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Downtown Commission Likes Two25 Commons, Dislikes Elevated Walkway

Walker Evans Walker Evans Downtown Commission Likes Two25 Commons, Dislikes Elevated WalkwayPhoto by Walker Evans.
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An updated version of the 12-story mixed-use Two25 project that was unveiled yesterday went in front of the Downtown Commission this morning. Overall, the individual commission members responded positively about the majority of the project’s details, with some discussion about material choices, color palettes and other architectural aesthetics.

“It looks beautiful, but I have two comments,” said Commissioner Jana Maniace. “Make sure you study the sun angles. If the winter sun create too many shadows in the courtyard, perhaps they can compensated with lighting. And balconies are an important element here — you have the potential to do something creative and sculptural with them.”

The one element of the project that the Commission fought back against is the inclusion of an elevated skywalk over Rich Street, which would connect the building with the adjacent Columbus Commons parking garage. The Two25 building contains no parking itself, so the Commons Garage is where all residents and office workers will park.

“We’ve discouraged elevated walkways,” said Commission Chair Stephen Wittmann. “We’ve only approved two — both at the Convention Center. To others, we have basically said no, and our reason why is because our standard principal is to keep people on the sidewalk.”

Project representatives from the Daimler Group and Kaufman Development addressed the issue with the commission, pointing out that the current option to cross the street at a mid-block crosswalk to access the parking garage is not safe for pedestrians.

“We were mindful of that, and we’ve studied it from a safety perspective,” explained Bob White Jr., President of Daimler. “It’s a dangerous thing as it exists today, and we’ll be adding another 1,000-plus people living and working at Two25. There was a lot of thought given to try to avoid it, but we feel really strongly that we need an elevated connector.”

Two25 Commons was submitted only for conceptual review at this point, so no vote was taken to approve or decline the project. Brett Kaufman, Founder of Kaufman Development, said that they plan to return to the Commission next month seeking approval for a finalized plan with a goal of breaking ground on construction later this year.

For more information, visit www.two25commons.com.

Rendering via NBBJ.

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