State Auto Floats Plan for New Downtown Garage
State Auto Insurance is looking to build a 791-car parking garage behind its headquarters at 518 E. Broad St.
Plans for the new building were presented to the Downtown Commission on Tuesday.
An existing row of trees along Washington Avenue would be preserved under the proposal, but that strip of land could potentially be developed in the future. A pedestrian plaza and drop off area would sit between the garage and the rear entry to the headquarters building.
Representatives of State Auto, WSA Studio and Realm Collaborative presented the concept, explaining that the additional parking capacity will become necessary for the company as it renovates the Broad Street building and moves more employees into it from other offices in the area.
Greg Tacchetti, Chief Information and Strategy Officer at State Auto, said that the company’s parking needs could be met with a three-story garage, but they added an additional floor to accommodate potential users from both the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) and the Columbus Museum of Art.
The plan would require the demolition of a warehouse building at 555 Boone St. Used primarily for file storage, the building also holds on its western wall a mural painted by CCAD students that is a reproduction of Aminah Robinson’s “A Street Called Home.”
The commission voted unanimously to approve that demolition, but no vote was held on the design of the garage, which will need to be brought back to a future meeting.
Also presented to the commission this week was a proposal from Edwards Companies and Lupton Rausch for a two-story parking garage at 274 E. Long St. The garage, which would feature a retail space along Long Street as well as a small dog park to the east, is similar to a proposal reviewed by the board last fall.
The main change is its location, which has shifted about 300 feet to the west. Due to an issue with the owner of the original parcel – at the corner of Long and North Sixth Street – the garage and greenspace are now planned for the northeast corner of Long and Neilston Street.
A three-story mixed-use building had previously been proposed for a portion of that parcel, but that project is no longer being pursued.
The commission voted to approve project, with the stipulation that more detailed information on plans for the dog park are provided.