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City of Columbus' lack of space outlined in study

Business First of Columbus - 4:25 PM EDT Friday

by Matt Burns, Business First

 

Columbus city government needs more space, and a Dublin firm is recommending ways municipal officials can accomplish that.  The architectural firm, eS Architecture and Development Inc., through a city-commissioned space study, is leveling one municipal building and clearing room for enhanced public access.  The city's 2006 Space Needs Study/Master Plan examined how the city's office space is used and conducted surveys and interviews to plan for the decade of development, said Joel Taylor, the city's finance and management director.

 

The study looked at studied nine major buildings on four key government campuses whose net usable space totaled 551,000 square feet, he said.  Its primary recommendations include renovating the vacant old Central Police Station at Gay Street and Marconi Boulevard and demolishing the deteriorating 109 N. Front St. building, which houses employees of the city's development department, city attorney's real estate office and public service employees in the transportation division. 

 

Other recommendations in the $266,000 include:

- Maintaining City Hall as the cornerstone to the municipal complex.

- Retaining jobs in the downtown campus.

- Continuing to use the Beacon Building at Front and Gay streets as swing space, pending potential future redevelopment.

 

More at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/08/21/daily31.html 

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This article from the 8/25/06 Dispatch has a few more details:

 

10-YEAR FORECAST

Study lays out plan for city’s buildings

Ideas blend razing, remodeling for new government campus

Friday, August 25, 2006

Jodi Andes

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

A new report that was being passed around City Hall yesterday lays out the next set of changes that Downtown Columbus could see.  The 10-year forecast calls for demolishing the city’s aging office building at 109 N. Front St. and replacing it with a parking deck that would include stores along Front Street.  The report also suggests renovating the old police headquarters that now sits vacant and creating a city park at Front and Gay streets.

 

They’re all ideas that city officials plan to take to City Council for funding, but how much they’ll cost is unclear, city Finance Director Joel Taylor said.  The report arrived yesterday at City Hall from eS Architecture and Development, the Columbus company that was hired last year.  It was being passed around to staff and council members, so how much support the plan has is unclear.  However, the changes are supported by Mayor Michael B. Coleman, who believes they are strongly needed, said his spokesman, Mike Brown.  "As Downtown gets redeveloped, the city’s campus needs to be renovated as well," Brown said.  "It needs to be more efficient, and it needs to be more attractive."

 

More at http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/08/25/20060825-E1-04.html

 

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City Hall campus plan takes shape

Expansion of former police HQ would anchor reorganization of offices

Business First of Columbus - by Brian R. Ball

Friday, October 24, 2008

 

Columbus officials hope to begin consolidating offices at the City Hall campus in two years with a proposed $23 million renovation and expansion of the former Central Police Station.  The city gave a conceptual plan for the site to the Downtown Commission on Oct. 22, a blueprint that includes adding 27,000 square feet to the 98,500-square-foot building at 120 W. Gay St.  The building has been empty for more than 20 years, since construction of the new Columbus Division of Police headquarters next door.

 

209378.jpg?v=2

The 78-year-old former police headquarters at 120 W. Gay St. would get a new glass facade under an expansion planned by Columbus officials.  The building has been empty since the current police headquarters opened next door more than 20 years ago.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2008/10/27/story4.html?b=1225080000

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“We want to respect its history, to showcase its history,” Harris told the commission.

 

How do you respect and showcase history by hiding it behind an ugly modern sheet of glass that completely changes the character of a building that is an outgrowth of the Civic Center portion 1908 plan of Columbus?

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Does anyone have a photo of the building that would be demolished? I also agree with Urbansurfin, how does an ugly glass addition respect the buildings history? Why not make the modern addition blend in with the originally building?

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I don't have any pics of the building that would be demolished, but it's no great shakes -- pretty nondescript, and in bad shape. The city's planning office is among the agencies there, and friends in the office -- people with preservation sensibilities -- do not seem to regard it fondly.

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The idea is good, but the addition of a curved glass facade seems somewhat odd, and in the rendering is ugly.  Just how that showcases anything other than poor judgement is beyond me....doesn't seem to work on any level. 

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Now just add Kona Grill!


"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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Thanks for the renderings Walker.

 

I don't know if I like that glass addition to the old police building.  But I know I like it much more in front of that proposed park rather than in front of the existing parking lot.

