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North Market Tower Gets Major Design Update

Walker Evans Walker Evans North Market Tower Gets Major Design UpdateRendering via NBBJ.
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For the first time in over two years, the proposal to build a mixed-use development on the site of the North Market parking lot has gotten a major update. Representatives involved with the project unveiled the latest design overhaul for the building yesterday, which is slated to include a mix of residential, office, retail, parking, and the new addition of hotel space.

Steve Schoeny, the Director of Development at The City of Columbus, stated that the two biggest changes to the development are both programmatic and architectural. The hotel addition — courtesy of a new partnership with Rockbridge Capital — has added another function to the building as well as a city revenue source through the Hotel Excise tax (also known as the “bed tax”). Architecturally, the building has also dropped from 35 stories to somewhere in the neighborhood of 26 (with a finalized floor count still to be determined). Additional private partners on the project still include Wood Companies and Schiff Capital Group.

“Like a lot of us in our older age, the design has gotten shorter and wider,” said Schoeny. “But the floor plates are wider, and the massing fits much better with the neighborhood. The tallest parts aren’t as distinctive as the original design.”

Schoeny stated that another important change is that a deal was struck between all development partners to ensure that approximately 15 to 20 percent of all housing units in the building are priced as “workforce housing” for residents making 80 to 100 percent of the Area Median Income.

An important part of the original plan that remains unchanged is the addition of 11,000 square feet of ground floor market space that will expand the existing North Market building by approximately 50%. The expansion will allow for additional merchants, as well as event space and seating areas both indoor and outdoor.

“Merchant success and stability have been at the forefront of the planning process with the merchants and the North Market Development Authority,” stated Collin Castore, merchant board representative and owner of The Barrel & Bottle at the North Market. “The continued vitality of the merchants, the lifeblood of the Market, is a critical focus for all involved.”

The new development also includes the creation of a long-term capital fund that will address financial needs for the North Market, which relied upon parking revenue from the existing surface lot for operational expenses.

Additional details for building functions include:

  • 150 residential units
  • 90,000 square feet of Class A office space
  • a 200-room boutique hotel
  • new bar and restaurant concepts, both on the ground floor and rooftop levels
  • a 352 space parking garage

The new version of the proposed development was approved by the North Market Development Authority in June and will go before Columbus Columbus City Council for approval on July 22. Schoeny stated that the project would still need approvals from the North Market Historic District and the Downtown Commission.

Construction is anticipated to begin in Summer 2020 with construction expected to take 24 to 30 months. Those timelines are likely to somewhat overlap with the construction of the new 28-story Hilton Hotel nearby.

All renderings via NBBJ.

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