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Will the next 24 months of development be transformational for Columbus?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development Will the next 24 months of development be transformational for Columbus?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #1111197

    drtom1234
    Participant

    It seems like there are a number of projects that will be started, finished, or at least announced over the next 24 months that will significantly change the character of the city. Of course, there are always quite a few projects ongoing in the downtown, but some of the ones that have been discussed or at least hinted at, I think, could significantly alter both the fabric of, and perception of Columbus. And while some of the projects in themselves aren’t transformational, what they could eventually lead to could be. The list below is primarily in the order that the projects interest me, not in the liklihood of eventual completion.

    1)Scioto Peninsula/East Franklinton: When I was initially thinking about this, I was hoping for a slightly larger Bridge Park-like project with mid-rise mixed use buildings, the planned underground parking garage, and the new Vets memorial. I was thinking that the announcement of a developer(I was hoping for the Pizzuti company due to their history of such projects and their architectural flair), would maybe get some of the delayed-by-bankers projects in East Franklinton started as well. But, after reading the article in the most recent Columbus Monthly about the power players in town, it seems clear that the powers-that-be have set their eyes on these two areas, and I suspect they’ll be developed much more quickly than I initially expected. As mentioned in another thread, the Wexners are trying to bring both an American Museum of Natural history, as well as a Smithsonian affiliate to the peninsula. However, something I haven’t seen mentioned here is that NRI is apparently buying up land in East Franklinton. This was noted in the brief note in the same Cols Monthly article regarding the Nationwide CEO. With both the Wexner’s and Nationwide setting their sights on these two areas, it seems likely we’ll eventually have two, if not three new museums on the peninsula, as well as thousands of new apartments and condos across both areas. With the Wexners involved(not to mention what I would expect to be another large donation from them), the architecture of the museums, at least, should be top notch. I don’t know if my wish for the Pizzuti company to take the lead on the peninsula will happen however, as I don’t know what the relationship is between the two families. I expect the underground garage to be announced in the next 6 months, and hopefully the peninsula developer or developers not long after that. Hopefully we’ll get an official announcement on the museums in the next year as well.

    2)The former Dispatch building/Two25/3rd/4th: The rumors regarding a massive re-development by the Wolfe family of the block containing the former Dispatch building are, to my knowledge, completely unconfirmed, and regardless of whether they happen as suggested, or something completely different goes there, I have confidence that the Wolfes will put up a signature project; after all, this will likely be their lasting legacy for the city, and they’ll want to make sure it’s up to their high standards. Add to this the fantastic Two25 project on the commons, and that’s two great projects that I hope will spur much more development along the gaping parking lots that span much of 3rd/4th streets. In particular, the block across the street from Dirty Frank’s et al, not to mention the lots around the corner going east on main, would seem to be ripe for multiple developments. Personally, I hope Kaufman Development/NBBJ jump on any opportunities in this area, as I absolute love the design of Two25, and would love to see other designs from them in this area(or, really, anywhere in the city).

    3)Arena district/Pen West: With the exception of the gravel lots adjacent to 670, there is no more space left in the Arena district once the new condos start going up. I’m hopeful that within the next 24 months, not only will be the garage and first building be up, but the second will at least be announced. And preliminary work seems to have already started on the former casino site, though we have yet to have an announcement from NRI, the biggest player, on their plans. Nonetheless, between the 3 developers involved, and based on previous interviews, I would expect there to be somewhere between 1100 and 1300 new apartments/condos/homes in that space, adding perhaps as many as 1800-2000 more people downtown, not to mention the new jobs going into the area. The only question is whether NRI will add in any neighborhood amenities(e.g. shops, restaurants, etc.)

    4)River South: When the 3 planned LC buildings and the Borror building are complete, there will be by my count around 1,500 or so apartments and condos in River South, housing around 2,250 people. There are still at least 3 other lots in the area that could be developed, and it would not surprise me if this area eventually became housed as many as 3,000 people. In addition, we should see more announcements of new retail along High, in Highpoint, the LC buildings, and in the already existing buildings across from Highpoint. In addition, there is the liklihood of a large development in place of, or around, the Main bar at the corner of Main and High by the Schiff capitol group, once the pending litigation is settled.

