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Columbus: Polaris Developments and News

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11/8/04, ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com

 

 

Ohio Fuses Two Interchanges in Columbus

By Brenda Ruggiero

 

In Columbus, OH, crews are working to combine two interchanges involving Polaris Parkway and Interstate 71.  When completed in 2006, the two interchanges will function as one, allowing traffic to be redistributed throughout the area.  A new adjoining interchange will be built just north of the roadway at Fashion Mall Parkway.

 

Under the direction of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and funded by the city of Columbus, the $25 million project started in August of this year.  The job is currently running on schedule for completion by August 31, 2006.

 

According to ODOT, the improvements are necessary to accommodate robust growth in development and traffic in the Polaris area.  Between 1994 and 2002, traffic on Polaris Parkway reportedly grew 280 percent to 55,670 vehicles per day.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.constructionequipmentguide.com/story.asp?story=5082&headline=Ohio

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They will be two partial interchanges instead of the one diamond interchange currently there.

 

Work (officially) started on this project in July.

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How do they get these projects funded so fast and down in cincinnati it takes years and years and years.

That area would be just about around Kenwood road if it was  located in Cincinnati. It makes me sick how other areas can get road projects done and  approved faster than in SW Ohio.

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Thanks for the update, grasscat.

 

They say they're adding another lane for the exit from northbound 71, but I wonder if they'll be changing the traffic light there, too.  (I suppose the cycle will change since the light for the southbound entrance and exit will be eliminated.)  That exit backs up like a mofo.  Occasionally I am stupid enough to use it, such as a couple weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon, when it was backed up for about a mile.  I'd hate to see it at rush hour during the Christmas shopping season!

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They say they're adding another lane for the exit from northbound 71, but I wonder if they'll be changing the traffic light there, too. (I suppose the cycle will change since the light for the southbound entrance and exit will be eliminated.) That exit backs up like a mofo. Occasionally I am stupid enough to use it, such as a couple weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon, when it was backed up for about a mile. I'd hate to see it at rush hour during the Christmas shopping season!

 

It was bad.  Traffic on Polaris was almost a standstill (this was on the day before before our Christmas snow/ice storm)

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An update from the 7/27/05 Columbus Business First:

 

 

ODOT to close Polaris exit Aug. 1

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation said Wednesday it will close the exit from southbound Interstate 71 to Polaris Parkway on Aug. 1.  The exit will close permanently.  Motorists seeking to enter Polaris Parkway from the north will have to exit at Gemini Parkway, which runs north of Polaris.

 

The department is removing the Polaris exit to make way for a new exit to take motorists from westbound Polaris Parkway onto I-71 south.  Westbound motorists on Polaris must now make a left-hand turn to enter 71.  The planned exit will be a right-hand turn that loops around to southbound I-71.  The exits at Polaris and Gemini parkways are intended to function as a unit, evenly distributing traffic through the area, according to the department.  The department and the city of Columbus started the $25 million interchange project in 2004.

 

Traffic on Polaris Parkway jumped 280 percent between 1994 and 2002, according to the department, to 55,670 vehicles a day.  Traffic on I-71 swelled 47 percent to 113,920 vehicles a day during the same period.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2005/07/25/daily23.html?from_rss=1

 

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Wow that's still in the city of Columbus??? I always wonder how they can make stuff happen so fast, compared to the  MLK/I-71  interchange in Cincinnati, which may take 2 decades to get done.

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Wow that's still in the city of Columbus??? I always wonder how they can make stuff happen so fast, compared to the  MLK/I-71  interchange in Cincinnati, which may take 2 decades to get done.

 

The Polaris developers have more $$$

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From ThisWeek Newspapers, 8/4/05:

 

 

New I-71 exit ramp opens at Gemini Parkway

Thursday, August 4, 2005

By NICOLLE RACEY

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

Drivers who use I-71 are getting accustomed to the new I-71 southbound ramp to Gemini Parkway, which opened Aug. 1.  The opening of the new ramp means the permanent closing of the former I-71 southbound ramp to Polaris Parkway, said Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Todd Sloan.

