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Discovery District Commons

 

The (Hills) market also could benefit from another residential and mixed-use development planned four blocks to the northwest of the Neighborhood Launch project.

 

Developer George Berardi is applying to the Downtown Commission to build a five-story, 120,000-square-foot building at Spring and Neilston streets that would have 102 apartments on the upper floors and four retail spaces at ground level.

 

The $11.5 million Discovery District Commons also would include 71 underground parking spaces.

 

More below:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2011/10/21/grocerys-plan-seen-as-another-step-for-downtown.html

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Spring is devoid of residents and retail, so I'm not sure why this wouldn't be developed right next to existing successful developments and businesses (Long Street). It's also two blocks outside of the Discovery District too. Hopefully, at least one citywide destination opens up there to offer more than the gay bar on Spring which is all there is on that street right now.

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Spring is devoid of residents and retail, so I'm not sure why this wouldn't be developed right next to existing successful developments and businesses (Long Street). It's also two blocks outside of the Discovery District too. Hopefully, at least one citywide destination opens up there to offer more than the gay bar on Spring which is all there is on that street right now.

 

I actually like that they chose a location with not much going on.  The availability of space seems to be as prime as Gay Street was before Neighborhood Launch. 

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I actually like that they chose a location with not much going on.  The availability of space seems to be as prime as Gay Street was before Neighborhood Launch. 

 

Well, most streets Downtown have little going on, but at least this is closer to desirable areas and it was smart to include four retail spots, although if this were to take up a spot on High right around the corner from Gay that would have helped get some momentum for a revitalized High St instead of having to be enough of a draw to get people to stray from Gay, High, and to a lesser degree, Long (which sadly has seen a high rate of new businesses folding). No one is going to open a gastro-pub or anything else for that matter in developments like the Terraces on Grant which offers only a big blank wall for pedestrians and parking inside, but with this one there's more likelihood that at least one spot may attract plenty of visitors to the area.

 

Gay Street, back when it was mostly empty, offered a pre-existing retail corridor (with some nice architecture in parts which will never be replicated in new developments). In this case, a few more similar developments would have to be built from scratch nearby before Spring has the possibility of being as prime a spot as Gay was. Right now, there's really nothing that say, a restauranteur could move into, aside from the Static nightclub building which is closed I think.

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I actually like that they chose a location with not much going on.  The availability of space seems to be as prime as Gay Street was before Neighborhood Launch. 

 

Well, most streets Downtown have little going on, but at least this is closer to desirable areas and it was smart to include four retail spots, although if this were to take up a spot on High right around the corner from Gay that would have helped get some momentum for a revitalized High St instead of having to be enough of a draw to get people to stray from Gay, High, and to a lesser degree, Long (which sadly has seen a high rate of new businesses folding). No one is going to open a gastro-pub or anything else for that matter in developments like the Terraces on Grant which offers only a big blank wall for pedestrians and parking inside, but with this one there's more likelihood that at least one spot may attract plenty of visitors to the area.

 

Gay Street, back when it was mostly empty, offered a pre-existing retail corridor (with some nice architecture in parts which will never be replicated in new developments). In this case, a few more similar developments would have to be built from scratch nearby before Spring has the possibility of being as prime a spot as Gay was. Right now, there's really nothing that say, a restauranteur could move into, aside from the Static nightclub building which is closed I think.

 

I think that's the point though.  Getting rid of these surface lots with new builds in parts of Downtown really is the only option considering so many buildings were destroyed over the decades.  It's a start, and that's what is needed.  And did you see my post about the surface lot on High by the Atlas Building?  It's a 2 for 1 project... renovating the Atlas and removing a huge surface lot on High. 

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More about the Discovery District Commons proposal from Business First:

 

Developers pushing for student housing projects near Columbus State and CCAD

By Brian R. Ball, Business First staff reporter

Date: Friday, October 21, 2011, 6:00am EDT

 

Columbus architect George Berardi of Berardi & Partners Inc. has submitted plans for a five-story, 104-unit apartment building at 273-283 E. Spring Street at Neilston Street.  The proposed $11.5 million mixed-use project includes 71 underground parking slots and four street-level retail spaces, according to the filing with the city's Downtown Commission.  The apartments include 12 one-bedroom units, 64 two-bedroom units and 28 three-bedroom units on the second through fifth floors.

 

Public records show F.K. IV LP bought the vacant lot at 273 E. Spring St. in 2003 for $230,000.  An affiliated owner, MJW Inc., has controlled the neighboring retail property at 283 E. Spring St. since 2007.  Neither Berardi nor real estate investor Cliff Gaston, a principal of the property owners, would talk to Columbus Business First about the planned project.

 

The Downtown Commission will consider the proposal at an Oct. 27 meeting.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/print-edition/2011/10/21/developers-pushing-for-student-housing.html

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The Business First article link contains a location map for the Discovery District Commons project.  It's at the southeast corner of Neilston Street and Spring Street.  The property controlled by the developer is roughly two-thirds of the entire block fronting Spring Street.  Half of that property controlled by the developer is a surface parking lot.  The other half is a two-story residential building and one-story commercial building that have been combined into one structure. 

 

Removing a surface parking lot for vertical construction is always a positive improvement for the downtown.  Given that the proposal is for a five-story, mixed-use, mostly residential, internal parking development is even more positive.  Another positive would be the removal of the existing structure at 283 E. Spring Street.  This structure has housed at least four really sketchy bar/nightclub operations in the past decade.  Operations that got regular visits from the police and the occassional after-hours shooting.  For a run-down of these bar/nightclub operations see the Abandoned Building "Static" on East Spring St. thread at Columbus Underground.

 

The proposed project location is within walking distance of the Columbus State Community College and the Columbus College of Art & Design.  It's also within walking distance of the Neighborhood Launch Condos on Gay Street and the forthcoming Hills Market on Grant Avenue.