    5)High Street/Front Street: Although I’m not a huge fan of the Edwards development near Gay, I’ve decided that the old saw about perfect being the enemy of the good should apply to it, so I’m eager to see what it looks like as it goes up, and what new retail eventually opens up there. I love the Day company plan for the old Madison building along the east side of the street. In addition, the recent article from Columbus CEO suggests that Schiff wants to build a large addition onto the Atlas building. Along Front, Connect realty is re-developing several buildings at Front and Long, including apartments and ground level retail. And although it’s not a popular project, the new city parking garage and city building on Front will essentially take up the last open space along Front. It won’t be long until there are essentially no open spaces for development along High or Front; this should spark a development rush towards 3rd and 4th streets, as above.

    6)Convention Center: Reading through the lines, it sounds as if the convention authority has already decided on an expansion of either the Hilton or the Hyatt to become the mythical “1000 bed hotel”. To my mind, the Hyatt makes more sense to expand. I hope this project is announced soon after the current convention center renovation is done. And I think it will eventually(though not in the next 24 months) lead to a new 400-500 bed hotel on the open site just west of the new parking garage. Down the road, once these projects are done, I think we’ll finally see some movement on development of the large open lot behind the convention center. Perhaps we’ll see the field house envisioned by the 2010 strategic plan, or perhaps an expansion again of the convention center. Personally, I’d like the field house, but built to have a convention center expansion built on top of it, for when it’s needed. I imagine that area could also hold another hotel and parking garage as well.

    In the long run, say over the next twenty years, as the north/south corridors(Front, High, 3rd, and 4th) become completely developed, I think we’ll see a move along the east west corridors, in particular Broad, Spring/Long, and Mound/Main. However, I think when we look back, the 24 months of 2016/17 will be seen as the inflection point of Columbus development.

    #1111201
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Here’s everything still under construction at the end of 2015:

    http://www.columbusunderground.com/urban-development-in-columbus-bw1/2

    And everything announced but not yet started:

    http://www.columbusunderground.com/urban-development-in-columbus-bw1/3

    #1111208

    indyout
    Participant

    Truly a fantastic post!

    #1111215

    Nancy H
    Participant

    I don’t think anything, short of a natural disaster (tornado, hurricane, the Chicago fire of 1871, etc) can transform any city in a short period. When you combine all the things that happened following WWII to create flight from the inner parts of cities, it took decades. Things like the Federal Housing Administrations low-cost loans for newly built suburban homes, the GI Bill, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and bulldozing for urban renewal. That took roughly 30 years. Renovating the old housing stock, creating historic districts, and rebuilding on the vacant lots has been going on for roughly 40 years now.

    As they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” You don’t have to build everything you want today, but you do have to find a way to lay another brick.

    #1111217

    OneBagTravel
    Participant

    From my observation and from following development threads for a few years on this site, I’ve come to form an opinion that Columbus must be going through a huge population boom. Based on the new housing developments all over the city I get the feeling that Columbus is just going to get packed tight with people, cars, and all forms of social infrastructure. I don’t have numbers on the issue but with every developer in Columbus apparently building 3-4 story mixed use luxury condos on every square inch, will Columbus feel crowded in the next few years?

    #1111220
    Jason Powell
    Jason Powell
    Participant

    I would argue that the last 5 years have seen developments that brought about a transformative period for Columbus….and the 5 years prior to that, and then the 5 years prior to that. I have lived here for 16 years and, in it’s current state, the city is nowhere near what it was when I moved here.

    #1111232

    CB_downtowner
    Participant

    I am incredibly excited about the proposals to fix High and Gay. It won’t transform Columbus overnight. But it’s such a critical piece to the puzzle. Once that and the lc development is completed, we have a really well connected High St from campus to german village. That gives the city a really unique identity to build off of.

