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SlipperyFish

Columbus: Downtown: Capitol Square Developments and News

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In my spare time, now that I seem to have so much at the moment, I have been fooling around with SketchUp, it's an addiction, I swear.  I've been modeling a few buildings in Columbus, such as Rhodes Tower, National City Bank, Bordon, and Midland.  Today I decided I would model one that was not built but came very close.  So here it is from Google Earth. 

 

CbusCapitol.jpg

 

Only Rhodes Tower and Capitol Tower are my creation, all other buildings are from Google Earth creator 'wopkins', minus the State House, that is from Google Earth Staff.

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Very nice!  Capitol Tower would have been at the northeast corner of Third & State.  It would have been located next to the Dispatch building.  It would have also been owned by the Dispatch. They still own the property which consists of a good looking (but now vacant) classical bank building and two surface parking lots.  I believe it got derailed during Bush 41's recession in 90-91.

 

By the way, I predict an MTS post saying this should be moved to the Abandoned Projects thread :wink:.

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Well, he's not in this section and I think this thread is cool :).


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Well, he's not in this section and I think this thread is cool :).

You tell em CDM!

 

I haven't thought about the long lost Capitol Tower for years.  And I remembered a website that had a rendering of it some time ago.  At the time it was called skyscrapers.com.  Now its been merged with a company called Emporis.

 

I found this rendering at http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=capitoltowerplace-columbus-oh-usa

 

101592.jpg

 

That smaller building to its left is the Dispatch Building and that's the Statehouse in the foreground.

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I distinctly remembering seeing that rendering for the Capitol Tower in the Dispatch when I was around 8 years old. I was so excited something like that was going to go up downtown. Sadly, of course, it never happened. I've always though the Dispatch and and it's media empire could easily consolidate in a building like that downtown, even to this day. Maybe one day the plans to construct Capitol Tower will resurface.

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I thought I'd reopen this old Capitol Tower thread given the blockbuster news of The Dispatch sale.  (More about that HERE at Local Media News thread in the City Discussion section.)  The sale of Dispatch publications from the Wolfe family is big enough news.  But there is also a downtown real estate development part to this sale.

 

In addition to the Dispatch print publications, the sale also includes the Dispatch's printing plant, an office building at 62 E. Broad Street and the offices of the company's suburban newspapers (This Week News) in Lewis Center.  Interestingly, the sale does not include the paper's current offices at 34 S. Third Street across from the Ohio Statehouse.  Additionally, Wolfe's company also will still run its real estate investment firm, Capitol Square Ltd.

 

Which brings us back to this old Capitol Tower thread.  That tower's location was to be at the northeast corner of Third & State.  This property was owned (and is still owned) by Wolfe's Capitol Square Ltd. real estate company.  The remainder of this block north along Third Street up to Capital Street was owned by The Dispatch Printing Company.  Now these properties will be under the same ownership.  And it looks like the Dispatch offices will not be staying at 34 S. Third Street for very much longer, according to the reporting in http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2015/06/04/dispatch-buyer-briefs-staff-on-possible-job-cuts.html:

 

"As for the downtown location at 34 S. 3rd St.?  It’s prime real estate across from the Statehouse.  John F. Wolfe, the longtime publisher of the Dispatch, notably kept that building in the deal and he eventually could redevelop it, Reed told staffers.  The new owners will rent it from Wolfe for now.  Staffers who spoke to me expect their days at the downtown location to be numbered.  (Another tidbit – New Media gets the famous Dispatch rooftop sign in the deal.)"

 

- 34 S. Third Street: The existing Dispatch office building at 34 S. Third Street has a four-story section in front (with the Dispatch sign on top) and a six-story section behind it for a total of 44,640 square feet.

18492432842_9eeab88e82_z_d.jpg

 

- 62 E. Broad Street: The office building that the new Dispatch publishers acquired is a four-story building on the north side of Capitol Square.  This is the middle building in the three remaining buildings in between the State of Ohio's Rhodes Office Tower (to the left in the below photo) and the Key Bank Tower (to the right in the below photo).  It's a reasonably nice old building with an ungainly roof addition that totals 25,568 square feet.

18498579211_b8a8a208ba_c_d.jpg

 

If the new Dispatch publishers reduce overall staff levels (as is expected) then they won't need a building as large as the current Dispatch Building.  And a building like 62 E. Broad Street that's about 60% the size, but still has a good Capitol Square location, would seem to be ideal for the "New Dispatch Building".