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Here's a rendering of the conceptual site plan for the City's downtown campus that was presented at the October Downtown Commission meeting that was referenced in the Business First article.

 

2980868055_0a341b24c9.jpg

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Hopefully they'll include signage from Gay St to the trail and from the trail to Gay St including the businesses located there.

 

OT, but the trail leads to a number of streets lined with businesses including 3rd and King east of the river, where if traffic calming were implemented would much less intimidating to reach (the streets are 25 but obviously need enforcement, particularly King). Include signage from the trail and it would become more useful for going places than purely recreational.

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I am not a big fan of the new front glass entrance but the rest of the addition isn't so bad.  They need to work on that park a little, add a little more to it.  Make the path go along the building and put no green space between the building and the path, making the parker bigger.  I think with the green space as it is shown now would just be dead wasted space, for show, no one would feel comfortable using it.  As for the rest of the park, put in bushes, an intimate fountain, some benches, more trees. 

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One reason I heard was that it´s for security purposes. Still, I wonder if that price tag is typical. 1$ million could go towards making Front north of Broad a two-way (long overdue).

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Parking garage purchase clears way for old police HQ development

Business First of Columbus - by Brian R. Ball

Friday, August 6, 2010

 

The city of Columbus has purchased a parking garage near City Hall to make way for a $27 million renovation of the former Division of Police headquarters building for other city operations.  The garage at 98-102 N. Front St. was acquired out of receivership July 30 for $2.3 million.  Officials expect it will take $1.5 million to renovate the structure to accommodate 380 to 400 vehicles.  Columbus Finance and Management Director Paul Rakosky said use of the garage by early next year will allow the city to close an employee parking lot on West Gay Street between Front Street and Marconi Boulevard.  That will clear the way for renovations to the 80-year-old police building, set to begin next spring.

 

The city in October 2008 unveiled plans to renovate the old police headquarters, which was built in 1930.  The building has been empty since the current police headquarters was opened next door in the late 1980s.  In the late 1990s, the city removed asbestos from the 98,500-square-foot building and installed a new roof and windows in anticipation of redevelopment.  Once renovated, plans call for offices of the city attorney, Civil Service Commission and income tax and purchasing departments to move into the building, which will include a 27,000-square-foot addition.

 

Relocation of those operations would allow the Department of Development to move into City Hall from city-owned properties at 109 N. Front St. and 50 W. Gay St.  Much of the lot would become a park, according to the city’s master plan for the site.  The building at 109 N. Front would be demolished with plans to ultimately develop a parking garage there.  Rakosky said plans are to sell the former Beacon Mutual Indemnity Co. building at 50 W. Gay, which the city has owned since 1978.

 

LOCATION MAP

 

Full article: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2010/08/09/story3.html

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An update - of sorts - about the former Central Police Station (former Police HQ Building) from ABC6 News.  Not really any new information.  But their video crew did provide a nice tour of the unrenovated interior.

 

City Building Sits Empty 20 Years, Millions of Dollars Later

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A waste of space.  That’s what some people are calling a particular bit of prime real estate located in downtown Columbus.  This, despite the fact that the City of Columbus put millions of dollars into the former Central Police Station.  Now, the only tenants residing there are a few rodents.

 

The building has remained empty for about two decades, ABC6 Investigator Chris Koeberl discovered.  To the south of it, there’s Columbus City Hall.  The to the north is the headquarters for the Columbus Division of Police.  In the middle sits a building that’s been locked up for about 20 years.  Once inside of it, it’s easy to see the history of the one-time police station.

 

FULL REPORT AND VIDEO: http://www.abc6onyourside.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wsyx_vid_7538.shtml

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^Does the facility need a tunnel to city hall? It's right across the street? Jeez, why not even put in a skywalk like it's the '70s.

 

From here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/downtown-police-building-may-get-a-makeover/comment-page-1#comment-19712

 

<b>The tunnel already exists. City hall is the former home of municipal court, and the tunnel was originally built to safely transport prisoners from police HQ lockup to arraignment court.</b>

 

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^ Interesting you should ask that question.

 

There is an update on this project from the Dispatch's recap of the last night's Columbus City Council meeting:

 

"The council also approved borrowing $27.25 million to renovate the old police headquarters, which has been sitting empty north of City Hall since the 1990s.  The project is part of a plan to remake the City Hall campus, including a park at the end of Gay Street, demolishing a city office building at 109 N. Front St. and possibly building a parking deck there."

