand why the people who could have the biggest impact are not.

    I think that transforming Italian Village, Columbus Commons, Scioto Mile, Riversouth (incl. Leveque and Atlas), Parsons, and adding density to an already dense Short North, campus, and North bank/Arena… not to mention the exciting development plan for High & Gay / Discovery District the next 2 years, is more than just “knocking down parking lots.” These are massive transformations to an 8-mile stretch of neighborhoods with downtown as the core and they’re happening really fast. That’s not even counting Grandview. Hell, just a few months ago we were griping that it was taking LC a few years to build 8 stories. I can’t imagine if it took 5+ years or if we had multiple developers hung up on projects.

    Sure, some disappointments along the way, but the pace and progress of development despite those is still very impressive. Nothing cowtown about that. If you think it is, then I think you have a very loose definition of “sprawl” because I see these transformations as extensions of downtown. Would I trade one of those neighborhood transformations for 1 tall building? For Columbus? Not necessarily.

    #1113217

    Shako
    Participant

    When I say “move out”, I mean find a city that suits your self identity better if it causes you much consternation that it isn’t “developing quickly enough and big enough”. Said differently, what you (generic “you”, no one in particular) see as a problem or lack of progress may actually be “just right” in the perspective of the majority of our citizens. Urban development is a means, not an ends in and of itself. It has to serve a purpose. I enjoy much of the discourse on this board, but there is often a certain grain of moralisism regarding discussion of development projects that (like many message boards) can at times lead to an insular vibe for many “outsiders” (I.e. frequent readers, infrequent posters). Just my two cents! Nothing personal about any individual here :)

    #1113219

    drew
    Participant

    I think that transforming Italian Village, Columbus Commons, Scioto Mile, Riversouth (incl. Leveque and Atlas), Parsons, and adding density to an already dense Short North, campus, and North bank/Arena… not to mention the exciting development plan for High & Gay / Discovery District the next 2 years, is more than just “knocking down parking lots.” These are massive transformations to an 8-mile stretch of neighborhoods with downtown as the core and they’re happening really fast. That’s not even counting Grandview. Hell, just a few months ago we were griping that it was taking LC a few years to build 8 stories. I can’t imagine if it took 5+ years or if we had multiple developers hung up on projects.

    Sure, some disappointments along the way, but the pace and progress of development despite those is still very impressive. Nothing cowtown about that. If you think it is, then I think you have a very loose definition of “sprawl” because I see these transformations as extensions of downtown. Would I trade one of those neighborhood transformations for 1 tall building? For Columbus? Not necessarily.

    Absolutely +1. It just seems self-evident to me that developing the greater downtown area is far preferable to cramming high rises into the CBD just to make ourselves feel more cosmopolitan (based upon an outdated notion of cosmopolitanism, no less…). I fail to see the point in massing density into one small area to the detriment of the larger area, and feel certain that neither businesses nor residents would follow that development pattern enough to make it viable anyway. Undoubtedly developers have come to the same conclusion.

    Many European cities are low- to mid- rise, and are no worse off for it (including in measures of density). To my mind, high rises are only sensible in areas of extreme land shortage, and in areas that don’t meet that criteria they’re often just symbols of tacky wealth chasing tacky prestige.

    Which really just isn’t Columbus, is it? I mean, hell… look at the existing high rises downtown. Are any of them architectural masterpieces? Not by a long shot – many are just plain ugly. They were, however, considered current and important in their time. Every new building has a nontrivial chance of being unloved with age, so why take a chance of dropping a 50 story steamer (or ten) right in the middle of the city?

    So much of our relative lack of confidence as a city comes from looking at what we’re not rather than what we are. And, what we are is a city of neighborhoods. We should build on that, and we should understand that our enduring appeal will not come from looking like everyone else or doing what everyone else does. That’ll just make us anonymous.

    #1113222
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    If you don’t like Columbus, vote with your feet.

    I think the polling station volunteers would get upset if you dirtied up the touchscreens with your toes.

    #1113225

    WJT
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Shako wrote:</div>
    If you don’t like Columbus, vote with your feet.

    I think the polling station volunteers would get upset if you dirtied up the touchscreens with your toes.

    lol this thread needed a little levity. :)

    #1113226
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    Many European cities are low- to mid- rise, and are no worse off for it (including in measures of density). To my mind, high rises are only sensible in areas of extreme land shortage, and in areas that don’t meet that criteria they’re often just symbols of tacky wealth chasing tacky prestige….

