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Columbus: Downtown: Gay Street Development

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Like others mentioned I have my doubts about this going through, but more hotels like this would be great. High St Downtown was lined with numerous hotels (all demolished for tall 9-5 only structures with other buildings torn down for employee parking) and was bustling, especially when you add in the 30,000 residents once there (now at 5,000 and rising). Some unique hotel options would definitely help if our history is anything to go by. As for Experience Columbus, I've said before that they don't do much for promoting the city to visitors since they insist on reaching out to the smooth-jazz demographic. Maybe I should start my own local tourism business...

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This would be great location for a boutique hotel, or anything else for that matter.  In the past 10 years, there's been alot of development that's occurred in downtown columbus.  But this particular block of High Street has stubbonly remained surface parking lots.  Cap City Savvy, one of our local blogs, recently described it as a "hole in our city" here at http://capcitysavvy.com/2008/04/06/mommy-why-is-there-a-hole-in-our-city/ .

 

The big question now is whether Jim Jackson can make the project happen.  I hope he can.  I've seen his involvement with the redevelopment of former Toledo Edison steam plant over at http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,3089.0.html.  Does anyone know of any other projects he's been involved in?

 

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In case you missed it last week... ;)

 

<b>Gay Street to be Converted Back to One-Way</b>

By Walker | <b>April 1</b>, 2009

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/gaystreet.jpg">

 

City officials announced this morning that the Gay Street two-way “experiment” would be coming to an end this summer and that the traffic pattern will be converted back into a one-way avenue. “We gave it a shot,” said Urban Ventures coordinator Mike Brown. “We thought that Gay was capable of going both ways, but you just can’t force something like this.”

 

“I told you so!” said Geoff Binkley, who was opposed to the the original two-way conversion plans and the insurmountable hardships that it has caused.

 

“If we can provide more lanes for car traffic, it should help to increase business with our new drive-thru,” said Tim Lessner, co-owner of Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails. “We’re hoping to get that opened in conjunction with our new 99-cent value menu that includes Pot Roast Sliders, Vegan Chicken Nuggets, and 6oz mini-PBR-drafts to go.”

 

No word yet on how this will affect the popular new Neighborhood Launch residential development but anonymous sources say that Jeff Edwards was heard softly weeping behind closed doors this morning.

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/gay-street-to-be-converted-back-to-one-way

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“We gave it a shot,” said Urban Ventures coordinator Mike Brown. “We thought that Gay was capable of going both ways, but you just can’t force something like this.”

 

LOL

 

 

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Looks like the two-way conversion is making an impact... four/five new businesses opening soon:

 

From here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/several-new-businesses-coming-soon-to-gay-street

 

Several New Businesses Coming Soon to Gay Street

By Walker | July 4, 2009 1:25pm

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/gay-st.jpg">

 

After the recent two-way streetscaping conversion, Gay Street quickly has become the gem of Downtown with new restaurants, businesses, and residences flocking to the area. And a quick stroll down the sidewalk this morning reveals that even more is on the way.

 

We previously mentioned that J. Gumbo’s would be taking over the old Skambo space at 31 E. Gay Street, and a lot of progress has been made to the interior in the past few weeks.

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/j-gumbos.jpg">

 

In the space next door, the Faithfully Yours Childcare service currently located in the back of the building is expanding around to the front retail space.

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/day-care.jpg">

 

One more unit down at 37 E. Gay Street also has a “coming soon” sign for a business called Shine Me Up, which will provide shoe repairs, footwear sales, foot massages, and some convenience store items.

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/shine-me-up.jpg">

 

Right next door to Tip Top, in the window of a recently closed hair salon, there is now a “coming soon” sign for The Plantain Cafe. The sign doesn’t provide many details other than their slogan: A Taste of Cuba.

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/plantain-cafe.jpg">

 

And lastly, as a bit of a non-update, no progress appears to have been made on the space that was said a year ago to become a new Zen Cha Tea Salon. Not sure if it’s too early to consider that project abandoned, but I imagine with so many other spaces filling in that it won’t sit empty for too long.

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/zen-cha.jpg">

 

Now that Gay Street is filling in, should it be time to consider the next couple of Downtown streets for two-way streetscaping conversions? How about Main Street? Or Long Street? Or Fourth Street? Or the rest of Front Street? Bring on the renovations!

