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Columbus: Downtown: Convention Center Developments and News

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I found a case on the FAA website for the "Hyatt Downtown" for a 275' crane. Anybody know what this is for? I thought for the CC garage project, but that's not going to start construction until next year.

 

https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=357814879&row=19

 

There have been roughly 3 proposals to expand either the Hilton or Hyatt hotels that connect to the GCCC to allow for a hotel to have a solid 1000+ rooms however none have officially been publically announced.  Perhaps this is indication that the Hyatt is getting the nod?  I was at an event recently with the CEO of Experience Columbus and it felt like the direction was leaning more towards the Hilton expanding, but to be honest, I don't think it would be a bad thing for both at some point to expand.

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There have been roughly 3 proposals to expand either the Hilton or Hyatt hotels that connect to the GCCC to allow for a hotel to have a solid 1000+ rooms however none have officially been publically announced.  Perhaps this is indication that the Hyatt is getting the nod?  I was at an event recently with the CEO of Experience Columbus and it felt like the direction was leaning more towards the Hilton expanding, but to be honest, I don't think it would be a bad thing for both at some point to expand.

 

For context the Hilton Canopy tower crane is 233' tall for the building which will be 157' tall. The Hyatt is 256' tall already, so they may just be moving something to the roof. Also, it just says "crane", not "tower crane". Could definitely be a precursor to Hyatt expansion.

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Looks like the Hilton expansion might be moving forward soon...

 

Downtown Hilton expansion to help area attract national events

 

Hoping to attract national political, sports and other events, officials expect to announce a plan soon to expand the existing Downtown Hilton.

 

The current Hilton, 401 N. High St., has 532 rooms, but tourism officials have stressed that for Columbus and Franklin County to become a major player in drawing national events, it has to have a hotel large enough to accommodate visitors.

 

...

 

The Dispatch has learned that officials are expected to announce in mid-March that the Hilton will be expanded across North High Street to abut the convention center and add 468 beds, giving it the 1,000 beds coveted by tourism officials. That proposal also would add an 18,000-square-foot ballroom and 42,000 square feet of meeting and conference rooms.

 

Full article:

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180301/downtown-hilton-expansion-to-help-area-attract-national-events

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There have been roughly 3 proposals to expand either the Hilton or Hyatt hotels that connect to the GCCC to allow for a hotel to have a solid 1000+ rooms however none have officially been publically announced.  Perhaps this is indication that the Hyatt is getting the nod?  I was at an event recently with the CEO of Experience Columbus and it felt like the direction was leaning more towards the Hilton expanding, but to be honest, I don't think it would be a bad thing for both at some point to expand.

 

For context the Hilton Canopy tower crane is 233' tall for the building which will be 157' tall. The Hyatt is 256' tall already, so they may just be moving something to the roof. Also, it just says "crane", not "tower crane". Could definitely be a precursor to Hyatt expansion.

 

According to The Dispatch article posted in the Convention Center thread, I'm going to have to assume this is for the new Hilton expansion which I'm thinking will be similar in height to the Hyatt.

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There have been roughly 3 proposals to expand either the Hilton or Hyatt hotels that connect to the GCCC to allow for a hotel to have a solid 1000+ rooms however none have officially been publically announced.  Perhaps this is indication that the Hyatt is getting the nod?  I was at an event recently with the CEO of Experience Columbus and it felt like the direction was leaning more towards the Hilton expanding, but to be honest, I don't think it would be a bad thing for both at some point to expand.

 

For context the Hilton Canopy tower crane is 233' tall for the building which will be 157' tall. The Hyatt is 256' tall already, so they may just be moving something to the roof. Also, it just says "crane", not "tower crane". Could definitely be a precursor to Hyatt expansion.

 

According to The Dispatch article posted in the Convention Center thread, I'm going to have to assume this is for the new Hilton expansion which I'm thinking will be similar in height to the Hyatt.

As proposed it will be across the street on a smaller footprint.  I would hope with a smaller footprint and 464 rooms they might be able to push 15-20 stories, but who knows.  In the Dispatch article, the aerial photo includes the surface lot behind North Market, which will likely have that 400' Market Tower being constructed at the same time.  Exciting momentum continues.....