    So much of our relative lack of confidence as a city comes from looking at what we’re not rather than what we are. And, what we are is a city of neighborhoods. We should build on that, and we should understand that our enduring appeal will not come from looking like everyone else or doing what everyone else does. That’ll just make us anonymous.

    This. As a city we should be measuring ourselves based on the vibrancy of our streets and the urban design at street level, not an ‘edifice complex’ that says if we’re not building a 20 story building we’re failing. Most of the tall buildings we currently have are detrimental to the vitality of Downtown, not additive due to poor urban design.

    Rather than form, lets evaluate ourselves on function. Whether a building is five stories or ten or twenty, if its adding to the streetscape, if it improves vibrancy, if it has a good urban design, then it will be a positive for the city. I would much rather our city be know as one of bustling storefronts and full sidewalks than one of tall buildings.

    #1113232

    CMH2579
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>drew wrote:</div>
    Many European cities are low- to mid- rise, and are no worse off for it (including in measures of density). To my mind, high rises are only sensible in areas of extreme land shortage, and in areas that don’t meet that criteria they’re often just symbols of tacky wealth chasing tacky prestige….

    So much of our relative lack of confidence as a city comes from looking at what we’re not rather than what we are. And, what we are is a city of neighborhoods. We should build on that, and we should understand that our enduring appeal will not come from looking like everyone else or doing what everyone else does. That’ll just make us anonymous.

    This. As a city we should be measuring ourselves based on the vibrancy of our streets and the urban design at street level, not an ‘edifice complex’ that says if we’re not building a 20 story building we’re failing. Most of the tall buildings we currently have are detrimental to the vitality of Downtown, not additive due to poor urban design.

    Rather than form, lets evaluate ourselves on function. Whether a building is five stories or ten or twenty, if its adding to the streetscape, if it improves vibrancy, if it has a good urban design, then it will be a positive for the city. I would much rather our city be know as one of bustling storefronts and full sidewalks than one of tall buildings.

    Well said. Agreed.

    #1113243

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>jbcmh81 wrote:</div>

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>ohbr wrote:</div><br>
    I think it’s hardly swallowing mediocrity in this case. The design is still solid, the height is still solid. This concept of being stuck in a 6 story bubble is simply false. This, 250, the LCs and the project in the discovery district (name slips me) all prove that mentality wrong.

    To us, it’s a few stories, to them, it’s a few million dollars. So yes, until there are actual enforceable design standards for downtown regarding height and architecture for each property, a more persuasive tax system to encourage more upward growth etc, we don’t really have much say in telling a private company what to do with their private finances and private land (although I’m not sure this classifies as private land in which case there is more leverage). We can force a company to spend more on safety, environment, accessibility and the like but we can’t force companies to spend more for the sake of our inner sim city builder. I’m all for bigger and better designs, but we need to just stop arbitrarily saying that these companies need to just add more floors like they’re lego bricks. That and maybe, they ACTUALLY went too ambitious to begin with and couldn’t make the books work. Not that they’re wimping out arbitrarily. That’s all. Nothing more than that and nothing to do with a cowtown mentality, particularly seeing as I’m not from this cowtown. I like to think I retained my NEO mentality regarding urban development. I would love to see us match and exceed our peer cities and I often look at what others are doing and wondering why Columbus isn’t and can’t, but again, we just don’t have the big players with big pockets here. And it probably has something to do with the banks thinking the same way.

    Edit: And I’ve brought this up before, I’d be curious to see if the major developers for the large projects we see in our peer cities have so many projects over a large area or if they are concentrated to downtowns. I stand by possibility that this may an issue where our biggest players are spread so widely among Central Ohio dividing resources and capital.