 

Drivers traveling south on I-71 now will have to exit at Gemini Parkway to access Polaris Parkway.  Sloan said ODOT worked hard to inform drivers and businesses of the change by handing out flyers to businesses along Polaris Parkway and posting signs before the new ramp opened and the current ramp closed.  He said preparing people for the change hopefully will limit confusion when motorists who usually exit at the Polaris Parkway ramp see that it no longer exists.

 

The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2006 at a cost of $25-million.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.thisweeknews.com/thisweek.php?edition=Powell&story=thisweeknews/080405/Powell/News/080405-News-628670.html

 

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That's a really weird setup.  Those coming from the North will have to Exit on Fashion Mall Parkway, but to get back, they have to enter from Polaris Parkway. 

 

What's so wierd about that?  You enter the mall complex from the back, you leave from the front.  Besides, it only effects people north of US 36.  Shoppers from Columbus won't notice a difference (other than more lanes and fewer orange barrels)

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Fashion Mall Parkway...sorry but that is one of the hokiest, lamest street names I have ever heard.  Did the developers 8 year old daughter name that street....it sounds like a Barbie Doll dream world street playset.  What's next...Food Ct, Mall -n- Things Lane...

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Hokey and lame, yet brilliant marketing.  You can't know the name of the street without knowing what's on it.

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From Suburban News Publications, 9/28/05:

 

Costco seeks to enter Central Ohio shopping market

It's seeking a rezoning for a site north of the Polaris Fashion Place mall

By JENNIFER NOBLIT

 

The new Interstate 71 interchange at Gemini Place, in southern Delaware County, is expected to pay dividends in terms of traffic flow and new Polaris area businesses when it opens next year.  Those new businesses are already lining up, beginning with the retail giant Costco Wholesale.  According to David Perry of the David Perry Co., Costco plans to purchase 11.6 acres from NP Limited for an undisclosed price. 

 

The site in question is located directly north of the Polaris Fashion Place mall, west of I-71.  Costco requested the rezoning of 1.19 acres of land during a Sept. 8 zoning meeting of the Columbus Development Commission.  The panel recommended the rezoning, so the request now goes to Columbus City Council for final approval. 

 

According to the Columbus planning office, the rest of the land already is zoned for a store such as Costco.  But the company wants to build a gas station on the corner of the land, northwest of the intersection of Gemini Place and Lyra Drive, he said.  This would be Costco Wholesale's first store in Central Ohio, and only its fifth in the state.

 

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.snponline.com/NEWS9-28/9-28_allcostco.htm

 

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From Columbus Business First, 10/10/05:

 

Costco nearing deal for 1st Columbus store

Kathy Showalter

Business First

 

Costco Wholesale Corp., the nation's leading warehouse club retailer, has its sights set on Columbus.  The merchant is planning to build its first Central Ohio store at the northwest corner of Gemini Place and Lyra Drive near the Polaris Fashion Place mall, Business First has learned.

 

The company, known for selling a mix of high-end and everyday merchandise at discounts to club members, has its only Ohio stores - four of them - in the Cleveland area.

 

Jim Sinegal, Costco's CEO, declined to confirm the company's interest in Columbus.  "We don't put ourselves in a good position from a negotiating standpoint by talking about deals before we close," he said.

 

Columbus officials, however, confirmed the suburban Seattle-based retailer is seeking zoning permits to sell gasoline on land owned by NP Ltd., the developer of the Polaris Centers of Commerce.  Franz Geiger, NP's managing director, declined to comment.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2005/10/10/story1.html?from_rss=1

 

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The company, known for selling a mix of high-end and everyday merchandise at discounts to club members, has its only Ohio stores - four of them - in the Cleveland area.

 

Since when is Springdale in Cleveland?

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oh brother the first article got it ok:

 

There currently are four Costco Warehouses in Ohio, all in the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas.