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Looks like the Hilton expansion might be moving forward soon...

 

Downtown Hilton expansion to help area attract national events

 

Hoping to attract national political, sports and other events, officials expect to announce a plan soon to expand the existing Downtown Hilton.

 

The current Hilton, 401 N. High St., has 532 rooms, but tourism officials have stressed that for Columbus and Franklin County to become a major player in drawing national events, it has to have a hotel large enough to accommodate visitors.

 

...

 

The Dispatch has learned that officials are expected to announce in mid-March that the Hilton will be expanded across North High Street to abut the convention center and add 468 beds, giving it the 1,000 beds coveted by tourism officials. That proposal also would add an 18,000-square-foot ballroom and 42,000 square feet of meeting and conference rooms.

 

Full article:

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180301/downtown-hilton-expansion-to-help-area-attract-national-events

 

Awesome news! Unless they cover up the entirety of the tracks below, there is only a very small plot this could go on. It may end up taller than the existing Hilton! Edit- It will definitely be taller. The Dispatch mock up shows it on the tiny sliver of hill between the CC and the road below High St. Now if we could get something built between the Goodale garage and the Cap!

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It's pretty raining and the windows are reflective from my office, but you can see the area the expansion will go.  I agree based on footprint size, and the amount of rooms proposed, it will definitely be taller than the current Hilton, but to what extent we will see.  Rather than just go to 1000 rooms, why not push it to 1,200, the demand is already there and is only going to grow....just my two cents though (updated for a less raining/clearer pic)  Also I still don't know how to downsize the picture size so I apologize, anyone who can edit/modify be my guest haha

Hilton_2.0_Site_2.thumb.jpg.6061daa8c1ac3b3e67803d77ee9a0cdc.jpg

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According to Biz1st, "Plans shown to Columbus and Franklin County officials show a tower of at least 23 stories built on the southern end of the convention center next to High Street with 17 floors with guest rooms, a ballroom, a restaurant and bar and additional meeting rooms"

 

And they include this rendering,

 

picture1.png

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/03/01/downtown-hilton-seeking-to-expand-to-1-000-rooms.html

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According to Biz1st, "Plans shown to Columbus and Franklin County officials show a tower of at least 23 stories built on the southern end of the convention center next to High Street with 17 floors with guest rooms, a ballroom, a restaurant and bar and additional meeting rooms"

 

And they include this rendering,

 

picture1.png

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/03/01/downtown-hilton-seeking-to-expand-to-1-000-rooms.html

 

WOW!!!... I like that 1,000,000 x's better than the tower at the opposite end of the convention center.

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Awesome! The article states the building will be ~300 feet tall. If built at that height, we could potentially end up with a 300 foot tower, and two 400 foot towers (I think Millennial Tower will be 400 feet) being constructed at the same time. We haven't seen this level of development in terms of taller towers since the late 1980s.

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Awesome! That's 23 floors from High St, but what about Convention Center Drive frontage two floors below High? Seems like a perfect spot for a hotel only garage. Perhaps even a small one for valet only.

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The Dispatch article says we have 2,700 hotel rooms within a ten minute walk of the convention center. A lot of competitors have more, including Cleveland and Louisville, with Indianapolis leading the pack with 5,300. By my count, with the Moxy, Canopy Hilton, AC Marriott, Graduate, and this Hilton expansion we'll be at 3,787 rooms. All within three years, too.

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Not that crazy about the rendering- too 1960s for my taste, but I'm sure it will change.  I also hope they include some street-level retail space.  That side of High desperately needs it.  I wonder if they'll also eventually add onto the Hyatt at some point as well.

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Not that crazy about the rendering- too 1960s for my taste, but I'm sure it will change.

 

I don't mind it.  It reminds me of a modern version of the Centre Point in London, if done right.

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One would think they would do more to tie it in visually with the original part since it is just an extension basically of the same hotel. It is just an extension of the existing hotel and will be connected under High, right? I don't really care for this (very initial I realize) rendering.  I would think the Hilton would want some continuity to visually say "we own this big ass space on both sides of the street" and all.

