Millennial Tower will “Complete” RiverSouth Plan
When Columbus Underground first broke the news that a new 25-story mixed-use tower was being planned for Downtown Columbus, the response was overwhelming, as expected. While some discussed and debated their viewpoints on the architectural style of the building, the majority of response to the news was generally positive, as Downtown Columbus has not seen a new building this tall in several decades.
Guy Worley, President and CEO of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) and Capitol South, said that the news is even more significant for a much bigger reason.
“This completes the RiverSouth District,” he told Columbus Underground on the phone earlier this week. “Millennial Tower shows the momentum that Downtown has, and it’s a totally awesome project. I’m so impressed with it.”
The RiverSouth Master Plan, which was completed in 2006, was created to focus on the 45-acre southwestern quadrant of Downtown Columbus that was seen at the time as underutilized.
“I remember when this was 23 blocks of ‘greyfield’ — empty parking lots and abandoned buildings,” explained Worley. “And now an entire RiverSouth neighborhood has emerged due to everyone working so well together from the public sector to the private sector.”
The list of completed, planned or under-construction projects in RiverSouth include:
- The LC’s five-story Matan Building – Replacing surface parking – Construction starting this summer.
- Two 8 and 10 story LC Riversouth buildings – Replacing shorter buildings – Construction delayed.
- The LC Annex at Riversouth buildings – Replaced surface parking – Completed in 2009.
- Borror Properties five-story building – Replace a two-story nightclub – Construction starting this summer.
- The Milestone 229 restaurant at Bicentennial Park – Opened in 2011.
- The redevelopment of the old Columbia Gas HQ – Ongoing office renovation.
- The conversion of streets to two-way traffic – Completed in 2011.
- The new Scioto Mile park and trail system – Completed in 2011.
- The RiverSouth parking garage – Completed in 2009.
- The reconstruction of the Rich Street and Main Street Bridges.
- The renovation of the Lazarus Building — Completed in 2007.
- The 25-story mixed-use Millennial Tower – Replacing surface parking – Scheduled to open in 2018.
Worley credits the creation of the Scioto Mile, Scioto Greenways and Columbus Commons greenspaces as key drivers for private development efforts in the area.
“I’ve heard from numerous developers that the reason for their investment was because of the amenities,” he explained. “I think it’s really cool that a neighborhood can be developed from empty parking and abandoned buildings in just an eight year period.”
With RiverSouth being completed, Worley and his team will be turning their full attention to the Scioto Peninsula area located on the opposite side of the river. Plans to redevelop that 56-acre site were unveiled in 2013, with several projects already underway including the construction of the new Ohio Veterans Memorial and a new park with an underground garage.
For more information on CDDC & Capitol South, visit www.downtowncolumbus.com.