 

sensitive sheesh!  :roll:

 

besides, yas aint gaining a whole lot from getting a costco they are not the chain of your dreams. we even got'em in nyc too. glorifed sam's clubs. you've been there before. unless you need a gross of paper towel rolls stick to that new whole foods you will eat better.

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Okay... how can this headline writer imply that traffic concerns will diminish, when the fact of new development will only serve to create more traffic.  This new interchange is barely a quarter-mile north of the existing Polaris interchange, which itself generated far more traffic than its designers predicted.  Having two interchanges within such close proximity to eahc other will make this section of I-71 even more of a nightmare at rush hour.

 

I-71 work sparking activity at Polaris

Costco, others to build there as traffic concerns diminish

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mike Pramik

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

The promise of easier access to land north of Polaris Fashion Place by way of new I-71 interchanges is beginning to draw the attention of retailers, including the warehouse-style store Costco. 

 

Costco Wholesale Corp., whose stores are similar to Sam’s Club, has asked Columbus to rezone 1.1 acres at the northwest corner of Gemini Place and Lyra Drive to permit gas pumps.  The change would allow Costco, which has two stores in the Cleveland area and two others near Cincinnati, to build its first one in central Ohio.

 

The request isn’t yet on Columbus City Council’s agenda, and the city hasn’t issued Costco any building permits.  However, if Costco follows through, it would be a boost for Polaris, said retail analyst Chris Boring, president of Boulevard Strategies.  "I think that will help Polaris tremendously," he said.  "Costco does a lot more volume per location than Sam’s Club.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com

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ugh -- that's typical / classic dispatch thinking on the headline -- sprawl is good.

 

"That roadway being opened up is going to create a major artery," said Larry Lehring, vice president of leasing and development for Continental.

 

yeesh -- spoken by mister make-a-quick-buck with breathless pride no doubt.

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I think the headline reads quite objectively.  The concerns about traffic ARE diminished, it seems, at least for now.  Remember--the people who built this interchange (ODOT)are still convinced you can build your way out of congestion.  I'm pretty sure the developers would be happy to share what we all know with ODOT, but they're pretty happy about all the public subsidies being thrown their way.

 

Can't wait to see what kind of "free market" solution ODOT comes up with when the area becomes a complete disaster again.

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What Columbus shopping area is getting a new interchange and then they will close a nearby one. Was it something near Refugee Road? I thought that was Polaris, but maybe that is Easton, or Eaton, whichever one isn't the lifestyle center. Am I totally confused?

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Thats it, that is off 270 correct, between Renoldsburg and Grove City?

 

BTW, I am shocked to hear they will allow an interchange with 1/4 or a mile. I thought there was a 1 mile minimum.

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From ThisWeek (Worthington), 10/20/05:

 

Polaris area

FNCCC said yes to Costco, but wonders what comes next

Thursday, October 20, 2005

By RANDY NAVAROLI

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

The vice president of the Far North Columbus Communities Coalition expressed concern this week about what may follow Costco Wholesale Corp.'s development of a 15-acre site in the Polaris area.  The FNCCC approved a rezoning request Sept. 6 that will allow Costco to build a gas station on a 1.18-acre plot at the northwest corner of the intersection of Gemini Place and Lyra Drive.

 

"We're a little concerned about what will go in just beyond the Costco site," FNCCC vice president Dan Province said.  "There are 14 acres just north of the Costco site that we're concerned about."

 

That land is also zoned for commercial development.  Province said that while the Costco project isn't objectionable, he didn't know how the FNCCC would vote on any proposed development on the site to the north.  "We just don't want the development to get out of control in that area.  It has to be something that makes sense," he said.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.thisweeknews.com/thisweek.php?edition=Worthington&story=thisweeknews/102005/Worthington/News/102005-News-31972.html

 

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From ThisWeek Olentangy, 5/18/06:

 

Building permits for planned Costco are put on hold

Thursday, May 18, 2006

By RANDY NAVAROLI

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

Two building permit applications for a Costco wholesale store and gas station planned for Polaris have been placed on hold.  According to Marilynn Dicioccio of the Columbus development department's building services division, the city is seeking additional information from the planned development's architect, Mulvanny G2 Architects of Bellevue, Wash.