 

 

*Now what we need after this is an apartment/condo/mixed tower just as tall on that sliver of Goodale between the High cap and the garage. That new garage planned for next to the Drury Inn should clear up some parking spaces for it, huh?  :)

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One would think they would do more to tie it in visually with the original part since it is just an extension basically of the same hotel. It is just an extension of the existing hotel and will be connected under High, right? I don't really care for this (very initial I realize) rendering.  I would think the Hilton would want some continuity to visually say "we own this big ass space on both sides of the street" and all.

 

 

*Now what we need after this is an apartment/condo/mixed tower just as tall on that sliver of Goodale between the High cap and the garage. That new garage planned for next to the Drury Inn should clear up some parking spaces for it, huh?  :)

 

Don't count out the 400 foot Market Tower literally about a football field away.  But I agree, the design needs tweaked, but I'm sure this is a super early preliminary drawing of what will come.

 

People always complain about the design of the GCCC without knowing the context or reason it looks like it does.  This is literally where Union Station and all the rail lines came into our city, and although funky and we tore down our history, at least we are paying homage to what it represents.  With more vertical structures coming around this convoluted roofline of the convention center, I wonder if it would be cool to add some lines of "neon" or some modern lighting along the curvy lines representing the old rail roads to make the roof "pop" from above.  With all the roof top restaurants and bars going in around this, it would be sort of a neat feature.  Just a funky thought haha

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One would think they would do more to tie it in visually with the original part since it is just an extension basically of the same hotel. It is just an extension of the existing hotel and will be connected under High, right? I don't really care for this (very initial I realize) rendering.  I would think the Hilton would want some continuity to visually say "we own this big ass space on both sides of the street" and all.

 

 

*Now what we need after this is an apartment/condo/mixed tower just as tall on that sliver of Goodale between the High cap and the garage. That new garage planned for next to the Drury Inn should clear up some parking spaces for it, huh?  :)

 

Don't count out the 400 foot Market Tower literally about a football field away.  But I agree, the design needs tweaked, but I'm sure this is a super early preliminary drawing of what will come.

 

People always complain about the design of the GCCC without knowing the context or reason it looks like it does.  This is literally where Union Station and all the rail lines came into our city, and although funky and we tore down our history, at least we are paying homage to what it represents.  With more vertical structures coming around this convoluted roofline of the convention center, I wonder if it would be cool to add some lines of "neon" or some modern lighting along the curvy lines representing the old rail roads to make the roof "pop" from above.  With all the roof top restaurants and bars going in around this, it would be sort of a neat feature.  Just a funky thought haha

 

Having been born and raised here and being able to remember before they built the original Ohio Center (and having both parents still around at 89 and 84 years old) I know all about what was there lol. I don't mind the funky weird design that represents the tracks, I don't like how it does not engage the street-they did not incorporate any streetside retail or anything-it is an inward-focused design that for all intents and purposes might as well just be a blank concrete wall. I wish there was a way they could open it up a few places or stick some little retail stuff in it that faces outward to the street as well as inward.

 

I never saw the interior of the Union Station itself (the actual station set way back from High, not just the arcade fronting High) but my mother says it was pretty nice inside despite not looking like much from any exterior photos I have seen of it.

 

And yes the Market Tower will be great for this area. That, this, and yes a tower on the Goodale plot! Make it happen Cbus tall building Gods!!!

 

We also need the stuff on Park Street (the hotel where they are saving the facades) and they need to do something with those lots further back as well as something like a mini-park on that bit that overhangs the freeway. If it can support vehicles it can also support trees in large planters,etc.