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Aww, I think the Static building could be turned into something great what with the momentum from Neighborhood Launch: a nice classy bar. I just don't get the demolition of what 3% of old buildings remain for new development when there are *so* many parking lots left. I guess if the building is at least 5 stories tall it will more than balance things out, but I'd still like to see these kinds of projects occur one next to the other like I have in another large Midwestern downtown which I'll leave unnamed.

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^really?  If you moved to another city because it better for you, why continue to dump on positive news from Columbus because you "know better"...

 

I'm new to the site, but have been a long time lurker.  I have wondered the same thing.  You move, but you still bash/put down Columbus.  Let me guess, the other Midwestern downtown is Minneapolis, right?  Honestly, I figured if you love MSP so much, you would forget about Columbus and move on...

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Im just tired of hearing negative criticism.  We all know there are LOTS of things to improve upon...I'm tired of hearing people dump on positive news when they know nothing of the circumstances leading to the proposal at hand.  Its easy to say something isn't perfect.  its hard to actually make something happen.

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^really?  If you moved to another city because it better for you, why continue to dump on positive news from Columbus because you "know better"...

 

Keith and I have had many disagreements about Columbus.  He's one of those "grass is greener everywhere else" types and has been extremely negative when it comes to nearly everything the city has done.  He criticized Columbus Commons and how he didn't believe it would really spark retail, yet we have had 9 new restaurants go in or planned, a new grocery, and other retail and residential projects announced almost all since the park opened.  Downtown has a long way to go, but it's definitely seeing a major upswing lately.  All that said, and despite his obvious bias and love fest for MSP, I agree to some extent that we should be saving as many of the older buildings as possible and trying to fill surface lots first and foremost.  This new project, while fantastic, is a mixed blessing.  It removes more surface lots, but removes existing buildings as well that could've been renovated/expanded. 

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a key thing that is somewhat counter-intuitive is that the existing daily-pay parking lots are often better revenue generators for their respective landowners than existing buildings.  Yes, it would be great to save as many buildings as possible, but sometimes lower quality structures (as this one is) are more capable of being developed than the parking lots.  Once the market is present for the parking lot owners to develop them, they will; but that is probably not going to happen for awhile.  That is why this project is so huge...it stokes the market for the adjacent parcels (parking lots).

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I just said that this on High > Spring. Try and explain how that's not the case. High St Downtown needs a critical mass and has some businesses and residential development in place. This will get things started on Spring, but why start from scratch on another street? Other cities are able to address infill on parking lots (I'm sure some incentives are given) and the city did right with the limited boundaries for the Mile on High incentives that may signal a big turning point for concentrated development and investments whereas over the past decade it was for anyone to build anywhere Downtown (those tax abatements) which doesn't encourage much cohesiveness. Maybe it wasn't quite enough for the developer to locate within those boundaries instead, which might mean that others will likely choose similar off-the-beaten-path locations.

 

If similar ones are given to cover a couple of blocks on some down-and-out neighborhood business districts near Downtown (Near East and Near South) that could help stem and reverse population loss by attracting more residents that are more likely to head Downtown to eat or drink. Again from experience here, there are people who moved into downtown-area neighborhoods that were once looking a lot more like the disheveled parts of the Near East and Near South sides of town who now head out to Downtown and spend money there (all are connected with cycling infrastructure, some of which is sub-par in execution, but still used by cyclists anyway). City leadership in Columbus doesn't understand the importance of adding more healthy downtown area neighborhoods for a healthier downtown and that's evident in their overall treatment of these areas: hopefully that will change some day. When a business owner just across the eastern downtown border (where residents from the east end of Downtown head out) tells you about being ignored by the city and another one on the same street threatens to move in a Dispatch article and others are thrown under the bus in favor of what ODOT wants, that's another indicator of the flawed mindset that a healthy downtown means only focusing inside the borders of downtown.

 

jbcmh81, don't be so quick to assume a cause and effect for all new establishments or developments occurring outside of a couple of blocks from the park. In the case of De Novo I'm sure someone picked up on the fact that lots of people were at the park and that it was a driving factor for locating there. The new grocery store not so much, since it's well on the other side of Downtown: people by and large aren't going to walk from CC to shop at The Hills. Myself, I can shop for groceries at the downtown Target along a vibrant, car-free street (a two lane bus-bike only road) stretching a ten-block wall of mixed-use commercial buildings (critical mass has been reached here) just off a light rail line; I'd say that grass is pretty damn green over here.

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I just said that this on High > Spring. Try and explain how that's not the case. High St Downtown needs a critical mass and has some businesses and residential development in place. This will get things started on Spring, but why start from scratch on another street? Other cities are able to address infill on parking lots (I'm sure some incentives are given) and the city did right with the limited boundaries for the Mile on High incentives that may signal a big turning point for concentrated development and investments whereas over the past decade it was for anyone to build anywhere Downtown (those tax abatements) which doesn't encourage much cohesiveness. Maybe it wasn't quite enough for the developer to locate within those boundaries instead, which might mean that others will likely choose similar off-the-beaten-path locations.

 

Yet you've made *many* posts criticizing how too much attention was being paid to High Street instead of being spread out to other areas of the city.  Now you're saying we should put more focus on High?  The fact that Downtown is progressing along more than just High is great news.  And High is not being ignored, anyway.  You didn't respond to my post the other day about that giant parking lot north of the Atlas Building being planned for residential/retail infill.  I have always been of the opinion that infill, especially in a Downtown as devastated by "urban renewal" as Columbus' has, is going to take time.  Minneapolis never saw this to the kind of degree we have here.  And projects continue to be announced.  Just yesterday, another restaurant (tiki themed similar to the old Kahiki) was announced to be going in right next to where Hills is going on Grant.  It will be going into an existing building with extensive interior/exterior renovations planned.  This makes 10 new restaurants, by my count, in less than a year.  The nearly 6,000 new residents Downtown in the last 8-10 years, along with the new parks, are finally showing momentum.      