 

That would open up the east side of Capitol Square from Capital Street to Third Street for development.  I wouldn't bet on a repeat of the 42-story Capitol Square Tower from the 90's returning (unless they get a huge tenant commitment from some company that would justify it).  But there seems to be a more than reasonable chance that Capitol Square Ltd. might propose a mixed-use development for all that Third Street frontage.  Development that might include renovating the Dispatch Building into residential units.

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Dispatch vacating iconic Capitol Square offices

By Tom Knox, Columbus Business First

Updated: July 9, 2015, 11:12am EDT

 

The Columbus Dispatch will move from its long-time downtown headquarters by year’s end, bringing an end to one of the city’s more memorable landmarks after 90 years.  The newspaper, owned by the Wolfe family for 110 years, was sold last month to GateHouse Media parent New Media Investment Group.  The Dispatch building at 34 S. 3rd Street was not included in the $47 million deal, although New Media took ownership of three other buildings – and the iconic sign atop the Dispatch headquarters.

 

According to sources at the paper, Dispatch staffers will move down the street to a nondescript building sold to New Media at 62 E. Broad Street, between the Rhodes Tower and the KeyBank Building.

 

The 62 E. Broad St. building was built in 1920 and has a little more than 22,000 square feet of space.  The 34 S. 3rd St. building – famous for its large, old-fashioned sign denoting the Dispatch as Ohio’s greatest home newspaper – was built in 1925 and has 67,000 square feet.  Both are five stories tall.  Sources said the Dispatch is trying to figure out how to put the big sign on top of the new, slimmer headquarters.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2015/07/09/columbusdispatch-vacating-iconic-capitol-square.html

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^ Yeah.  That'll be interesting to see how they pull that off.  The current Dispatch building is 60 feet wide, while the new Dispatch Building is only 34 feet wide.  It seems like the sign would need to be pretty severely angled to fit on the 62 E. Broad Street roof.

 

And speaking of the 62 E. Broad Street building.  It's nice enough - but the Broad Street façade could use a good cleaning.  And it would be great if they could do something with that ungainly roof addition.  Cutting it back a few feet would lessen its visual impact.  Even making the front into an LED sign that could post news updates might help.

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Business First had an interesting article about a few weeks ago about the media history of 62 E. Broad Street - the building the Dispatch will be moving into:

 

- Dispatch sale: Rich media heritage found in building eyed for paper: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/print-edition/2015/07/17/dispatch-salerich-media-heritage-found-in-building.html

 

Unfortunately that article will be behind a paywall for other couple of weeks.  But here is a summary of the past media located in 62 E. Broad Street from the article:

 

- It was built in 1920 and the Wolfe-owned Ohio State Journal moved into 62 E. Broad Street in April 1922.

- The Ohio State Journal operated there until it merged with the Columbus Citizen in 1959 to create the Citizen-Journal.  The C-J operated there until 1985, when its joint operating agreement with the Dispatch to print the paper expired.

- The article also notes that United Press International and Scripps Howard news syndicates previously operated from the fourth floor of the building.

- The Dispatch-owned Ohio Magazine operated out of 62 E. Broad Street until they moved in 2002.

- After the Dispatch bought the alternative weekly Columbus Alive in 2005, its staff moved to 62 E. Broad Street and continues to operate from there.  Additionally, some non-newsroom Dispatch staff are currently housed at the building.

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Included with that previous Business First article was an undated historical photo that shows 62 E. Broad Street when the Ohio State Journal was located there.  Note the roof pediment facing Broad Street where the current roof addition is now located:

 

19704216899_6beae25233_d.jpg20169689332_194cfc8112_c_d.jpg

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*prays for a NuCLEus type proposal on Third directly across from the Huntington center and not another six story stickbuild box attached to a renovated Dispatch building sans sign*

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Business First reports at http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2015/07/31/columbus-dispatch-offers-employee-buyouts-sets.html that the newspaper's offices will be moving into 62 E. Broad Street in January 2016.

 

However, they also report that the iconic Dispatch sign may stay atop their current 34 S. Third Street building for now - because "it doesn't appear to fit the smaller new building"!