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I agree that the "engaging" aspect of the street on the east side of High is lacking however I will play devils advocate and ponder this..........Although there is not street retail on this one side, the other side is filling in and becoming quite the "go to" for convention goers.  This area is not necessarily aimed at the locals here, but the visitors here for meetings, so although it seems lopsided to have one side of High Street bustling and the other side a big convention "wall/façade" I feel there is reason behind this that needs to be respected.  Although from the street/store front perspective it seems lacking, most of this space encompasses meeting rooms, which our convention center boasts quite a bit of and is ideal for "break out sessions" when events are planning to come here. Exhibit halls are important, but having a lot of meeting rooms is also a huge component and we've expanded and provided this to potential events choosing our center above others.  From a street perspective this seems dull, but inside those walls, this is a huge piece of getting conventions and meetings to come here, which ultimately means more visitors, and more money being spent when they leave the convention center and wander around this awesome area.  Again, not really arguing, just trying to provide a different perspective to respect why this stretch of High Street is the way it is.  You don't have to go far to have a double sided store front experience either haha :)

Convention_Map.thumb.png.10975733e6e0e85a03ae79f054480c43.png

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^^ They would not have to do a lot. There are few underutilized small green spaces where they could install art or sculpture, stick a food truck, etc. They could also cut out some actual windows if/where possible and could actually utilize some art on certain spaces along the convention center wall as well. Just some small things that help break up the monotony and make that side of the street a little more "friendly". Hell stick a small water feature in one of the crannies that is now just landscaping.

 

  They could put more than just landscaping or pavement in them. Small quirky things are what give a place a sense of charm IMO and it would not hurt if they put a few in. Downtown in general could use more of this. Using little left over odd spaces this way helps to give a place a sense of "place"(or keep a sense of place) just like saving facades, etc.

 

**The addition of the hotel will indeed fill the southermost one of these little "crannies" or nooks or setbacks.

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According to Biz1st, "Plans shown to Columbus and Franklin County officials show a tower of at least 23 stories built on the southern end of the convention center next to High Street with 17 floors with guest rooms, a ballroom, a restaurant and bar and additional meeting rooms"

 

And they include this rendering,

 

picture1.png

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/03/01/downtown-hilton-seeking-to-expand-to-1-000-rooms.html

 

I still say kick in another 150ish rooms and flip the 23 to a 32 floor count and building something in the 370-400 foot range.  And please do something sorta modern/glass/angles and push the mold a bit haha........

 

If they built the new garage on the other side tall enough they could almost incorporate a skywalk connecting to the hotel over the little pass through of the convention center.  Hilton 1.0 would have access to vine street garage and Hilton 2.0 would have direct access to the planned garage.....

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I’ve been a convention center hater from day one. It just seems so stupid to go through all that time, effort and expense with the cap only to have pedestrians arrive at a dead zone along the CC. Bad, thoughtless design.

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I’ve been a convention center hater from day one. It just seems so stupid to go through all that time, effort and expense with the cap only to have pedestrians arrive at a dead zone along the CC. Bad, thoughtless design.

 

 

It was the late ‘80s.  If you read articles from the time, developers were breathless about suburban sprawl and doom and gloom about Downtown.  Building an ugly suburban mall on High was their big idea for helping the urban core.  Different times for sure.

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I’ve been a convention center hater from day one. It just seems so stupid to go through all that time, effort and expense with the cap only to have pedestrians arrive at a dead zone along the CC. Bad, thoughtless design.

 

 

It was the late ‘80s.  If you read articles from the time, developers were breathless about suburban sprawl and doom and gloom about Downtown.  Building an ugly suburban mall on High was their big idea for helping the urban core.  Different times for sure.

 

Right. I think since the center was the result of a design competition they should just hold another competition to better integrate it with the street.

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^I think the new streetscape and redesigned "Arnold" plaza look nice along High St.

 

That plaza is capped on two sides by large blank windowless walls and big blank windowless walls on either side of it on High as well. It is uninspiring and lacks any real creativity IMO even if it is an improvement. They could do much better than just "nice" or better than before, or worst of all, "it's ok-at least for Columbus.

 

That mass of the convention center wall is a blank canvas waiting for something. Windows(even fake ones), art, murals, anything depicting the history of the city or what was once there (going along with the design reflecting the tracks), living green walls or planters embedded in some of those blocks, etc. Anything to break up the spaces more and humanize it a bit. If they did the artwork/etc right, that alone could possibly (a stretch here I will admit) make it a showpiece and something to be admired even.