 

"The plans examiner has asked for some clarification on the applications, but as soon as we get that, they'll go forward," Dicioccio said.  She could not provide any specifics about the type of information the examiner is seeking.  Dicioccio said such delays are not uncommon and the Costco permit applications will be approved or denied by building services within 20 days of receiving the requested information.

 

The building permit applications for the planned Costco store and gas station, which are planned for a 15-acre site near the northwest corner of the intersection of Gemini Place and Lyra Drive, were filed with the Columbus building services division on April 28.  Costco officials would not provide any specific details about the building permit applications, groundbreaking or the store's opening.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.thisweeknews.com/?edition=Powell&story=thisweeknews/051806/Powell/News/051806-News-154511.html

 

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From the 6/9/06 Marion Star:

 

 

ODOT updates Polaris project

 

COLUMBUS - Motorists on Columbus' north side can expect major changes at Interstate 71 in the Polaris area. On Monday, June 12 the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be opening a new ramp from Gemini Place to I-71 northbound.  At that time, the existing ramp from Polaris Parkway to I-71 northbound - which averages 3,306 vehicles a day - will close for reconstruction for two months.

 

The bridge on Gemini Place over I-71 will also open on Monday so motorists west of I-71 needing to access I-71 northbound should take Lyra Drive to Gemini Place.  Motorists can also access Gemini Place west of the shopping mall.  Those on the east side of I-71 will need to use Orion Place to access the new Gemini Ramp to I-71 northbound.

 

The ramp closure is the first of three that will take place this summer at Polaris Parkway and I-71.  Additional information about the closures, a map and specific detour information can be found by visiting the www.odotdistrict6.org web site.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.marionstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/NEWS01/606090305/1002/rss01

 

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Additional Polaris ramps to I-71 set to open

Business First of Columbus - 11:42 AM EDT Friday

 

Motorists traveling in the Polaris area on Columbus' north side soon will have more access to Interstate 71.  The Ohio Department of Transportation said Friday it will open a new ramp on Saturday, July 8 for travelers going west on Polaris Parkway to get on I-71 south.  It will then open another ramp to I-71 south from Gemini Place on Monday, July 10.

 

That will free the department to close the existing ramp from Polaris Parkway to I-71 south, which serves 28,000 drivers a day coming from either direction.  ODOT will then reconstruct that ramp to serve only eastbound drivers in a project expected to take two weeks.

 

The city began reconstructing the busy Polaris Parkway interchange at Interstate 71 in July 2004, adding a new interchange to the north at Gemini Place.  After construction is complete, which is scheduled for this fall, the two interchanges will help redistribute traffic, the city said.  Construction costs are expected to total $25 million.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/06/26/daily33.html 

 

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Think about this for a moment:  this new interchange will cost $25-million dollars.  The cost of doing the entire Environmental Impact Study for the Ohio Hub regional high-speed rail plan would cost $5.87-million.  The funding for a new highway project is almost always there.  But the funding request for an immensely more valuable project that can provide economic development and congestion relief for an entire state got dropped by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee because of a "tiff" between two GOP Congressmen. 

 

I'm not saying the Polaris interchange is unnecessary.  I'm just trying to make a point of how incredibly stupid our system of funding major transportation projects has become. 

 


 

Weather delays Polaris ramp opening

Business First of Columbus - 1:17 PM EDT Wednesday

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation has delayed the opening of a new ramp on Interstate 71 until Monday due to heavy rains.  A ramp for motorists going west on Polaris Parkway to get on I-71 south will open July 10, instead of July 8.  The department is also opening a ramp to I-71 south from Gemini Place Monday, which it announced late last week.

 

The new ramps will free the department to close the existing ramp from Polaris Parkway to I-71 south, which serves 28,000 drivers a day coming from either direction.  ODOT will then reconstruct that ramp to serve only eastbound drivers in a project expected to take two weeks.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/07/03/daily11.html 

 

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