    The true transformation happens when the peripheral neighborhoods get energized. Italian village, parsons, and off campus are doing a lot of this. Soon, the river and discovery district. Imagine if not only High St but the surrounding blocks were infilled.

    #1111237
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    From my observation and from following development threads for a few years on this site, I’ve come to form an opinion that Columbus must be going through a huge population boom.

    Yes, population is rising rapidly.

    13th Fastest Growing City: http://www.columbusunderground.com/census-columbus-ranked-13th-fastest-growing-us-city

    Region is growing by over 25,000 people per year: http://www.columbusunderground.com/columbus-region-grows-by-over-25000-in-past-year

    High levels of growth in the Millennial age range as well: http://www.columbusunderground.com/millennials

    Based on the new housing developments all over the city I get the feeling that Columbus is just going to get packed tight with people, cars, and all forms of social infrastructure.

    Some neighborhoods and areas (like the Short North, OSU and Grandview Yard) will certainly feel more crowded in the coming years as more people and businesses are added. Most would argue that is a positive thing, as it’s a great alternative to decline or stagnation. (When Grandview Yard was an abandoned grocery distribution center, it wasn’t doing anyone any good).

    I don’t have numbers on the issue but with every developer in Columbus apparently building 3-4 story mixed use luxury condos on every square inch…

    The majority of new development is still apartment (rental), not condo (for-sale). And while it seems to be occurring “on every square inch”… there’s actually a LOT of room left to infill. With over 220 square miles to this city (not counting the suburbs), it’s going to take decades upon decades of this rate of infill to reach any kind of maximum capacity. Near-Downtown neighborhoods like mine (King Lincoln) for example, have big open empty lots along a major commercial corridor (Long Street) that are sitting empty with no activity. I don’t think that will be the case forever (and I look forward to the day when development shifts over here) but it’s just one example of where development can head once land fills in or costs rise to a point where development concentrated in/around the Short North doesn’t make sense anymore.

    #1111238

    OneBagTravel
    Participant

    I get all hot and bothered when you talk statistics and numbers Walker!

    In regards the the Grandview Yard, it’s going to be interesting to see how it changes the area when the battle station is fully operational. When it was an empty Big Bear warehouse, Grandview and the surrounding area fit in nicely with the infrastructure of roads and intersections (not to mention cost of living). I’m curious what will happen just on a congestion side of things. This same curiosity goes for other large scale development in c-bus.

    Now let’s all get back to getting rid of parking lots downtown and start developing there again.

    #1111244

    welkstar
    Participant

    I would argue that the last 5 years have seen developments that brought about a transformative period for Columbus….and the 5 years prior to that, and then the 5 years prior to that. I have lived here for 16 years and, in it’s current state, the city is nowhere near what it was when I moved here.

    Agreed. I’ve been here 11 years and have witnessed massive change.

    The time scale for architecture is just so long; there are buildings I designed/started working on 3 years ago that are just now wrapping up construction. Even before a building proposal gets to the architect’s desk there are years of deals and negotiations on the development side. The time scale for urban planning is even longer.

    If all the changes Columbus has experienced in the last decade happened overnight (buildings popping out of the ground, bike infrastructure & COGO, Car2Go, airport renovations, hotels, etc) we’d all be jumping for joy. The processes just take so long that we quickly get used to the new hotness and it seems like it’s always been that way.

    There’s Google street view image data from as far back as 2007 in places. I encourage anyone with a negative view of our city’s development to take a virtual stroll 9 years ago. Columbus really frustrates the hell out me sometimes, but it’s amazing how far we’ve come.

    #1111248
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I get all hot and bothered when you talk statistics and numbers Walker!

    That’s what I do best! ;)

    In regards the the Grandview Yard, it’s going to be interesting to see how it changes the area when the battle station is fully operational. When it was an empty Big Bear warehouse, Grandview and the surrounding area fit in nicely with the infrastructure of roads and intersections (not to mention cost of living). I’m curious what will happen just on a congestion side of things. This same curiosity goes for other large scale development in c-bus.

