The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation is looking to implement what has by now become a familiar plan of action with its new Scioto Peninsula Park — invest in new greenspace Downtown and watch the people (and private development) follow soon after.
The new park just west of COSI would replace two existing surface parking lots with about eight acres of greenspace on top of a 620-car parking garage.
A new rendering shows what Amy Taylor of the CDDC called a “criteria plan,” created by OLIN, meant to provide a broad outline of how the garage and park will function. This summer, a new team — led by local firms Corna Kokosing, EMH&T and MKSK — will take a more detailed look and come up with a final design.
The rest of the timeline calls for the start of construction by the end of the year, with an opening for both the garage and park tentatively scheduled for late 2017.
That would be just the beginning of what could be a much larger development, though. The fulfillment of CDDC’s vision for the 57-acre peninsula could include 1,200 residential units along with office and retail. Taylor explained that, as with CDDC projects like the Scioto Greenways and Columbus Commons, the goal is to “galvanize residential and commercial investment from the private sector.”
“We used to look at places like New York City for our benchmarks, now we have the benchmarks right here,” said Taylor. “We have The Commons and The Greenways, and also with The Arena District, MacFerson Commons was the first thing they did there, and look at how the neighborhood filled in after.”
The many plans in place for East Franklinton also will help to build momentum, according to Taylor.
“Franklinton is experiencing its own renaissance… we see this as two projects which are sort of bleeding into each other,” she said, adding that the park will fill a need both for residents of Franklinton and for visitors to COSI and the under-construction Veterans Memorial and Museum, which will sit on the north side of Broad Street.
The Veterans Memorial and Museum is slated to be finished and opened to the public in the spring of 2018.