Downtown Matters: Development Announcements

In recent months, there have been a number of high-profile announcements regarding development in Downtown Columbus. All of these projects demonstrate a continued investment in downtown as a place to live, play, work and visit.

Here’s a quick-hit list of planned projects.

Further Development of Columbus Commons

In keeping with the original designs for the development of Columbus Commons, plans for two six-story mixed-use buildings were announced this spring. The developer, Carter out of Atlanta, GA, will break ground in August with completion slated for early 2014. The buildings will house one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units, as well as 23,000 square feet of retail space, which will include restaurants and Short North-style boutiques.

This $50 million private investment is geared toward young professionals and empty-nesters. The buildings represent the start of Phase II of the Columbus Commons plan, several years ahead of schedule. The Columbus Commons and Scioto Mile have spurred the investment and development by bringing programming and visitors to the urban area. Having an urban park as a backyard is a pretty good sell.

Scioto River Main Street Dam Removal

In 2010, the Downtown Strategic Plan recommended a wide range of ideas to improve Downtown Columbus. One idea that caught a lot of attention was the removal of the Main Street Dam in the Scioto River. The City of Columbus has now committed $18 million to the project, which would restore 33 acres of parkland by allowing the river to narrow back to its natural state. The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation is now working to raise funds from private contributions while filing requests for state and federal grants for the remaining portion of the $35.5 million project.

Once the dam is removed, the river will flow more quickly and narrowly through downtown, opening up green space and areas for redevelopment, particularly along the Scioto Peninsula and the west side of the river. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

Additional Phases of Neighborhood Launch

The Edwards Company, developer of the Neighborhood Launch condos on Gay Street, has announced the next phase of its residential development on the eastern side of downtown. This phase will feature 260 upscale one- and two-bedroom apartments with balconies and underground parking.

Construction on the first 130 units will begin this summer and should be completed by the summer of 2013.