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Downtown Commission Weighs in on Millennial Tower Proposal

Walker Evans Walker Evans Downtown Commission Weighs in on Millennial Tower ProposalPhoto by Walker Evans.
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The recently-announced 25-story Millennial Tower received its first round of feedback from the Downtown Commission this morning as the project went in front of the group for conceptual review. Developer Bill Schottenstein presented the project to the Commission, and explained the thought process behind the design, the height, the uses, and the architecture.

The mixed-use project was generally well received by the group, although there was a bit of discussion about the bold architectural style.

“I like the design, and I like things that are different,” said Commissioner Danni Palmore. “But it’s not truly compatible with what’s going up around it.”

Schottenstein said that he disagreed, pointing out contemporary design similarities with the new Franklin County Courthouse building and with Miranova.

“There is a dynamic shift in the market,” explained Schottenstein. “What people are looking for today is not what they were looking for in the past. Things have changed — everyone is looking for more open space, more glass, higher ceilings and outdoor space — and that’s what we’re building toward.”

Millennial Tower — Rendering via Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates.

Nearly every commission member was in agreement that the large video display boards were an issue that needs further resolution before the project moves forward.

“We want to avoid having more billboard space,” said Commissioner Kyle Katz.

“It’s way overboard on video graphics,” echoed Commission Chair Stephen Wittmann.

“That’s a high definition TV,” said Commissioner Mike Brown. “Even if the brightness is turned down, they’re still huge. If I were living anywhere around it, I’d be buying blackout blinds right now.”

Since the project was submitted only for conceptual review, it is expected to return to the Commission at a future date for further review and/or approval.

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