 

If similar ones are given to cover a couple of blocks on some down-and-out neighborhood business districts near Downtown (Near East and Near South) that could help stem and reverse population loss by attracting more residents that are more likely to head Downtown to eat or drink. Again from experience here, there are people who moved into downtown-area neighborhoods that were once looking a lot more like the disheveled parts of the Near East and Near South sides of town who now head out to Downtown and spend money there (all are connected with cycling infrastructure, some of which is sub-par in execution, but still used by cyclists anyway). City leadership in Columbus doesn't understand the importance of adding more healthy downtown area neighborhoods for a healthier downtown and that's evident in their overall treatment of these areas: hopefully that will change some day. When a business owner just across the eastern downtown border (where residents from the east end of Downtown head out) tells you about being ignored by the city and another one on the same street threatens to move in a Dispatch article and others are thrown under the bus in favor of what ODOT wants, that's another indicator of the flawed mindset that a healthy downtown means only focusing inside the borders of downtown.

 

Wait, which is it... too much attention to High or too much attention to all of Downtown?  OTE and neighborhoods like it have their own organizations and promoters.  I should ask, why aren't they doing more?  Is it just the city's responsibility to fix those areas?  Did the city make the SN what it is?  No way.  It was locals.  As far as I can see, the city is not actively trying to stifle their progress.  In fact, there are projects going on in the Near East Side pushed in part by the city, so it's not like they're being ignored.  But you are always praising those brave people who start up new businesses and make things happen.  Franklinton is getting a little city help, but most of what's going on now is through local residents.  You always take the glass half empty approach to this city.  Nearly $9 billion in development near and around Downtown in the last 10 years is apparently not enough, nearly $6 billion of which is either ongoing or in development.     

 

jbcmh81, don't be so quick to assume a cause and effect for all new establishments or developments occurring outside of a couple of blocks from the park. In the case of De Novo I'm sure someone picked up on the fact that lots of people were at the park and that it was a driving factor for locating there. The new grocery store not so much, since it's well on the other side of Downtown: people by and large aren't going to walk from CC to shop at The Hills. Myself, I can shop for groceries at the downtown Target along a vibrant, car-free street (a two lane bus-bike only road) stretching a ten-block wall of mixed-use commercial buildings (critical mass has been reached here) just off a light rail line; I'd say that grass is pretty damn green over here.

 

The park has been a catalyst for many of the new projects.  The Dispatch has run articles in which developers specifically cited the park and the new activity there were considerations for coming Downtown.  The Hills people even cited new Downtown activity and that it seemed the right time to put in the grocery.  Deny it all you like, but you were 100% wrong.  You seem to ignore that projects tend to spur others.  As you say, it takes a critical mass to get things to happen, and while Columbus' Downtown may not have yet reached it, the combined projects that have occurred are pushing us towards that.  What I don't like about you and your love of MSP is that it is very easy to criticize a place that has a lot of hard work to do in comparison to a place that never fell that far to begin with, so it doesn't have all that dirty work to do.  It's also easier to fix things with 2x the metro population.  It's also easier to do when your Downtown and city limits are basically the same size.  You basically wanted it quick and easy and you moved to a place that gave that to you.  Congrats.  Your negativity and defeatism will not be missed here. 

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Keith,

 

You have now mentioned Minneapolis twice in this Columbus development thread.  Please keep your comments on topic.  If you wish to discuss Minneapolis, please start a thread in the Non-Ohio Projects and Construction Section.

 

Any further comments regarding Minneapolis in this thread - or any other Columbus thread - will be removed.

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jbcmh81, High St is the only street with any significant collection of commercial buildings and is the weak link which is lacking compared to the rest (well S High south of the Brewery District would be another). There's really no where else to build on in this context outside of the Arena District. I've never said progress was not happening there, but even by Columbus' own standards they're short of the 10,000 residents goal (6,000 is much better than none of course) and the goal to have a High St streetcar up and running in a handful of months which means progress is going to be slower than had it gone forward and attracted a good deal of infill, especially on the big lot from Gay to Spring on the west side of High. Note that Little Rock and Kenosha, WI didn't need anywhere near 800,000 city residents + another 800,000 in the metro area to get it done: enough residents made their support known and there it is (the streetcar meetings were not by any means packed with supporters). If you head out to either city today you can get a taste of Columbus public transit circa 2018. It's not the size of the metro that matters: it's how you use it.

 

Overall, Downtown gets too much attention: see the Hilton Hotel which is being built with revenue generated in languishing business districts like the one you live near, W Broad, which I'm sure you find is progressing just fine. I say they could use that money for renovations whose cost is probably the number #1 reason for why entrepreneurs are not biting: match a good chunk of the cost and more neighborhood downtowns will flourish anew and compliment Downtown, not to mention revenue coming in from the ~500,000 residents who live in the sprawling outer ring of the city. If you expect locals to do all the work while the city waits by to take credit for it, well, you can see how that has been working. Even on streets where a few new establishments opened up there has been almost nothing else and the city should have noticed that by now and offered to assist where locals are willing to do the work. In case you haven't noticed, in the past 20 years there hasn't been another gallery district to repeat what happened in the Short North: two blocks of Parsons in OTE is as close as it gets. Expecting this to just change independent of any outside catalyst is ridiculous and that's what the city is still doing; leaving struggling areas to fend for themselves and it keeps proving itself as a failed approach (more of a lack thereof) year after year.