 

An endless parade of pastel trapezoids just does not cut it for me. It could be better than that-even if the streetscape along it has improved a bit.

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I’ve been a convention center hater from day one. It just seems so stupid to go through all that time, effort and expense with the cap only to have pedestrians arrive at a dead zone along the CC. Bad, thoughtless design.

 

 

It was the late ‘80s.  If you read articles from the time, developers were breathless about suburban sprawl and doom and gloom about Downtown.  Building an ugly suburban mall on High was their big idea for helping the urban core.  Different times for sure.

It absolutely looks like the eighties also. And not in a good way-it looks so dated that if you put out some potted palm trees along it I might expect to see Tubbs and Crockett saunter on by.

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I will say the Convention Center spent the early half of its existence cannibalizing all activity and life from the area. I also however see the recent streetscape improvements, uplighting (personally I think it's geometry is great at night now), plazas, and hardscaping has done a TON to make it feel more human and less oppressive to walk along. I actually see people walking it now and using the space. As much as I'd like it, my guess is anything cutting into the center meeting spaces is a non starter. The GCCC has stated its about maximizing marketable sq footage, thats why they killed off the early hotel proposals.

 

In general, convention centers are terrible in the urban fabric... even new ones like Nashville suck the life out of the area. Based on the ones I have visited, Columbus' is actually handled quite well. 

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New 20+ Story Convention Center Hotel Proposed Downtown

 

It’s no secret that the leadership at the Greater Columbus Convention Center have been wanting more hotel rooms for the past decade. An official recommendation for a 1,000-room hotel was proposed in 2015, just three years after the completion of the 532-room Hilton across High Street.

 

“What we hear from our clients and from national meeting planners is that we need another 1,000 rooms either adjacent or connected to the Convention Center,” stated Megumi Robinson, Associate Director of Public Relations at Experience Columbus, during a 2015 interview with Columbus Underground.

 

More below:

https://www.columbusunderground.com/new-20-story-convention-center-hotel-proposed-downtown-we1

 

hotel-cutaway.jpg?resize=1024%2C647&ssl=1

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^I think the new streetscape and redesigned "Arnold" plaza look nice along High St.

 

That plaza is capped on two sides by large blank windowless walls and big blank windowless walls on either side of it on High as well. It is uninspiring and lacks any real creativity IMO even if it is an improvement. They could do much better than just "nice" or better than before, or worst of all, "it's ok-at least for Columbus.

 

That mass of the convention center wall is a blank canvas waiting for something. Windows(even fake ones), art, murals, anything depicting the history of the city or what was once there (going along with the design reflecting the tracks), living green walls or planters embedded in some of those blocks, etc. Anything to break up the spaces more and humanize it a bit. If they did the artwork/etc right, that alone could possibly (a stretch here I will admit) make it a showpiece and something to be admired even.

 

An endless parade of pastel trapezoids just does not cut it for me. It could be better than that-even if the streetscape along it has improved a bit.

 

I've always liked the building and I do think the streetscape upgrades help enliven the street. My understanding is that punching windows into the walls would interfere with some of the functionality of the meeting rooms and back of house operations. I do agree that the overall design is inward focused and attention to the street would have helped. FWIW, this portion of the convention center came online in the early 1990's, not the 1980's.

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https://i1.wp.com/www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/hotel-cutaway.jpg?w=1300&ssl=1

 

According to this picture, it looks like they are planning for the building to be ~300 feet tall. So within a couple years we could have a new 300 foot tower right across the street from a new 400 foot tower. I'll take it. Someone needs to do some mock-ups of what the skyline could look like in 5-6 years with all of these news developments.

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I also have always been a fan of the Convention Center's design. Yes, the street would be better and more active with retail spaces, but overall it's handled very well compared to most other cities. The recent streetscape work, new north entrance/atrium, and Arnold statue are huge improvements too

 

The most important thing IMO is that the other side of the street is fully activated (this is where the Greek Orthodox cathedral really hurts, and the current Hilton also to an extent). High St through campus is actually a similar situation and no one ever calls it "dead," with academic buildings, garages, and plaza/green space on the west side, and retail/mixed-use opposite on the east

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^I think the new streetscape and redesigned "Arnold" plaza look nice along High St.