    Certainly, congestion management is something worthy of consideration and study, but it’s tough to compare to previous models, since nearly all office park development has been in unwalkable isolated suburban locations where there is no option to do anything other than drive.

    That being said, the tradeoff is a HUGE influx into the tax base of Grandview Heights. Unless anything has changed, it was said in 2014 that the relocation of Nationwide Insurance offices there would pump an extra $7.7 million in annual payroll taxes and $235 million in taxable property values into the city by 2020. I forget the specific percentages (it’s been two years since I saw the presentation) but it was roughly doubling those figures for Grandview (which has very few large office/business within city limits).

    So yeah, the citizens and leaders of Grandview Heights would have to be kind of crazy to pass up the deal on the worry that there might be a little more traffic from 7:30am to 8:30am and 4:30pm to 5:30pm on weekdays. ;)

    #1111259

    rory
    Participant

    The next 24 months are going to transformational for development. I just hope it’s not only transformational in regards to what gets built but also for what gets saved. It’s too easy to look back at bursts of development like this and realize we’ve torn down a lot of nice buildings.

    #1111262

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    From my observation and from following development threads for a few years on this site, I’ve come to form an opinion that Columbus must be going through a huge population boom. Based on the new housing developments all over the city I get the feeling that Columbus is just going to get packed tight with people, cars, and all forms of social infrastructure. I don’t have numbers on the issue but with every developer in Columbus apparently building 3-4 story mixed use luxury condos on every square inch, will Columbus feel crowded in the next few years?

    In some aspects, Columbus is booming, while in others it isn’t. In terms of its population, it is certainly booming relatively to its own history. It is on pace to add potentially 120,000 people or more this decade, the highest rate of total growth in its history. On the other hand, I don’t feel like the city is adding NEARLY enough residential units. It should be double or even triple the rate that construction is currently happening, especially in the urban core. So on the construction side of things, it is faster than it was in the 2000s, but well below what it really needs to be. This seems to be a combination of banks unwilling to take chances, existing builders that lack the manpower, and simply not enough builders overall.

    #1111263

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    As far as the next 2 years being more transformational than previous such periods, I don’t know. Columbus is reaching a size where it (i.e. the people) needs to really start thinking as a major city, something I feel it has resisted doing for a long time.

    That means that transit has to happen. Sorry train haters, but self-driving cars aren’t going to be any more urban than those you have to drive yourself. You will still need parking for them, which still works against the urban fabric. So rail, streetcars, monorail, DEDICATED BRT, etc. will have to be looked at, and not in some COTA 30-year plan, either. NOW, or there will be that much more pain making it happen later on.

    It also means upping the game in terms of cultural institutions. The Wexner plan would be a huge step in making that happen, and would probably lead to more down the road. However, if for some reason that fell apart or was just a bad rumor, then there has to be a backup plan. I don’t feel like Columbus has done a great job supporting the arts, and that needs to change.

    Finally, it needs to get some big-boy developers. It has one or two, but even they are usually unwilling or unable to go beyond 4-6 stories, and as I mentioned above, this isn’t going to be able to sustain or manage current growth, let alone future growth.

    #1111264

    Roger846
    Participant

    As far as the next 2 years being more transformational than previous such periods, I don’t know. Columbus is reaching a size where it (i.e. the people) needs to really start thinking as a major city, something I feel it has resisted doing for a long time.

    That means that transit has to happen.

    Finally, it needs to get some big-boy developers. It has one or two, but even they are usually unwilling or unable to go beyond 4-6 stories, and as I mentioned above, this isn’t going to be able to sustain or manage current growth, let alone future growth.

    While I agree that there’s been major change over the 26 years I’ve lived here, I agree completely with jcbmh81 in that some of our civic leaders, bankers, developers and citizens still don’t have that big city mindset of let’s try to do something a little bigger (rail transit, buildings over 6 story brick boxes, funding more startups, etc.). I hope the next two years are transformational, but I’m not getting the hopes up too far based on past experience.

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