 

Getting momentum moving Downtown is fine, but there needs to be a balanced approach since the new 6,000 residents are not making up for the losses in the downtown-area neighborhoods: Franklinton south of Broad, west of 315 (2/3 of the neighborhood) lost about 1100 residents this past decade (down from ~6000: they didn't wait for long delayed funding from the city to pop up this year (and local residents and orgs were already doing what they could to improve the neighborhood). The Near East lost population all over despite city involvement here and there to the tune of over 2000. The neglected Near South also lost about as much and there's everything south of German Village and then the Near Northeast. Cheaping out on quality urban living is detrimental to American cities that aren't going full steam ahead or close to that: baby steps will never get you to the finish line: at some point you've got to run and that goes double when they're running and you're taking a leisurely jog. Instead of stabilizing these surrounding areas now they have to do what they did Downtown on a smaller scale just to get back the number lost in the past decade to all of these neighborhoods and simultaneously at that. Instead of these neighborhoods significantly contributing to Downtown's success like GV and the SN do, they not only aren't doing that, but they have almost nothing to offer to their own residents. You can pretend that I'm the only who thinks things are moving too slowly, but the thousands of ex-Columbusites that continue to leave the downtown neighborhoods at an alarming rate shows otherwise and this not going to be remedied by new downtown developments and restaurants, let alone just-be-happy-with-whatever-we-get boosterism.

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jbcmh81, High St is the only street with any significant collection of commercial buildings and is the weak link which is lacking compared to the rest (well S High south of the Brewery District would be another). There's really no where else to build on in this context outside of the Arena District. I've never said progress was not happening there, but even by Columbus' own standards they're short of the 10,000 residents goal (6,000 is much better than none of course) and the goal to have a High St streetcar up and running in a handful of months which means progress is going to be slower than had it gone forward and attracted a good deal of infill, especially on the big lot from Gay to Spring on the west side of High. Note that Little Rock and Kenosha, WI didn't need anywhere near 800,000 city residents + another 800,000 in the metro area to get it done: enough residents made their support known and there it is (the streetcar meetings were not by any means packed with supporters). If you head out to either city today you can get a taste of Columbus public transit circa 2018. It's not the size of the metro that matters: it's how you use it.

 

The original Downtown development plan was in 2002.  We went through 2 recessions since then including the worst one on record caused in part by a national housing collapse.  You don't think that might have had something to do with the shortfall in the housing goal?  This was not an issue with Columbus itself.  That market simply evaporated, otherwise the goal would've been met.  Now that things are looking somewhat better, projects are being announced again.  As far as the streetcar, Coleman still wants it, but again with that pesky recession and the fact that the worst governor in the US, Kasich, doesn't like public transportation doesn't help.  Nor does the fact that ODOTs leaders are in love with car-based transportation.  Had that trifecta of disaster not occurred, it would've been either under construction or in service by now, imo.  What may help is that all the highway construction that will happen over the next several years may help to get more residents to start thinking about alternatives.  It may already be happening in some ways, with the city having its highest bus ridership since the 1990s.  It's up almost 10% just from 2010.  I suspect that neither Little Rock nor Kenosha had our highway system, either, which is probably one of the easiest systems to navigate in the country.  What is your obsession with bringing up every city, anyway?  Different cities face different challenges, and some projects will move forward faster or slower than others based on those different circumstances.  To suggest that Little Rock or any other city is now the model because it was able to do a single thing we haven't yet is kind of silly and simplistic.  Chicago is looking at our 670 cap to reproduce there.  Does that mean that Chicago is a worse city because it didn't do something before us?

 

Overall, Downtown gets too much attention: see the Hilton Hotel which is being built with revenue generated in languishing business districts like the one you live near, W Broad, which I'm sure you find is progressing just fine. I say they could use that money for renovations whose cost is probably the number #1 reason for why entrepreneurs are not biting: match a good chunk of the cost and more neighborhood downtowns will flourish anew and compliment Downtown, not to mention revenue coming in from the ~500,000 residents who live in the sprawling outer ring of the city.

 

It's like you're running Earl Smith's mayoral campaign.  In any case, as much as I would like my own neighborhood to flourish, I will gladly sacrifice that to see Downtown become something great.  A great downtown is the hallmark of a great city.  You, yourself have repeatedly talked about MSP's downtown and how great it is.  That's what I want here.  And once we have that, all those immediate core neighborhoods that may not be up to the level of GV or the SN, will reap the benefits as well.  The whole city will. 

 

If you expect locals to do all the work while the city waits by to take credit for it, well, you can see how that has been working. Even on streets where a few new establishments opened up there has been almost nothing else and the city should have noticed that by now and offered to assist where locals are willing to do the work.

 

Because the city has unlimited amounts of money to subsidize every entrepreneurs business dreams?

 

In case you haven't noticed, in the past 20 years there hasn't been another gallery district to repeat what happened in the Short North: two blocks of Parsons in OTE is as close as it gets. Expecting this to just change independent of any outside catalyst is ridiculous and that's what the city is still doing; leaving struggling areas to fend for themselves and it keeps proving itself as a failed approach (more of a lack thereof) year after year.

 

I'm struggling to understand how the number of gallery districts equates to success of urban revitalization.  Would it be great to have more, sure.  Is it necessary to turn around a neighborhood?  No.  But I'll be sure to tell the GV folks that their neighborhood sucks because it doesn't have a booming art scene. 

 

Getting momentum moving Downtown is fine, but there needs to be a balanced approach since the new 6,000 residents are not making up for the losses in the downtown-area neighborhoods: Franklinton south of Broad, west of 315 (2/3 of the neighborhood) lost about 1100 residents this past decade (down from ~6000: they didn't wait for long delayed funding from the city to pop up this year (and local residents and orgs were already doing what they could to improve the neighborhood).

 

You do realize that Columbus actually reversed it's urban core population losses by 2010, right?  I thought you knew everything about Columbus.  That individual neighborhoods or census tracts lost population didn't change that fact.  Some grew, others didn't, but the overall trend now is up for the first time in decades.