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Similar to my response on CU: The city had plenty of time to consider, now it's time to act. Main Street has seen at least a few good businesses close down. The city needs to invest where entrepreneurs are setting up shop instead of ignoring them for rush-hour traffic. Long St would also be a good option since it is right next to Gay St and has some businesses on and off of it that would benefit.

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Have these businesses specifically attributed the two-way conversion as the reason for them doing business there?  Streetscapings alone tend to help a lot, and the overall progress of downtown Columbus might be the thing too (isn't there that large new residential infill project a couple blocks from here?).

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Neighborhood Launch, the first large scale residential development taking up several surface lots, would not have gone forward without this. As for the businesses, there's a high concentration appearing here on the only traffic calmed street Downtown and not on any of the several high-speed one-ways. Gay St only really started to pick up once the city announced the street was going to be converted from a one-way. It also doesn't hurt that it has an entire block of retail without a parking lot on one side of the street, which is very rare.

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I don't think there should be any one-way streets over one lane in Downtown by this point. Columbus' streets have such wide lanes (and a lot of them) that one-ways aren't necessary.

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I don't know if they need to announce that they're phasing them all out. I imagine many alleys and alley-like streets will remain one way.

 

As long as they keep plugging along and converting them (like they are doing with part of Front & Civic Center right now) then we're making progress.

 

At the end of the day, the problem is money. When you add in all the beautification, these projects get expensive. The Gay Street project was $7.7 million dollars. And while it would be nice to see $100-200 million spent all at once to make all downtown streets two-way, there's no money right now to do that. Not to mention the fact that the city is bigger than just downtown. You've got to spend your capital dollars on improving the city EVERYWHERE. Not just Downtown.

 

So yeah... no problem with taking it one step at a time. Enjoy the progress, and look forward to more. ;)

 

 

 

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But wait!  There is one more piece of urban development from Walker Evans at Columbus Underground...

 

Press Release:

ColumbusUnderground.com Relocating to New Office Space Downtown on Gay Street

 

To continue ColumbusUnderground.com’s commitment to the growing vibrancy of Downtown Columbus, Walker Evans is moving the company’s office to a space on one of the city’s most vibrant areas - Gay Street.  Since the recent completion of the two-way conversion and beautification projects, Gay Street has seen many new entrepreneurs opening their businesses.

 

“Gay Street is the perfect place for my business to grow and to make sure that my front door is literally opening to the most exciting area of Columbus,” says Evans.  “It is the perfect time for Columbus Underground to join the thriving businesses along the Gay Street corridor.”

 

“The arrival of Columbus Underground to our building solidifies the momentum and progress Gay Street has made over the last 5 years,” said Jeff Mathes, owner of Due Amici, the popular Italian restaurant located directly below the new Columbus Underground office space.  “Columbus Underground has become the go-to place to get information, especially for those interested in the urban core of our city.”

 

The move into the new office, located at 65 E. Gay Street Suite 230, will be completed on January 1, 2010.

 

Full story at http://www.columbusunderground.com/columbusundergroundcom-is-moving-to-gay-street

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The downside, of course, is that CU is more interested in revitalization than our city leaders. A good deal of people there make it a point to eat/drink/shop in urban areas and even get off the beaten path to spend money in neighborhoods that most would be too terrified to even drive through, let alone visit. This current step basically solidifies the put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is position that many have taken.

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But wait! There is one more piece of urban development from Walker Evans at Columbus Underground...

 

 

Ha! Thanks for posting it up here. :D I'm really excited about the move into the new office space, and proud to have what I consider the most desirable street address (and coolest neighbors) in the city!

 

Looking forward to a great 2010!

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From here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-apartment-building-coming-to-gay-street

 

<b>New Apartment Building Coming to Gay Street</b>

By Walker | February 3, 2010 2:50pm

 

Earlier today, Mayor Coleman and other city officials announced plans to update the 2002 Downtown Business Plan and to hold a series of public town hall meetings to help move forward with the next phase of urban development in Columbus. At that event it was also unveiled that a new apartment building will be coming soon to the southeast corner of Gay Street and Grant Avenue near CCAD. The building will be home to 68 apartment units housing 136 new Downtown residents.