 

That plaza is capped on two sides by large blank windowless walls and big blank windowless walls on either side of it on High as well. It is uninspiring and lacks any real creativity IMO even if it is an improvement. They could do much better than just "nice" or better than before, or worst of all, "it's ok-at least for Columbus.

 

That mass of the convention center wall is a blank canvas waiting for something. Windows(even fake ones), art, murals, anything depicting the history of the city or what was once there (going along with the design reflecting the tracks), living green walls or planters embedded in some of those blocks, etc. Anything to break up the spaces more and humanize it a bit. If they did the artwork/etc right, that alone could possibly (a stretch here I will admit) make it a showpiece and something to be admired even.

 

An endless parade of pastel trapezoids just does not cut it for me. It could be better than that-even if the streetscape along it has improved a bit.

 

I've always liked the building and I do think the streetscape upgrades help enliven the street. My understanding is that punching windows into the walls would interfere with some of the functionality of the meeting rooms and back of house operations. I do agree that the overall design is inward focused and attention to the street would have helped. FWIW, this portion of the convention center came online in the early 1990's, not the 1980's.

 

Well it screams 1980's with those pastel colors. And the design competition in which this architect won, was in...1989. As in nineteen EIGHTY nine lol.  ;) 

 

But I understand it is a building of the times, and ok they may not be able to punch out real windows. And yes they have progressed-especially with the streetscaping. But the building is designed to have setbacks and protrusions (as in how some of those blocks protrude a bit from the facade) and they could put "fake" windows or "something" in those spaces, and everything else like artwork attached to the buildings, living walls, etc. etc. is doable.  The building could say "Columbus' in a good way and not in such a banal and dated way, while still respecting the building's nod to what was there before.

 

Really, can you imagine the Amazon people seeing this stuck in the eighties/designed in the eighties building and snickering? Wondering if they should have brought their unconstructed linen jackets and had grown mullets? lol. (as if we really have a chance and would look at this while strolling High lol). The city can do better. than. this. I stand by it.

 

The city can do better, especially with landmark buildings (and even though I know convention centers and parking garages are the cancers of urban architecture) and unfortunately it is a long and prominent and banal outdated looking building on our main street-and one that the city can actually do something about unlike some of the corporate concrete megalithic things nearby.

 

*and I don't care about the horrors of other cities and their cancers I care about this city and this long behemoth on our main street in our downtown.

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Between this, Market Tower, and Millenium tower, it kind of takes away the Scioto Peninsula developers argument that the Columbus market doesn't need 20+ story buildings. Man, I hope they revisit that plan, it would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity to build tall on that side of the river. Maybe if we get HQ2 they'll triple the size of all the buildings over there.

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Between this, Market Tower, and Millenium tower, it kind of takes away the Scioto Peninsula developers argument that the Columbus market doesn't need 20+ story buildings. Man, I hope they revisit that plan, it would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity to build tall on that side of the river. Maybe if we get HQ2 they'll triple the size of all the buildings over there.

 

I think they didn't make an argument about there not being a need for it, but that there was no market demand to justify to size.  A similar excuse was made for 80 on the Commons reduction from the original 17-story proposal to its now built 12 stories.  I personally didn't buy either developer's excuse and thought the real story was likely that they're either 1. Not fiscally able to build them, or 2. Unable to think on the larger scale... or both.  But demand is there.  We're seeing it with a now-steady batch of larger proposals.  If anything, Columbus continues to vastly under build. 

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^not what is being discussed by lenders across the country. Right now Columbus is in hyper supply and there is starting to be some pull back in the lending community toward the market. Not saying it is a bad market, and it is still a very strong market on the whole, but there is some trepidation from some of the larger institutional lenders right now as there is a perception that there is a bit of overbuilding in the Columbus market.

 

I was at a conference the other day with some regional VP's from Fannie and Freddie who were both saying this.

