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Plans Presented for Confluence Village Development

Brent Warren Brent Warren Plans Presented for Confluence Village DevelopmentThis office building would sit to the west of the new stadium. Visuals by Goettsch Partners and MKSK.
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The latest plans for Confluence Village were presented virtually to the Downtown Commission this morning.

The first phase of the development, which will sit between the currently under-construction Crew Stadium and the Olentangy River, will contain a five-story office building and 440 residential units spread over two buildings.

Dan Gore, Senior Vice President of the Pizzuti Companies, told commissioners that the intent is to “create a distinct neighborhood within Columbus,” one that “knits together the stadium and the natural setting” of the Olentangy River and the new park planned for three acres of land along its banks.

Gore added that the company hopes to include a “curated collection of public art” within the project, but didn’t provide further details about that concept.

The most fleshed-out part of the proposal is the office space, and Gore said that the design team will likely return in the spring for final approval of that building, while also planning on returning with more detailed renderings of the residential buildings.

Sam Luckino, of Chicago-based architecture firm Goettsch Partners, described the design of the office building as an attempt “to be thoughtful about integrating the very strong architecture of the stadium, but also find a way to transition to the more organic environment of the riverfront.”

Two ground floor commercial spaces in the building are being designed with potential bar or restaurant users in mind, he added.

A view of the proposed office building looking east down Nationwide Boulevard.

The residential buildings will include both five and six-story segments, with the larger of the two buildings connecting directly to a city-owned parking garage that will serve the overall development (a design for the garage will be presented to the commission separately).

The latest plans were generally well-received by the commissioners, who asked several questions about specific design elements, as well as asking for more information on how parking and access to the site would be managed.

Josh Glessing, Vice President of Strategy for Crew owner Haslem Sports Group, said that the plan for game days is to limit all vehicular access to Nationwide Boulevard west of the railroad bridge to those who already have a parking space reserved – either in the parking garage or in one of the existing parking lots south of Nationwide Boulevard. All other cars would be directed to lots and garages to the east, and a separate pick-up and drop-off zone for ride-share vehicles would be set up on that side of the railroad bridge as well.

When plans for the new stadium and surrounding development were first announced in December of 2018, a total of 885 residential units were promised, with as many of as 20 percent of those units being affordable.

When the development was first brought before the commission in August of 2019, however, the unit count was down to 440 and the site plan for the project showed a smaller footprint, with no new buildings planned for the south side of Nationwide Boulevard (in May of this year, an incentive package approved by City Council specified that 20 percent of the units were to be affordable to those making between 80 and 100 percent of the area median income).

Still unknown is what will occupy the portion of the property that sits to the north of the stadium. A map included as part of the submitted materials for today’s meeting – and labelled as “original master plan” – indicated that at one time a 20-story, 250-unit senior living facility was being considered for the space, but no recent updates have been provided about that phase of the development.

A press release sent out today by the Pizzuti Companies and Haslam Sports Group said that groundbreaking on the first phase of the office and residential buildings is now projected for the last quarter of 2021, with completion scheduled for spring of 2023. The soccer stadium is on track to open next July.

An overview of the development, showing the parking garage and residential buildings to the north of the office building.
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