New Eight-Story Columbus Government Building Proposed Downtown
The veil has been lifted from one of the most secretive development projects in Downtown Columbus today, as the design for a new City of Columbus office building was presented at the monthly Downtown Commission meeting this morning. The project includes an eight-story 180,000 square foot office tower designed by local architectural firms Schooley Caldwell Associates and DesignGroup. Additionally, local firm MKSK is leading the landscape architecture side of the project.
“The materials and design of the new building are intended to relate it to the remainder of the buildings on the city campus, while also making a statement about the transparency of government and the values of our city today, including innovation and sustainability,” explained Schooley Caldwell Associates president Bob Loversidge. “This team has worked very hard to make the building as contextual as it can be.”
Brent Warren first reported on the project back in May 2013, discussing how the new building would fit into the redesigned “City Campus” block that is home to City Hall, the Columbus Division of Police, and other local government offices. A former four-story government office building at 109 North Front Street was demolished this fall to make way for the new structure.
“The resulting design is a building that is very much ‘tailored’ to its unique place in the city – it’s part of the City Hall campus, and also part of a prominent urban streetscape,” said DesignGroup principal Michael Bongiorno. “This is a building that wouldn’t ‘fit’ anywhere but here.”
Once completed, the building will house four city departments: The Departments of Development, Building and Zoning, Public Services, and Public Utilities. Placing these four specific city offices in the same building is planned to better service the community as a “one-stop shop” for residents and business owners who need to interact with the City of Columbus.
The exterior of the site will see the replacement of a surface parking lot with a new “Campus Green” that will connect the buildings with pathways and provide a new public amenity for city employees, visitors and nearby residents. The project is expecting to achieve LEED certification, will feature a vegetated roof, and public artwork installations both inside and outside the building.
Parking for the “City Campus” site will be shifted to a new garage that will be constructed at the northwest intersection of Front and Long Streets. That garage is still in the design phase, but Bongiorno stated that it is expected to be around six stories tall and include parking for 600 cars. The new garage will service visitors to Columbus government offices as well as the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which currently owns and utilizes the existing parking lot on that corner.
Construction is expected to begin in the late summer of 2015 with a targeted completion date of mid-2017.
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