 

The Near East lost population all over despite city involvement here and there to the tune of over 2000. The neglected Near South also lost about as much and there's everything south of German Village and then the Near Northeast. Cheaping out on quality urban living is detrimental to American cities that aren't going full steam ahead or close to that:

 

Were any of those areas really all that urban to begin with?  Perhaps parts of the very Near East, but you don't exactly have to go far out to get into your traditional neighborhood configurations of largely single-family residential.  South of Merion Village is the same way.  It gets progressively less urban fast.  I have made this comment before, but you seem to be ascribing urbanity to places where it never really existed and probably won't ever be without hundreds of thousands of new residents directly in the urban core neighborhoods that force that kind of development further out.  Incidentally, I think that Downtown's revitalization is a big key factor in getting that revitalization to spread further out from the core.   

 

baby steps will never get you to the finish line: at some point you've got to run and that goes double when they're running and you're taking a leisurely jog. Instead of stabilizing these surrounding areas now they have to do what they did Downtown on a smaller scale just to get back the number lost in the past decade to all of these neighborhoods and simultaneously at that. Instead of these neighborhoods significantly contributing to Downtown's success like GV and the SN do, they not only aren't doing that, but they have almost nothing to offer to their own residents. You can pretend that I'm the only who thinks things are moving too slowly, but the thousands of ex-Columbusites that continue to leave the downtown neighborhoods at an alarming rate shows otherwise and this not going to be remedied by new downtown developments and restaurants, let alone just-be-happy-with-whatever-we-get boosterism.

 

Development comes in waves and always has.  When downtowns were the core of a city, that was where the people were, that's where the density was.  As cities and transporation options grew, so did the suburbs.  More people left the city and decline moved in, making even nore people move.  Revitalization happens in the same way, just the opposite.  A downtown that has been rebuilt and becomes a place to be ends up pulling in more people.  As prices rise and availability fall, people begin to look at neighborhoods further and further out.  This in turn rebuilds the older suburban rings.  What you seem to believe is that randomly choosing neighborhoods that never had much density to begin with should be the centers of the entire city's revitalization process.  I disagree, but that's not a suprise because we barely agree on anything. 

 

And honestly, there is no "we".  You don't live here anymore.  You're in your Land of Oz now where all your problems have melted away.  Your criticisms now seem even more empty and unnecessary. 

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And honestly, there is no "we".  You don't live here anymore.  You're in your Land of Oz now where all your problems have melted away.  Your criticisms now seem even more empty and unnecessary.

 

I honestly would think when you move on, you would forget about an area.  When I leave Florida next month, the state without a soul, the nasty swamp, one big retirement community... you can bet I will not be looking in on some Florida development page wondering what is going on in Jacksonville or Tampa every chance I can get.  No offense to Keith, I do not know you and wish you well in your new home, but you do nothing but bash Columbus and point out its faults.  You have numerous threads at SSP titled "forgotten Columbus" and bash the city and say you never understand it.  The threads of your new home focus on nothing but its strengths.  I wouldn't expect a German Village, Victorian Village, Short North, downtown development in the Arena District of Scioto Mile, OSU's campus and surrounding area, or the other great neighborhoods in Columbus.  Yet you post all these chain places that have nothing to offer but wide roads, something you find EVERYWHERE in this country, but focus on putting Columbus down.  Focus on your new home, and forget Columbus all together.  Do yourself, and everyone in Columbus a favor and move on.  That's what moving is all about, isn't it?

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I still would like to see my hometown move forward and be listed among the great cities of the nation without anyone batting an eye. I don't know how many times I have to say it, but the recession hit other cities too you know. Guess what? They have neighborhoods that came back during that time (or made great strides). You already know some of these by heart I'm sure since I've already used them to address this fallacious argument. The reality is that Columbus underperformed where other cities pushed forward. These cities didn't have a magic wand to make that happen and it's not some secret that is only known outside of Franklin County. One of Columbus' biggest problem is not learning from its own successes: nothing close to the revitalization of the Short North has been repeated in other business districts elsewhere and there's not even a cap between Riversouth and the Brewery District because retooling a highway that already performs its function is more important than bridging this wide gap (the courthouse and juvenile facility make it much wider than just the highway bridge alone).

 

Unlike Earl Smith, I actually propose solutions as to what needs to be done. To think that a healthy Downtown and healthy urban neighborhood districts are an either/or proposition is blatantly false, and is once again reflected in numerous cities nationwide that are making their downtowns AND neighborhood districts desirable places to live. Columbus didn't have to sacrifice the Short North or German Village to reinvest in Downtown, so why would the reverse be true? Great cities have great neighborhoods: downtown just happens to be one of many. Spending smartly vs. throwing the bulk of city money at making it easier to drive around on more lanes isn't going to accomplish that goal: the city has the money as I have already proved (hence why they have $2 million to spare for the split) and others here are already well aware it's more a matter of priority than lack of funds.

 

You asked how the Short North got the way it is and that was because it was a novelty for the area: a gallery district was cutting edge for 1980s Ohio. We need to agree on the definition of what the "urban core" consists of: which is older Columbus' urban grid, or the city boundaries of 1950. Downtown gained population yes, and I do know everything about Columbus. Ahem:

 

Census shows Columbus' growth was uneven

 

Census data show Columbus following pattern of losing people from central city

 

Columbus' population growth during the past decade is a bright spot among Ohio's largest cities, but its core is hollowing out like the others.

 

The 2010 census shows that inner-city Columbus neighborhoods lost 45,000 people as the suburbs swelled.

 

Franklin County's population has grown almost 9 percent - more than 94,000 people - since 2000, but parts of Linden, the East Side, the Far East Side, the South Side, Franklinton, the Hilltop and several other Columbus neighborhoods all experienced declines.