 

Rents will range from $760/mo for single units, $1,250/mo for double units and $1,740/mo for triple units, and will be targeted as student housing for CCAD, CSCC, Franklin and Capital Law. The building is slated for completion August 1st, 2011.

 

Renderings are below:

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/archives/gaygrant2.jpg">

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/archives/gaygrant3.jpg">

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Great news!  Thanks for posting this Walker. 

 

I love the design of this 7-story building.  The only nit I would pick is that it's being built at the southeast corner of Grant and Gay, which is currently occupied by a 3-story building.  It's still an improvement because it would be a taller building occupying a larger footprint than the existing building.  But it's still unfortunate that one of two parking lots at the other Grant & Gay corners couldn't have been the project site.  Heck, even the dumpy one-story building at the northwest corner would have been a better project site. 

 

That being said, I wouldn't turn this apartment building down. :wink:

 

GOOGLE MAP OF GRANT & GAY

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This is just more evidence of the perception that downtown living is always expensive. I paid $375 a month w/ utilities for a downtown efficiency when I lived there. Now that's cheap.

 

It is a shame they're tearing down vs. revitalizing. CCAD has other lots to choose from and I agree that the NW site, whose building has been sitting vacant, not occupied, is the one to build on.

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This is just more evidence of the perception that downtown living is always expensive. I paid $375 a month w/ utilities for a downtown efficiency when I lived there. Now that's cheap.

 

Columbusite, if I land a job in C-bus I want you to be my personal realtor!

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This is just more evidence of the perception that downtown living is always expensive. I paid $375 a month w/ utilities for a downtown efficiency when I lived there. Now that's cheap.

Columbusite, if I land a job in C-bus I want you to be my personal realtor!

 

Unfortunately, there's not an unlimited supply of $375 efficiencies Downtown. I'm glad that Columbusite found one, but my bro-in-law has been looking for a cheap apartment Downtown for a few months now and every building he's looked at has no open units. They seem to be fairly hard to come by, which is why this more expensive apartment will do quite well. Demand greatly outpaces supply when it comes to Downtown rentals, especially ones oriented to a transient student population of around 30,000. I have no doubt that this building will fill up quickly, no matter what the prices are.

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More about the seven-story Gay and Grant apartment building from Business First.

 

Daimler aiming downtown rentals at students

Business First of Columbus - by Matt Burns

Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 4:16pm

 

Columbus developer Daimler Group Inc. is joining the fray of downtown housing geared at the 31,000 students attending school in the center city.  Mayor Michael Coleman at a Wednesday panel discussion on downtown development unveiled details of a new 68-unit Daimler project at the southeast corner of Gay Street and Grant Avenue that is set for completion in August 2011.

 

Daimler Vice President Bob White Jr. told Columbus Business First Wednesday that the seven-story, 65,000-square-foot building will cost about $7.5 million.  The 68 units will have 136 beds, with monthly rent ranging from $760 for a single to $1,740 for a triple.

 

Full article at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2010/02/01/daily26.html

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Another Gay Street building to be put to use

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - 2:52 AM

By Marla Matzer Rose, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

The revitalization of Gay Street continues with the renovation of a vacant building between High and 3rd streets Downtown.  Columbus developer Tom Fortin plans a street-level restaurant topped by two 1,800-square-foot residential lofts at 51-53 E. Gay Street.  Fortin is in the process of buying the building from DeMond Investments, he said.  The DeMonds operated Capital City Photo in the building until several years ago.

 

This is the second recent project for Fortin on Gay Street. He recently helped attract local luxury brownie-maker Sugardaddy's to the former Modern Finance building, now being called the Cube, at High and Gay streets.  Fortin plans to begin renovations on the 51-53 E. Gay Street building this summer, with completion expected by November.

 

Full article: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2010/06/09/another-gay-street-building-to-be-put-to-use.html?sid=101

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<b>Tom Fortin Talks Shop on Real Estate Development</b>

By Walker | July 14, 2010 1:15pm

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/archives/fortin2.jpg">

 

Tom Fortin has over 20 years of experience in the field of Real Estate Development in Central Ohio, with involvement in several high-profile projects including The Battleship Building, Carlyles Watch, The Cube, and G Living. We recently caught up with Tom to discuss his passion for urban redevelopment, and find out more about what he’s currently working on along Gay Street.

 

READ MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/tom-fortin-talks-shop-on-real-estate-development

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