    When comparing the number of 10+ story buildings with those 5 and under that have been built or proposed the last decade, the totals aren’t even close. Hell, add up every floor that has been removed from projects just in the last few years and you’d have more 10+ story buildings than are currently proposed. I have already acknowledged and stated more than once that Columbus may not have developers who have the will or ability to handle the bigger projects, but that isn’t the only problem, IMO. There has been and continues to be this pervasive attitude where reductions in size and scope are now a matter of expected course. Or that small or low-rise scale projects are totally fine on High Street Downtown… because hey, better than that surface lot! I’m reminded of that “Lowered Expectations” skit from MadTV. We can blame the banks or the developers, but ultimately the problem may actually just be that many residents still just think of Columbus as that small college town where big things don’t happen. Banks and development companies are run by people who live and work in the area. If we can’t even get the people who are supposed to most value the urban concept on board, I can understand why the people who could have the biggest impact are not.

    I think that transforming Italian Village, Columbus Commons, Scioto Mile, Riversouth (incl. Leveque and Atlas), Parsons, and adding density to an already dense Short North, campus, and North bank/Arena… not to mention the exciting development plan for High & Gay / Discovery District the next 2 years, is more than just “knocking down parking lots.” These are massive transformations to an 8-mile stretch of neighborhoods with downtown as the core and they’re happening really fast. That’s not even counting Grandview. Hell, just a few months ago we were griping that it was taking LC a few years to build 8 stories. I can’t imagine if it took 5+ years or if we had multiple developers hung up on projects.

    Sure, some disappointments along the way, but the pace and progress of development despite those is still very impressive. Nothing cowtown about that. If you think it is, then I think you have a very loose definition of “sprawl” because I see these transformations as extensions of downtown. Would I trade one of those neighborhood transformations for 1 tall building? For Columbus? Not necessarily.

    Yes, there have been a lot of changes in the core of the city, but I am not arguing that there hasn’t been. I am debating whether those changes that have occurred have been the best or as close to the best that could be done. IMO, that answer is no. For the most part, there have been FAR more projects that were disappointments than projects that met or exceeded the potential of any given site or location. Ultimately, does a 12 story building come closer to the potential of that corner of the Commons than 5 stories? Sure, absolutely. Is it the best that can be done there realistically? No way. Same with Gay and High or HighPoint or LC at RiverSouth or the pair of proposals for Front and Main or White Castle or the Jerome… and so on and so on. Big changes are occurring, to be sure, but there is no way in hell that Downtown ever gets even close to its historic population by building the way we are now. There is no way that that level of vibrancy is ever going to return to the streets of the city on the current path of lowest common denominator construction, and I kind of thought that was the entire goal. Maybe I am wrong about that, though.

    #1113246

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>CB_downtowner wrote:</div>
    I think that transforming Italian Village, Columbus Commons, Scioto Mile, Riversouth (incl. Leveque and Atlas), Parsons, and adding density to an already dense Short North, campus, and North bank/Arena… not to mention the exciting development plan for High & Gay / Discovery District the next 2 years, is more than just “knocking down parking lots.” These are massive transformations to an 8-mile stretch of neighborhoods with downtown as the core and they’re happening really fast. That’s not even counting Grandview. Hell, just a few months ago we were griping that it was taking LC a few years to build 8 stories. I can’t imagine if it took 5+ years or if we had multiple developers hung up on projects.

    Sure, some disappointments along the way, but the pace and progress of development despite those is still very impressive. Nothing cowtown about that. If you think it is, then I think you have a very loose definition of “sprawl” because I see these transformations as extensions of downtown. Would I trade one of those neighborhood transformations for 1 tall building? For Columbus? Not necessarily.

    Absolutely +1. It just seems self-evident to me that developing the greater downtown area is far preferable to cramming high rises into the CBD just to make ourselves feel more cosmopolitan (based upon an outdated notion of cosmopolitanism, no less…). I fail to see the point in massing density into one small area to the detriment of the larger area, and feel certain that neither businesses nor residents would follow that development pattern enough to make it viable anyway. Undoubtedly developers have come to the same conclusion.

    Many European cities are low- to mid- rise, and are no worse off for it (including in measures of density). To my mind, high rises are only sensible in areas of extreme land shortage, and in areas that don’t meet that criteria they’re often just symbols of tacky wealth chasing tacky prestige.

    Which really just isn’t Columbus, is it? I mean, hell… look at the existing high rises downtown. Are any of them architectural masterpieces? Not by a long shot – many are just plain ugly. They were, however, considered current and important in their time. Every new building has a nontrivial chance of being unloved with age, so why take a chance of dropping a 50 story steamer (or ten) right in the middle of the city?