 

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/03/11/census-shows-columbus-growth-was-uneven.html

 

 

There's a decent amount of urbanity left which attest to the greater density that used to be: how do you think there  were three theatres on Livingston? What about the brick commercial structures dotting Parsons and Main in OTE? Did you even watch the King-Lincoln episode which showed a jampacked Long St? Your own backyard has the densest collection of commercial buildings off High St and Central and West Franklinton combined are a close 2nd. Then for the Steelton down south it has the densest stretch of Parsons and Cleveland around Myrtle has a dense but probably less-so now collection of commercial buildings. These are all very real, dense areas which have lost quite a bit, some a good deal more: there's no conjecture there. Even today, they have to bones to be regional magnets if they were given proper attention.

 

You're right, though, we do barely agree on anything. That's pretty hard to do when all of the cold hard facts I consistently lay out are addressed with the same old opposing emotional appeals; I suggest reading that Dispatch article a few more times for it to sink in. You're confusing it with this one, which just so happens to mention the high number of immigrants moving into the area who would be moving in to a couple of now empty streets if the city gave them decent reason to: yet another missed opportunity by a city that gives way more focus to malls than to its own neighborhood business districts.

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Aww, I think the Static building could be turned into something great...

 

There was a fire there a year or two ago. I would imagine that it's beyond being worth salvaging.

 

Rip it down and build something bigger.

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I just said that this on High > Spring. Try and explain how that's not the case.

 

If the developers who own this property don't own similar property on High Street, then they can't go building whatever they want wherever they want.

 

Real life development doesn't work like Sim City.

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I still would like to see my hometown move forward and be listed among the great cities of the nation without anyone batting an eye. I don't know how many times I have to say it, but the recession hit other cities too you know. Guess what? They have neighborhoods that came back during that time (or made great strides). You already know some of these by heart I'm sure since I've already used them to address this fallacious argument. The reality is that Columbus underperformed where other cities pushed forward.

 

Underperformed in what, Keith?  Columbus was a top 20 performer economically during the recession out of the 100 largest metros.  The city continued to finish big projects and announce new ones despite how bad things were.  It has spent billions of dollars and will spend billions more in just the next few years on various projects to inprove the city.  It didn't stop, so this idea that it's not moving forward is ridiculous and 100% totally unsupported by the facts.  And frankly, I don't care what every other city is doing.  I don't live in every other city, so what they're doing or not doing doesn't change my position on Columbus.  As I said previously, every city is going to be faced with different challenges, different budgets, different ideas and different follow-through.  For every city that has done something we haven't, we've done something they haven't.  Finally, Columbus is already a great city in this nation.  The fact that you constantly throw it under the bus at every chance only means that *you* don't believe it is.  Too bad for you.  

 

These cities didn't have a magic wand to make that happen and it's not some secret that is only known outside of Franklin County. One of Columbus' biggest problem is not learning from its own successes: nothing close to the revitalization of the Short North has been repeated in other business districts elsewhere and there's not even a cap between Riversouth and the Brewery District because retooling a highway that already performs its function is more important than bridging this wide gap (the courthouse and juvenile facility make it much wider than just the highway bridge alone).

 

You do realize that ODOT had the final say on the highway project.  The city wanted caps just about everywhere, but ODOT basically said no.  We're lucky to be getting the caps we are considering the *sses* that run ODOT are.  This is not a case of Columbus not learning from its successes.  It's ODOT not giving a crap about one city's success.  We've already been over the "no other district" debate multiple times.

 

Unlike Earl Smith, I actually propose solutions as to what needs to be done. To think that a healthy Downtown and healthy urban neighborhood districts are an either/or proposition is blatantly false,

 

Who is even arguing that?  This seems like a total strawman.

 

and is once again reflected in numerous cities nationwide that are making their downtowns AND neighborhood districts desirable places to live.

 

So is Columbus.  I don't see your point.

 

Columbus didn't have to sacrifice the Short North or German Village to reinvest in Downtown, so why would the reverse be true? Great cities have great neighborhoods: downtown just happens to be one of many. Spending smartly vs. throwing the bulk of city money at making it easier to drive around on more lanes isn't going to accomplish that goal: the city has the money as I have already proved (hence why they have $2 million to spare for the split) and others here are already well aware it's more a matter of priority than lack of funds.

 

Again, why is ODOTs decision-making the fault of the city of Columbus?  Does Coleman run ODOT?  Does city council? 

 

You asked how the Short North got the way it is and that was because it was a novelty for the area: a gallery district was cutting edge for 1980s Ohio. We need to agree on the definition of what the "urban core" consists of: which is older Columbus' urban grid, or the city boundaries of 1950. Downtown gained population yes, and I do know everything about Columbus. Ahem:

 

Census shows Columbus' growth was uneven

 

Census data show Columbus following pattern of losing people from central city

 

Columbus' population growth during the past decade is a bright spot among Ohio's largest cities, but its core is hollowing out like the others.

 

The 2010 census shows that inner-city Columbus neighborhoods lost 45,000 people as the suburbs swelled.

 

The article was bad when it was written and it's still bad now.  The losses are in specific areas, particularly to the east, but were hardly representative of the Downtown or urban core in total.  The article didn't really specify what was considered "inner-city".  I would not say that areas east of Bexley are inner-city, or south of Merion Village, etc.  Really shocking that you would pick the most negative view. 

 

Franklin County's population has grown almost 9 percent - more than 94,000 people - since 2000, but parts of Linden, the East Side, the Far East Side, the South Side, Franklinton, the Hilltop and several other Columbus neighborhoods all experienced declines.

 

Again, I would not call most of those areas "inner city".  At best, a few of them are old suburbs, but I think only the near East Side and Franklinton would be considered inner city.

