On November 19, Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement Districts held their annual meeting at the Columbus Athenaeum. Both SIDs are required by law to hold an annual meeting in November to elect one third of the trustees to their respective boards. This quick business was handled by voice vote early in the meeting, before the schedule moved on to the presentation of awards and a presentation on retail by Midge McCauley.
Cleve Ricksecker, executive director, first thanked Mayor Coleman, the SIDs’ staff and the boards of trustees from both SID’s before recognizing the award winners, whose efforts are so integral to downtown’s success.
Ambassador of the Year, Capital Crossroads - Philip Wilson
Philip was recognized for his hard work and willingness to handle any assignment he is given. He has had perfect attendance for all four years he’s worked for Capital Crossroads. He takes personal ownership of the downtown environment and inspires his team to do the same.
Ambassador of the Year, Discovery SID - Ryan Jefferson
Though only working with the SID for less than a year, Ryan has established himself as a strong and positive presence. He is hospitable, reassuring and an outstanding representative of Discovery SID.
Unsung Hero - Ray Browning
Ray, the Street Maintenance Manager for the City of Columbus, is an outstanding public servant. His management of street sweeping and snow removal is so important to a functioning downtown. He has also coordinated carefully with the SIDs so that the street sweeping and sidewalk sweeping are not at cross purposes.
Outstanding Service Capital Crossroads SID - Greater Columbus Arts Council
The arts are an anchor in our downtown, with beautiful theaters, the Columbus Museum of Art, CCAD and more. The Greater Columbus Arts Council supports downtown through its support of the arts. The Arts Council advocates for the arts, collaborating with other entities including Capital Crossroads on a variety of projects such as Finding Time Public Art, Bold Booths, Pearl Market, Moonlight Market and more. Arts Council President and CEO Tom Katzenmeyer accepted the award.
Outstanding Service Discovery SID - The Jefferson Center
Forty years ago the Vorys family had the vision to purchase and preserve what was left of an historic neighborhood on Jefferson Avenue north of Broad Street. The family donated the buildings to the newly formed Jefferson Center to become a home for a variety of charitable organizations. The historic block on Jefferson Avenue now provides space for 28 non-profits, bringing a concentration of charitable, religious, educational, scientific and cultural organizations to the Discovery District. Katharine Moore, Executive Director of The Jefferson Center accepted the award.
Outstanding Service Capital Crossroads and Discovery SIDs - Alan McKnight
Both SIDs were glad to recognize Alan McKnight, who recently retired as the Director of the Recreation and Parks Department. Alan worked for the department beginning in 1976, playing a development role in every public park downtown, from landscape architect to park planner and eventually director. His work will remain part of the downtown landscape in the Scioto Mile promenade, upgrades to Bicentennial Park, Topiary Park, the Columbus Museum’s West Garden and the mixed trail system.
Aesthetic Contribution Capital Crossroads SID
Capital Crossroads recognized the partners who transformed Nationwide Boulevard from a wide, auto-centric, weedy thruway to a colorful, pedestrian-oriented street. The partners include Shannon Hardin, Columbus City Council; Michelle Larsen and Mark Lundine, Department of Development; Jeff Pongonis, MKSK; and Nationwide Boulevard property owners.
Aesthetic Contribution Discovery SID - Topiary Park
The Topiary Park holiday light display is stunning and a collaboration of Friends of Topiary Park, Motorists Insurance and Columbus’ Recreation and Parks Department. All three organizations work together throughout the year to create a beautiful, unique park space, which hosts movie series, a children’s concert series as well as the holiday light display. Doug Allen and Jill Brumfield of Friends of Topiary Park and Ralph Smithers of Motorists Mutual accepted the award.
Outstanding Achievement Capital Crossroads - Atlas Building
This award recognizes the renovation of the Atlas Building by Schiff Capital Group, a difficult project that offered a series of surprises. The building, which was designed by Frank Packard and is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been beautifully restored while preserving its iconic beauty. Mike Schiff accepted the award.
Outstanding Achievement Discovery SID - Columbus Museum of Art Expansion
Discovery SID was proud to recognize the renovation and expansion of the Columbus Museum of Art, which is so meaningful to the neighborhood and the city as a whole. The architecture is mission driven and is designed to serve as a catalyst for creativity. Nannette Maciejunes and Rod Bouc accepted the award.
The event culminated in an outstanding presentation by Midge McCauley, principal of the company Downtown Works. Despite a rise in online purchasing, McCauley noted the majority of purchases still occur at “bricks and mortar” storefronts; “90% of retail sales occur in stores,” McCauley stated, “It’s crucial to have both a store and online presence.”
She remarked that food clusters now serve as anchors in downtowns in the same way that department stores did in years past. Restaurant sales have surpassed grocery sales as Americans dine out three nights a week on average. One important point made is that retail is all about experience, and successful stores distinguish themselves from the competition by creating a fantastic shopping experience.
You can watch the full presentation by McCauley here.
Thank you to the sponsors of this year’s event: Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Support Services and Ohio Custodial Maintenance, Tri Village Self Storage and Renaissance Hotel. Thanks also to Oakland Nurseries for their lovely donation of flowers for the tables and a goody bag for attendees and to the Columbus Museum of Art for another wonderful goody bag.
Capital Crossroads SID board nominees approved to board:
Nathan Wymer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Kathy Hall, One Columbus
Mark Stonebraker, Capitol Square Limited
Jeff Heckman, Gay Street Properties
Java Kitrick, Sixty Spring Condo Association
Discovery SID board nominees approved to board:
Evelyn Levino, Franklin University
Ralph Smithers, Jr., Motorists Insurance Co.
Nancy Recchie, East Town Street Historic Properties LLC
Tasha Intriere, Campus Seneca LLC
Matthew Loving, N.J. Loving Apartments Ltd.