    So much of our relative lack of confidence as a city comes from looking at what we’re not rather than what we are. And, what we are is a city of neighborhoods. We should build on that, and we should understand that our enduring appeal will not come from looking like everyone else or doing what everyone else does. That’ll just make us anonymous.

    I’m not sure comparing European cities to Columbus is really all that fair. First of all, most of those low-rise buildings tend to be historic in nature and built in a way that very, very few sections of Columbus are now-continuous, connected and very compact which naturally act to increase density in a given area. Second, European cities tend to be far more urban minded in terms of the street-level experience. You don’t see every new project requiring a 300 space parking garage (or random parking garages on every block), and transit and biking infrastructure is typically leagues more advanced and widespread.

    And why can’t both the development of the greater urban core continue and taller buildings be built in Downtown? I don’t see why it has to be one or the other. Do you really think that any other city that is getting some taller buildings in their downtowns don’t have anything else going on across the city? Come on.

    Quite a few of the existing high rises Downtown are city office buildings built between 1960 and 1980, not exactly a peak time for architecture. And the fact that so many were at least partially publicly financed probably didn’t allow for much design. With some obvious exceptions, the corporate HQ buildings are generally much better looking. The handful of residential high rises are generally fairly nice, at least Downtown.

    The argument is not to be like everyone else. The only time other cities get brought up is because pretty much all of them are building more, and not just in their downtowns, regardless of economic factors. It has been reported several times now that Columbus is not nearly keeping up with demand for housing. Building the fewest number of floors for every project is not going to help with this, and it is not going to get the city to what it supposedly wants to be- a walkable, vibrant place that at least reaches or exceeds its historic urban population levels. Based on the comments, I am definitely in the minority on this. Maybe I am somewhat biased or spoiled as I have lived elsewhere, in much larger cities where big ideas and projects are the norm. Cue the old standard, “We’re not NYC!” No shit… but we’re also not Des Moines.

    #1113249

    Lu
    Participant

    As a city we should be measuring ourselves based on the vibrancy of our streets and the urban design at street level, not an ‘edifice complex’ that says if we’re not building a 20 story building we’re failing. Most of the tall buildings we currently have are detrimental to the vitality of Downtown, not additive due to poor urban design.

    This, exactly. Some of the best, most enjoyable cities in the world have shorter buildings downtown. The vibrant street life of Paris and DC is, if anything, helped by block after block of uniformly mid-rise buildings with plenty of storefronts, lots of sun, visible skies, and fresh air.

    I’d hate for us to end up like Charlotte’s downtown, which has dozens of skyscrapers surrounded by parking lots, and has the depressing feel of an enormous office park.

    #1113251

    Lu
    Participant

    I’m not sure comparing European cities to Columbus is really all that fair. First of all, most of those low-rise buildings tend to be historic in nature and built in a way that very, very few sections of Columbus are now

    Then take a look at DC, which has a wonderful downtown full of mostly modern mid-rise buildings. This isn’t by accident: DC requires all new downtown buildings to have uniform setbacks from the streets and uniform heights, which creates a “street wall” that helps to frame and activate the sidewalk. DC also has strict minimum requirements for street-level retail and for sidewalk amenities.

    All of this gives downtown DC the feel of a European city, but with relatively modern buildings. It works extremely well.

    #1113252

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>jbcmh81 wrote:</div>
    I’m not sure comparing European cities to Columbus is really all that fair. First of all, most of those low-rise buildings tend to be historic in nature and built in a way that very, very few sections of Columbus are now

    Then take a look at DC, which has a wonderful downtown full of mostly modern mid-rise buildings. This isn’t by accident: DC requires all new downtown buildings to have uniform setbacks from the sidewalks and uniform heights, which creates a “street wall” that helps to frame and activate the street. DC also has strict minimum requirements for street-level retail and for sidewalk amenities.

    All of this gives downtown DC the feel of a European city, but with relatively modern buildings. It works extremely well.

    DC is another poor comparison, because it has a self-imposed height limit. It limits growth, density and perpetuates rising housing costs. Even then and for the record, most of its construction is still taller than most of Columbus’, and Columbus certainly doesn’t have DC’s strict development standards in terms of retail, design or scale.

    In any case, I can tell when the debate is lost. The majority of people want something different than I do. Disappointing, but nothing I can do about that. So it goes.

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