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Plan Revealed for First Phase of Scioto Peninsula Development

Brent Warren Brent Warren Plan Revealed for First Phase of Scioto Peninsula DevelopmentThe proposed hotel building, with retail along its west side. Courtesy of Rockbridge Capital.
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The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) unveiled a plan today for the first phase of the redevelopment of the Scioto Peninsula.

The new plan involves six acres of land in the center of the site and calls for an eight-story hotel, flanked by an 11-story residential building and an eight-story office building. Directly to the west of those three buildings – each of which will front Belle Street and look out on Dorrian Green, the park that serves as COSI’s front lawn – will be two additional residential buildings and a second hotel building.

Also planned is a 1,400-space parking garage, to be built on three acres of land between Starling Street and the railroad tracks.

The three developers that will build the first phase were also announced – Daimler will build the office element, Rockbridge will build the hotel and Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins will build the residential portion.

“Each developer is best- in-class with a proven track record of success,” said CDDC President/CEO Guy Worley, in a statement. “These developers collaborating with CDDC and the City of Columbus is another example of the public and private sectors working together to produce a very special place for Columbus.”

The new announcement comes a little over a year after the CDDC decided to part ways with the Buckingham Companies, an Indianapolis-based developer that had been selected to oversee the development of the entire site, which consists of over 20 acres of publicly-owned land.

The first phase will contain about 240,000 square feet of office space, 550 residential units, 180 hotel rooms, and an unspecified amount of street-level retail. Construction work could start as soon as this spring, according to the CDDC, with an estimated completion by the summer of 2022.

Although the project has now been divided into phases, the overall plan for the larger site still calls for a dense urban development that would be the most significant new project built in Columbus in decades.

Amy Taylor, Chief Operating Officer of the CDDC, said that after all phases are finished, the development could hold as many as 1,800 residential units, two million square feet of office space and 400 hotel rooms. Those numbers actually exceed the targets set in the original master plan for the site developed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

David Flaherty, CEO of Flaherty & Collins, said that he hopes his company will be involved in those future phases as well.

“We want to do a good job and be in position to continue to develop the site,” he said. “The area needs a lot more than the 550 units that are in the initial phase….and with everything Columbus has done with the riverfront and COSI and downtown in general, we think the demand is going to coninute to grow, and we’d love to be a part of it.”

The City of Columbus will be financing the parking garage, an element that Flaherty said is essential to viability of the project. Information about the cost of the garage – and about the structure of the overall deal for the land, which is controlled by both the city and Franklin County – has not yet been released.

Ten percent of the phase one units will be reserved and priced for households making 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), while another 10% will be at the 100%-of-AMI level.

Taylor, of the CDDC, said that she is excited for work to finally begin on a site “that has been discussed since 1908.”

She also credited the large-scale projects completed in the immediate vicinity – including the Scioto Mile, the Scioto Greenways, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and Dorrian Green – for laying the groundwork for what comes next.

“This project is anchored in these public-private partnerships,” she said, adding that the hope is that the new neighborhood serves as a connector between Franklinton and downtown. “We get to be the gateway to both, and to benefit from the energy occurring on both sides.”

Rendering of the proposed development looking east, courtesy of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation.
A rendering of the proposed development, looking west. The taller buildings shown on each end don’t represent finalized designs and would be built in a future phase. Courtesy of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation.
A view of the new streetscape that would be constructed as part of the development’s first phase. Courtesy of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation
View of the Belle Street side of the proposed hotel, courtesy of Rockbridge Capital.
The proposed residential building on Belle Street, courtesy of Flaherty & Collins Properties.
Proposed office building, courtesy of the Daimler Group.
Overall view looking toward COSI, courtesy of Flaherty & Collins.
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