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AS DOWNTOWN COLUMBUS GROWS MORE RESIDENTIAL, THE FUTURE OF CAPITOL SQUARE IS UNCERTAIN

http://www.columbusceo.com/content/stories/2015/10/as-downtown-columbus-grows-more-residential-the-future-of-capitol.html

 

Some key quotes,

 

“Conceptually, we look at the land we have and know that there is a higher and better use than parking lots, but you only get one chance to develop it,” says John F. Wolfe, chairman of The Dispatch Printing Company and former publisher of the Dispatch. “Sooner rather than later we’ll engage with different potential planners to give us an idea of what might be doable.”

 

“We’ve got a great footprint on the Capitol Square, and we would want anything we would do to enhance the Downtown. It’ll take a while for exploration to tell us what we might do with it,” Wolfe says. “It’s a big enough footprint that it doesn’t all have to be developed as one development.”

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Couple of Business First reports about the Dispatch's offices moving into 62 E. Broad Street.  The new office location is getting a new Dispatch sign.  But its just a basic plain ID-type wall sign for the building.  The digital news-ticker sign and the iconic rooftop neon sign will remain in use at the 34 S. Third Street building (no word on if this is a long-term arrangement or something that goes away if the S. Third properties are redeveloped).

 

The 62 E. Broad Street is getting a pretty throughout renovation on the interior, but not much will look different on the outside (except for the new wall sign).  One potentially nice renovation feature is a plan for a "performance space" located along Broad Street in the former bank lobby.  The space would allow the Dispatch to record interviews with officials or performances by local musicians:

 

-- http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/01/05/smaller-sign-to-adorn-dispatchs-new-home.html

 

-- http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2016/01/dispatchs-new-digs-to-feature-public-performance.html

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The Dispatch editor (and former writer of The Old House Handyman column) writes about their office move to 62 E. Broad Street:

 

-- http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2016/01/10/01-dispatch-ready-to-write-new-chapters.html

 

-- http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/home_and_garden/2016/01/10/1-dispatch-on-the-move-to-historic-quarters.html

 

Slideshow review of the five downtown locations the Dispatch has called home over its 145-year history:  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2016/01/17/01-on-the-move.html

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An update on the future of the former Dispatch building at 34 S. 3rd Street and possibly the S. 3rd Street properties that are immediately south of the Dispatch building:

 


Longtime Columbus Dispatch home could be leased within a year

By Tom Knox, Reporter - Columbus Business First

Updated: July 29, 2016, 4:20pm EDT

 

The former Columbus Dispatch building could soon be occupied by new tenants.  The space at 34 S. 3rd St. will likely be mixed-use and undergo basic renovations to its infrastructure, said Michael Fiorile, chairman of building owner Capitol Square Ltd.

 

“I would hope we’ll be done within a year and look to lease the space,” Fiorile told me. ... A future tenant could be WBNS-FM (97.1 The Fan), the popular sports-talk station that broadcasts Ohio State University football games.  Its lease in the Brewery District ends in two years.  The Wolfe family owns the station as part of RadiOhio Inc.

 

Capitol Square is the real estate and investment arm of the Wolfe family's Dispatch Printing Co.  It owns a large chunk of coveted downtown Columbus real estate and is partnering with Nationwide Realty Investors on the project to figure out what, exactly, the next use will be for 34 S. 3rd. ... “I’m fairly certain it’ll be some type of mixed-use and fairly certain on it not being a tower,” Fiorile said.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/07/29/longtime-columbus-dispatch-home-could-be-leased.html

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While that's disappointing that it won't be a tower, I'll withhold judgement until I see the plans. A 12 to 15 story project that takes up that whole block, has ground floor retail, housing, and office space wouldn't necessarily be a bad proposition. Although I really, really wanted to see a big signature tower go up there.

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Well to be fair they only mentioned 34 south Third, which is the Dispatch building itself. They did not necessarily comment on all of the property along Third down to State. Even around 25 years ago when the proposed that Capital Plaza tower the old Dispatch building would have remained. 'The next use for' suggests they are just talking about the Dispatch building, which I would imagine they would want to keep intact and all. At least this is what I am sticking with until I hear more.

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I'm also hearing that the block to the east is potentially in play.

 

I also take the above comments to mean mixed-use for the historic Dispatch bldg specifically. I think they're going to pretend they need the attached parking to support the mixed-use until a larger solution for parking presents itself, in which case, the parking lot is available for development.

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