 

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/03/11/census-shows-columbus-growth-was-uneven.html

 

 

There's a decent amount of urbanity left which attest to the greater density that used to be: how do you think there  were three theatres on Livingston? What about the brick commercial structures dotting Parsons and Main in OTE? Did you even watch the King-Lincoln episode which showed a jampacked Long St? Your own backyard has the densest collection of commercial buildings off High St and Central and West Franklinton combined are a close 2nd. Then for the Steelton down south it has the densest stretch of Parsons and Cleveland around Myrtle has a dense but probably less-so now collection of commercial buildings. These are all very real, dense areas which have lost quite a bit, some a good deal more: there's no conjecture there. Even today, they have to bones to be regional magnets if they were given proper attention.

 

Okay, and?  We agree that the base is there for revitalization.  We don't agree that the city has the resources to rebuild them all at once, particularly when Downtown still needs so much work.   

 

You're right, though, we do barely agree on anything. That's pretty hard to do when all of the cold hard facts I consistently lay out are addressed with the same old opposing emotional appeals; I suggest reading that Dispatch article a few more times for it to sink in. You're confusing it with this one, which just so happens to mention the high number of immigrants moving into the area who would be moving in to a couple of now empty streets if the city gave them decent reason to: yet another missed opportunity by a city that gives way more focus to malls than to its own neighborhood business districts.

 

If by "cold hard facts" you are referring to your constant Debbie Downer imitation, then yes, I take issue with that.  I have offered up plenty of facts and statistics that run counter to you and you simply find another reason to ignore them or change your story.  If you seriously cared about your home town and its future, you wouldn't have rushed off to somewhere else.  The fact that you continue to come here only to attempt to stomp on any positive news just makes your motivations all the more insincere.  You can't be taken seriously, and I'm not sure why we even bother with the debate. 

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in reply to kieth..columbus msa dominated the midwest in growth at 13% stronger than any other city including msp ..indy was at 11%..closer to msp numbers..we would all love columbus to reach its potential for a bustling 24 hour downtown..and i know i get frustrated too by columbus lack of ambition..its residents not politicians..the 2 things that have brought ppl to downtown columbus past 5 pm..and the only 2 things that have  done that in my 20 + years of living here are the blue jackets and the symphony orchestra..but alot of ppl are so anti corporate that they hate both of those things and want them  gone..they want a bustling downtown yet want the corporations like nationwide and aep and jp morgan chase  gone too..and of course they want easton and polaris gone too.im looking at downtown columbus and seeing positive things..the scioto mile is a huge success imo..and while im sad about city center..and the columbus commons isnt appealing at all..the beggs building renovation is just ghastly..who okd this??the 5th third center is better but hopefully they can have some major development there..anyway..im rambling but i think the secret is public /private partnerships like scioto mile that creates an attractive environment for commercial and especially residential developement to occur..thers no reason why we cant have a downtown like austin..a state capital with the same population..at least for now..look at all the residential towers being built there

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in reply to kieth..columbus msa dominated the midwest in growth at 13% stronger than any other city including msp ..indy was at 11%..closer to msp numbers..we would all love columbus to reach its potential for a bustling 24 hour downtown..and i know i get frustrated too by columbus lack of ambition..its residents not politicians..the 2 things that have brought ppl to downtown columbus past 5 pm..and the only 2 things that have  done that in my 20 + years of living here are the blue jackets and the symphony orchestra..but alot of ppl are so anti corporate that they hate both of those things and want them  gone..they want a bustling downtown yet want the corporations like nationwide and aep and jp morgan chase  gone too..and of course they want easton and polaris gone too.im looking at downtown columbus and seeing positive things..the scioto mile is a huge success imo..and while im sad about city center..and the columbus commons isnt appealing at all..the beggs building renovation is just ghastly..who okd this??the 5th third center is better but hopefully they can have some major development there..anyway..im rambling but i think the secret is public /private partnerships like scioto mile that creates an attractive environment for commercial and especially residential developement to occur..thers no reason why we cant have a downtown like austin..a state capital with the same population..at least for now..look at all the residential towers being built there

 

The Columbus and MSP metros grew 13.88% vs 11.74% respectively.  The cities grew 10.6% vs 0.0%, respectively. 

 

Who wants those corporations gone?  Even with the Blue Jackets, I don't think most people want them gone, some are just angry over the arena deal.  Otherwise, I have not seen or heard of anyone who wants any of the other corporations out of Columbus.  Nor the symphony.  So the theaters Downtown don't bring people in after 5pm?  The new restaurants don't?  Housing doesn't?  I would agree there's still a lot of work to do, but there's been more than 2 things in 20 years, come on.  Columbus Commons is a work in progress.  The park portion itself is the first stage.  And the fact that it was popular all summer and fall says that people, for the most part, are enjoying it. 

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As entertaining as this discussion is, I'm afraid we've veered way too far off the topic of this thread - the Discovery District Commons project.

 

If Keith wishes to continue his lecture, I'm certain that he can find an appropriate thread in the City Discussion section in which to do so.

 

In the meantime - to keep this thread on-topic - there will be a temporary time-out until there is some news or updates about the Discovery District Commons project.

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The Columbus State Community College Board of Trustees met earlier this month to approve new master plans for their downtown campus and their recently built campus in Delaware County.  For UrbanOhio though, it's the downtown Columbus campus plan that holds our interest.

 

The master plan approved for the Columbus State downtown campus would promote more infill development on existing surface parking lots.  First, a series of parking garages would be built to match the parking capacity of the existing surface lots targeted for infill development (CSCC is still a commuter college with over 25,000 students).  Then, a series of new buildings would replace those surface parking lots.  Particularly the two large parking lots between the CSCC and CCAD colleges along Cleveland Avenue.

 

Below are two reports about this from Columbus Underground and Business First.  Below those links is the downtown campus master plan approved by Columbus State:

 

Columbus Underground: Columbus State Master Plan Envisions Campus Makeover

 

Business First: Columbus State considering denser building plan on campus

 

 

9372060228_1d5348cc18_b_d.jpg

 

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Reposting news about the now-renamed Discovery Commons building from April 2013 that got lost in this year's server crash.

