In Limbo: Still No Shovels in the Ground For These 56 Projects

Brent Warren Brent Warren In Limbo: Still No Shovels in the Ground For These 56 Projects
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At the end of each year, we like to group the urban development projects that we’ve been tracking into categories – completedunder construction and announced. We’ve also come up with this fourth category for all of the projects that don’t fit neatly into any of the other three. That could mean proposals from previous years that have been dropped, projects that are still very much alive but just haven’t started construction yet, or, in a few cases, development sites where construction began but has now stopped.

Read on for a list of those projects, and our best guess for what might happen with them in 2021.


There was no news this year on either the North Market Tower or the Millennial Tower, which was approved by the Downtown Commission in early 2018.

We saw detailed plans for Confluence Village for the first time, but the project will need to come back to the commission in 2021 before construction can start.

A new owner has plans to finally renovate the Madison’s and White-Haines buildings on High Street.

Two other historic buildings that were declared unsafe by the city in 2019 remain empty.

There was no news in 2020 about a plan for a mixed-use development on three acres of prime real estate on Capitol Square.

No further action has been taken on a plan from late 2019 to renovate and add onto a historic warehouse building.

Several other proposals from 2019 were also quiet in 2020 – Columbus Partnership’s plans for a vacant building on Front Street, a seven-story building on Mound Street, the renovation of the Salesian building, new restaurant space on Fourth, and two apartment buildings proposed for small lots.

The proposed renovation of the PNC Building was approved during the first virtual Downtown Commission meeting.

A plan to build a parking garage behind the State Auto building was abandoned after the company reassessed the need for so much parking at its headquarters.

The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation seems to have dropped the COSI Corridor idea.

The former Holy Rosary Convent building, photo by Brent Warren.

Near East Side

The renovation of The Broadwin and a historic car dealership may be moving forward in 2021 after both projects were awarded state historic tax credits.

No progress has been made on the planned renovation of the Macon Building or the transformation of the former MLK library branch into a community center.

Two buildings have been demolished but work hasn’t started on the new-build portion of this project near East High School.

A plan for the Holy Rosary Convent building doesn’t appear to be moving forward.

Italian Village

On the North Fourth Street corridor, plans to build apartments on the Durable Slate site and a boutique hotel on an adjacent parcel have stalled.

At the south end of the corridor, there have been no updates on a plan for a large office building in Jeffrey Park.

A new design for the Parkside on Pearl development was presented to the Italian Village Commission.

University District

There was plenty of discussion in 2020 about a mixed-use proposal at the corner of King and High, but the year ended without a design being approved.

There was no news this year about either of these three projects – a mixed-use development at the former Patrick J’s site, the renovation of the former Hudson Theater, and the renovation of the former Indianola Junior High.


Work is scheduled to start in 2021 on McDowell Place, a 50-unit affordable housing development on the site of the former West Side Spiritualist Church.

The second phase of the River and Rich project has yet to break ground.

After the Bellows School building was struck by lightning in September, its owner repaired the damage and hinted that a new plan for the building was in the works.

Grandview Heights

At Grandview Yard, work has not yet started on an office building at 840 Yard Street that was announced in 2019.

South of Goodale Boulevard, some of the land has been cleared for a planned 13-acre development, but there’s been no vertical construction.

A plan to convert a Marble Cliff mansion into four residential units and develop the surrounding property got a boost from the Ohio Development Services Agency.

South Side

Two contentious German Village proposals – one for a hotel and the other for apartments – remain in limbo.

A concert held at Westland Mall in September. Photo by Taijuan Moorman.

West Side

The parking lot at Westland Mall was used for socially-distanced concerts, but plans to redevelop the site have not advanced.

Nothing has happened at Cooper Stadium since a new redevelopment plan was floated in 2019.

Harrison West

Work hasn’t started yet on a planned 11-story tower at Westminster-Thurber on Neil Avenue.

A new plan has submitted for the long-stalled construction project on Michigan Avenue, but work has yet to resume at the site.

Northwest Side

An updated plan for the former Village Bookshop on 161 was scheduled to be heard by the Far Northwest Coalition in late December.

A plan to develop a large site at the corner of Henderson and Olentangy River Road has not been brought back since getting a cold reception from neighborhood groups in 2019.

Upper Arlington

Work has yet to start on the Arlington Gateway development, although the project was approved by the suburb.

The redevelopment of the Golden Bear shopping center has a tougher path ahead, though, after an amended plan for the site was voted down by the city’s Board of Zoning & Planning in June.

Other Neighborhoods

There were several new updates to the ongoing saga of the redevelopment of the former International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers site.

It looks like the latest plan to restore the original Port Columbus Air Terminal building will proceed in 2021 after a new nonprofit organization signed a long term lease for the building.

Rogue Fitness decided to build a parking lot where the company had considered putting a 4,000-seat arena.

The City of Dublin hit pause on a plan to build a new field house at Bridge Park.

Work on two large developments west of I-270 hasn’t started yet, although they both got the approvals they need to move forward.

All was quiet in 2020 for these projects – a Brewery District tower, a massive entertainment complex in Delaware County, a 10-story Short North proposal, the redevelopment of a Reynoldsburg Kmart, and this plan for a large Worthington site.

READ MORE: 40 Urban Development Projects Completed in 2020

READ MORE: 56 Urban Development Projects Under Construction in 2020

READ MORE: 35 Urban Development Projects Announced in 2020

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