 

The update also included a revised rendering.  It still has the glass wall addition to the east of the original Old Police Station Building.  The glass wall addition gets toned down overall.  The corner section is much less wild than the previous 2008 rendering:

 

council-1207-art-groaroe4-1council-1207-jpg-large.jpg

 

Although I really like the overall civic campus project, I'm personally not too crazy about the glass addition.  But I think this rendering looks much better than the previous one.  The previous one had the effect of throwing a spider web over a beautiful building. 

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The project is back... this is from the 6/6 City Council Meeting Highlights Bulletin

 

CREATING A MUNICIPAL CAMPUS TO IMPROVE CITY OPERATIONS: Finance Committee Chair Priscilla R. Tyson is sponsoring ordinance 0830-2011 to authorize the expenditure of $31,693,000.00 to renovate the Old Central Police Building.  The plan to create a functional Municipal Campus began over 25 years ago and will have a building design which  incorporates a unique blend of old architecture with modern technology and includes "green" standards to create an environmentally sustainable building designed at the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Level.  Some of its features will include: energy efficient lighting, reduced flow plumbing components for water conservation, high efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment with a geothermal cooling system and heat recovery system, recycled asphalt products, and a reflective roof coating to increase cooling.  When complete, the building will house the Department of Human Resources, City Attorney's Office, City Auditor's Office - Income Tax Division, Civil Service Commission, Department of Public Safety- Director's Office, and the Department of Finance and Management - Purchasing Office.

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Construction photos from our friends at Columbus Underground showing the work being done on and around the former Police HQ building.  The first photo is from December 2011 and shows work on a future plaza between the current Police HQ building (to the left) and the former Police HQ building (to the right).  This plaza faces Marconi Boulevard.

police-hq-dec-2011.jpg 

 

The next two photos show the glass addition being built at the former Police HQ Building facing Front Street.  The first photo is from is from February 2012.  The second photo is from April 2012.

police-hq-2.jpg

 

construction-april-29.jpg

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/police-hq-renovation-work-underway

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^And just bad.


"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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I like where the city is going with the campus plan and I'm not opposed to modern additions to historic buildings.  But I totally agree with you guys.  Especially ink's assessment of the addition being "unnecessary". 

 

I've never heard anyone explain why the small square footage added by this glass box addition made occupying the former Police HQ building viable vs. not adding it.

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Well, in a couple of decades they can rip off the glass addition and restore the original facade -- like when COSI moved and the Frank Packard-designed Memorial Hall returned.

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Over the weekend, two granite lion statues were moved from front entrance of the current Police Headquarters Building to the front entrance of old Police HQ Building next door.  The old Police HQ building is being renovated for city administrative office space.  The two lions originally flanked the entrance to this circa 1929 building.  When the new police headquarters building was finished next door in 1991, the two lions were moved to flank the new building's entrance.

 

Although restoring the two granite lion statues to their original location was always part of this project (and a well-excepted tenet of historic preservation), someone must have left the Police Department out of the loop.  The removal of the two lions from the current police building shocked and surprised the Police and their FOP.  Below is a photo of the lions at their new/old/original location and an article from the Dispatch about it:

 

lions_01.jpg

 

Dispatch: Granite lions’ exit outrages police

 

According to the article, it appears that the city will be keeping the 1929 lions at their original 1929 location.  But also that new sculptures are planned for the current police headquarters entrance.  Which, according to the mayor's spokesman, will either be lions or something else of the Police Department's choosing.

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The City of Columbus' downtown campus plan was also in the news this week for more than moving two granite lion statues.  Last month, Columbus City Council approved funds for demolishing the four-story city office building at 109 N. Front Street.  Below is photo of 109 N. Front Street and a recent article in the Dispatch about it:

 

city-office-complex-art-gpgipjsu-1city-office-complex-02-jpg.jpg

 

Dispatch: Columbus wants to consolidate city offices

 

As you can see from the renderings posted on this thread's previous page, the demolition of 109 N. Front Street was always part of this downtown campus plan.  The city offices in the four-story 109 Building will be moved into the five-story Old Police Headquarters Building, which is currently being renovated.  The renovated Old Police HQ Building is scheduled to open in Spring 2013.  After that, the City is planning to approve a contract in Summer 2013 for asbestos removal and demolition of the 109 Building.  According to the article, the City has a long-term plan to rebuild at the 109 location.  Although it is unclear what the replacement construction would ultimately be.  In the short-term, the 109 location will be green space - along with the existing parking lot immediately south of 109.