 

Five-Story Mixed-Use Building Proposed for Spring Street Downtown

By: Brent Warren, Columbus Underground

Published on April 13, 2013 - 7:30 am

 

Local developer Berardi and Partners has proposed a five-story mixed-use building for the corner of East Spring and Neilston Streets.  The proposal, which was conditionally approved by the Downtown Commission at their April 2nd meeting, calls for a five-story building known as Discovery Commons, that includes ground-floor retail, a 60-space underground parking garage and 100 apartment units.

 

Two existing vacant buildings at 283 E. Spring, previously occupied by a series of different nightclubs, would be demolished.

 

Daniel Thomas, the city’s urban design manager who staffs the commission, said that the proposal is similar to one that Berardi presented to the commission in December of 2011.  At last week’s meeting, the commission made some suggestions regarding the appearance of the building, but left it to the applicant to work out the details with Thomas.

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/five-story-mixed-use-building-proposed-for-spring-street-downtown-bw1

disc-dist-commons-01.jpg

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Columbus State unveils vision for campus transformation in Discovery District

 

columbus-state-mp-cleveland-and-spring*600.jpg

 

columbus-state-mp-long-street*600.jpg

 

Academic buildings for business technology and hospitality programs, plus a student-run restaurant, could someday replace parking lots on major Discovery District intersections on the Columbus State Community College campus.

 

College President David Harrison at a Wednesday breakfast for community business and government leaders revealed more details of the master plan that trustees approved in July, including a first look at renderings by Columbus design firm NBBJ of a proposed dramatic transformation for Cleveland Avenue and Spring and Long streets. The plan encompasses a vision for expanding the college’s programs that train students for careers such as IT and culinary arts, while at the same time creating vibrancy at what will become major access points to downtown from Interstates 670 and 71.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2013/09/columbus-state-unveils-vision-for.html

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Columbus Underground also has a report about the Columbus State master plan at http://www.columbusunderground.com/columbus-state-president-presents-vision-for-revitalized-discovery-district-bw1 with a ton of renderings.  There is also a very watchable Youtube video of the plan (particularly because it is silent and lets the renderings speak for themselves without the dopey narration and music we usually get with these types of videos).

 

 

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The attractive yet somewhat forlorn looking historic building at the northeast corner of Grant & Long has been purchased by a new owner and is in line for a restoration.  Business First and Columbus Underground each had reports about this last month.  Here is an excerpt of the CU report and a photo of the property at Grant & Long:

 

timthumb.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.columbusunderground.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F04%2Flong-and-grant.jpg&q=90&w=650&zc=1&

 

Historic Discovery District Building to be Redeveloped

By Brent Warren, Columbus Underground

April 12, 2014 - 8:00 am

 

Renovation work has begun on a historic three-story brick building at the northeast corner of Long Street and Grant Avenue downtown.  Debbie Rosenfeld and development partner Bryan Savage have purchased the building, along with two adjacent, one-story warehouse buildings.

 

Savage plans to use the first floor of the brick building as office space for his company, Savage Real Estate.  That space, where much of the original 1880′s-era tin ceiling remains intact, had been used since about 1970 as the office for Inkling Printing. ... The second and third floors will be developed as a residential unit, while three retail spaces with storefronts on Long Street are planned for the warehouse building.

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/historic-discovery-district-building-to-be-redeveloped-bw1

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And here is an excerpt of the Business First report about the building's purchase:

 

Former Inkling Printing building on East Long to be redeveloped by Savage Real Estate

By Brian R. Ball, Staff reporter

Columbus Business First - April 10, 2014, 4:58pm EDT

 

Savage Real Estate broker Bryan Savage plans to renovate the former Inkling Printing building at East Long Street and North Grant Avenue for his commercial brokerage and other retail and office storefronts.  The commercial agent and development partner Debbie Rosenfeld – also a Savage Real Estate agent – bought the 4,200-square-foot residential building at 140 N. Grant Avenue that served as a pharmacy in the 1880s as well as two connected industrial properties next door in mid-March for $350,000.  The partnership bought from the Rogers family that had operated Inkling Printing for 38 years through 2009.

(. . .)

The property is close to the Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus State Community College and developer Edwards Cos.’ East Long apartment complex.  For afternoon commuters heading eastbound, a second-floor door sans fire-escape staircase with the warning, “WATCH THE 1ST STEP!” has made the historic property somewhat of an amusing landmark.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/04/10/former-inkling-printing-building-on-east-long-to.html

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Potential developer for BalletMet’s student housing project steps forward

 

ballet-met-rendering-nw*304xx2556-1704-168-0.jpg

 

Last week I wrote about the possibility of student housing at the vacant, five-story warehouse BalletMet owns next to its headquarters.

 

BalletMet management talked to me about their plans without providing any details of which developers might have an interest. Well, a representative of one of those developers, Student Suites of Independence, Missouri, attended this week’s meeting of the Downtown Commission, which gave the project a conceptual review.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2014/06/potential-developer-for-balletmet-s-student.html

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^ That project has a lot of potential.  More about it from Business First:

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/06/18/balletmet-considering-sale-of-neighboring-building.html

 

Also a "before and after" view of this five-story warehouse building from the corner of Mt. Vernon and Grant Avenue.  The BalletMet HQ (a very fine building in its own right) is located next door in both images:

 

EXISTING CONDITIONS - VIEW OF THE WAREHOUSE BUILDING FROM MT. VERNON & GRANT

balletmet-warehouse-building.jpg

 

CONCEPTUAL RENDERING OF THE SAME VIEW

timthumb.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.columbusunderground.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F06%2Fwarehouse-rendering-01.jpg&q=90&w=650&zc=1&

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