 

So, ultimately, the developer can't justify building because 1) doing so would change the risk profile of the project around making it unpalatable, and 2) the secondary market of buyers for the loans and even apartment operators are reluctant to pay top dollar for the paper anymore.

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^not what is being discussed by lenders across the country. Right now Columbus is in hyper supply and there is starting to be some pull back in the lending community toward the market. Not saying it is a bad market, and it is still a very strong market on the whole, but there is some trepidation from some of the larger institutional lenders right now as there is a perception that there is a bit of overbuilding in the Columbus market.

 

I was at a conference the other day with some regional VP's from Fannie and Freddie who were both saying this.

 

So, ultimately, the developer can't justify building because 1) doing so would change the risk profile of the project around making it unpalatable, and 2) the secondary market of buyers for the loans and even apartment operators are reluctant to pay top dollar for the paper anymore.

 

I just don't buy that, sorry.  Lenders are by nature overly cautious, and lending has been a cited problem getting projects built for years now around Columbus.  And yet Columbus population growth is at record levels and occupancy rates are near record highs.  New projects often fill up before buildings open. There is no expectation that demand is going to slow down anytime soon, especially in the urban core.  There was a report not that long ago that Columbus will need tens of thousands of new units by 2030, and it's not keeping pace.   

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Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland are all seeing a boom in their urban cores. the biggest thing about Columbus is that they have the most units in the pipeline than the other cities. While that is good and exciting, there are more units in development in the region than Columbus population growth supports at this time and it will take time for the market to absorb it.

 

Yes, there may be a push for more downtown units, but units being developed in Delaware county, etc help determine what the market will sustain from a lender point of view.

 

The problem is that building a 20 story tower downtown is a lot more expensive than a 3 story building in Powell or Reynoldsburg or Marysville. While rents will be much higher to justify the development, for such a development to take place, the developer needs to put down a lot more money up front in order to get the deal off the ground. When you are talking about building a $100 million tower, it is rare to find a developer with that much liquid cash to take that risk. The lenders who would lend on such a property see Columbus as overbuilt and needing to take a pause.

 

I know you are excited about Columbus growth but the financing fundamentals that preclude or slow down this type of development has nothing to do with the growth going on, it is mostly the financing community taking a pause to catch its breath before proceeding further.

 

Dallas Ft. Worth and Denver are faster growing markets than Columbus but are going through some hyper-supply issues and development lending is slowing in those cities. It will pick up again soon if things stay strong, but it is all about letting the market absorb what is built before moving forward again.

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^not what is being discussed by lenders across the country. Right now Columbus is in hyper supply and there is starting to be some pull back in the lending community toward the market. Not saying it is a bad market, and it is still a very strong market on the whole, but there is some trepidation from some of the larger institutional lenders right now as there is a perception that there is a bit of overbuilding in the Columbus market.

 

I was at a conference the other day with some regional VP's from Fannie and Freddie who were both saying this.

 

So, ultimately, the developer can't justify building because 1) doing so would change the risk profile of the project around making it unpalatable, and 2) the secondary market of buyers for the loans and even apartment operators are reluctant to pay top dollar for the paper anymore.

 

I just don't buy that, sorry.  Lenders are by nature overly cautious, and lending has been a cited problem getting projects built for years now around Columbus.  And yet Columbus population growth is at record levels and occupancy rates are near record highs.  New projects often fill up before buildings open. There is no expectation that demand is going to slow down anytime soon, especially in the urban core.  There was a report not that long ago that Columbus will need tens of thousands of new units by 2030, and it's not keeping pace.   

 

Ultimately, it may does not matter what you think, it is what the people at Fannie and Freddie and many of the Life Insurance companies that lend for these large projects think. They often are not on the ground in Columbus nor do they really care about it outside of a numbers story, and in 2018  they are saying Columbus is slightly overbuilt. In 2020 the market may say something different. In 2017 Columbus was not overbuilt.

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Insight 2050 has revised their population estimates for 2050 to 1 million new residents in the metro. The projection from 2010 to 2050 was 500,000 but we have already seen an increase of 150,000 since 2010. Check out the graph here: http://getinsight2050.org/

Shouldn't this info open up lenders' purses?

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