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Pretty aerial view of the former Police HQ Building and its surroundings from the LeVeque parking garage across Front Street by Columbus Underground.  The former Police HQ Building is being renovated for city office space.  That renovation includes a full height glass addition to the north and east sides of the building, which is visible in this view looking to the northwest from the parking garage. 

 

The red brick building to the right currently contains some of the city offices that will relocate into the renovated building.  As was mentioned in the previous post, this building is slated for demolition.  That building footprint and the remaining surface parking lot next to it would be converted into green space.  The building in the middle is the current Police Headquarters Building.

 

construction-august-22.jpg

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Another construction update on the City's downtown campus plan and renovation of the former Police HQ Building into city office space from the Construction Roundup - December 2012 at Columbus Underground.  These two photos arguably hi-light the best and worst ascepts of this project.

 

The worst ascept: The glass addition to the former Police HQ Building.  As has been said before, an ugly and unnecessary addition to an historic building whose exterior was previously restored to its original appearance.

construction-17.jpg

 

The best ascept: Returning Gay Street to two-way traffic.  Previously, Gay Street between Front Street and Marconi Boulevard was one-way and restricted to the public.  A guard shack used to be in the middle of the street to make sure you were there "for city business".  Now the shack is gone and the street will be open to two-way traffic.  Just like the rest of Gay Street east of Front.

construction-16.jpg

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Hahaha, it looks like Cobra Commander!

 

The good news is definitely good news, though. I always thought it was weird that they just closed down the street there for "srs bizness". When was that, like, '90? I felt like that part of Columbus was the by the Congressional Office Buildings or something.

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More reposting of news lost due to the server crash.  In April 2013, the City of Columbus starting moving personnel into the renovated former police HQ building.  Below is a link to an article about this from the Dispatch:

 

City workers moving into renovated police headquarters

 

The renovated former police HQ building's appearance is unchanged from Marconi Blvd. and the riverfront to the west

renovated-police-hq-art0-gtgmhldn-1renovated-police-hq-crr1-jpg.jpg

 

The glass addition dramatically changes the building's apparance facing Front Street to the east.  This is a view of that addition from the new plaza in front of the building looking south toward City Hall.

columbus-construciton-april-2013-32.jpg

 

This is a view of the addition from the new plaza in front of the building looking north - facing the current Police HQ Building and the existing city office building at 109 N. Front Street.

columbus-construciton-april-2013-33.jpg

 

Interior view from the glass addition looking toward the current Police HQ Building to the north.

renovated-police-hq-art-gtgmhksh-1renovated-police-hq-crr6-jpg.jpg

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Then, some reporting on the next phase of the City's downtown campus.  In May, local media reported that the City's Downtown Commission granted approval to demolish the existing four-story city office building at 109 N. Front Street.  The stated plan was the City would relocate its personnel from the 109 Building into the newly renovated old police building and the existing Beacon Building at Front & Gay.  Once vacated, the 109 Building would be demolished later this year.

 

After the 109 Building is demolished, a new four- to five-story, 100,000 square foot building that could also accommodate 200 parking spaces would be built in its place.  The existing parking lot just north of the 109 Building would be retained for use by the demolition and construction contractors.  When the new office building is finished, the remainder of the parking lot would be removed and converted into green space.  Below is a site plan and aerial view of the proposed campus area.

 

rop-columbus-city-hall-campus*600.jpg

 

city-campus.jpg

 

More about this next phase of the City's downtown campus plan in reports from Business First and Columbus Underground, linked below:

 

Business First: Columbus office consolidation along Front coming together

 

Columbus Underground: Plans Advancing for City Campus, New Building on Front Street

 

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Then, Business First followed up with a report about the architecture firms expressing interest in designing the proposed four- to five-story, 100,000 square foot building that could also accommodate 200 parking spaces that would replace the existing 109 N. Front Street building:

 

Architecture firms piling in to vie for 109 N. Front St. office project

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