Downtown Concierge

Recognizing Downtown Champions


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Downtown Columbus

downtown-sunlight-miranovaOn Thursday, Capital Crossroads and Discovery SIDs held their Annual Meeting at the Columbus Metropolitan Library to celebrate downtown, host a talk with Peter Kageyama, and to recognize award winners in a variety of categories. As Executive Director Cleve Ricksecker noted, “An attractive and healthy downtown doesn’t happen by accident. It takes intentionality, commitment and work.” Here is a rundown of the SID Award Recipients whose contributions are so essential to Downtown Columbus.

Capital Crossroads Ambassador of the Year
Aaron Runyan has worked as a safety ambassador since early 2015, excelling at his job and demonstrating a strong work ethic. He is very professional, but does his job with a sense of fun, which makes things around him more enjoyable. Aaron always does the work he is asked to, and does it very well.

Discovery SID Ambassador of the Year
Ryan Jefferson is a quiet, effective and extremely reliable ambassador. Those who encounter Ryan in Discovery District find a hospitable, reassuring person who represents the SID at its very best. He is a quick learner and hard worker who exceeds expectations on a daily basis.

Unsung Heros
Two individuals were recognized for their quiet contribution to downtown, for doing good, serving others and giving back. Jess Matthews has made it her personal mission to make downtown fun and quirky. Through sheer force of will, she has produced Open Streets, pocket parks and a temporary pedestrian alleyway on West Cherry Street. The SIDs were proud to recognize Jess for her sense of imagination, her efforts to push us out of our comfort zone, and to advocate for important efforts.

Terri Gehr has been integral to the Discovery Special Improvement District for many years. She is senior vice president and chief financial officer of Columbus State Community College, and has used her gifts as a collaborator, leader and policy work to help integrate the college into the surrounding neighborhood. She is also working to fund and launch the Creative Campus to remake much of the Discovery District into a dense and walkable neighborhood.

Capital Crossroads Aesthetic Contribution
Two projects were recognized this year, which is indicative of the exciting projects that are adding life, energy and beauty to downtown. The Julian by CASTO Communities represents an exciting conversion of a former women’s shoe factory into a steel and concrete building that houses 90 loft apartments. The building, which was built in 1921, is on the National Register of Historic Places and now anchors and offers historic context to RiverSouth. Bill Riat of CASTO accepted the award.

The second project, 250 High, was developed by Kaufman Development and Daimler Group. The beautiful, soaring building was built on a difficult, shallow site and captures and reflects light, to help Columbus to shine even on cloudy days. The site features a pocket park and new Columbus culinary favorite, Salt + Pine. Todd Moroz, COO of Kaufman Development, and David Ward, VP of Finance and Asset Management for Daimler Group accepted the award.

Discovery SID Aesthetic Contribution
Kramer Engineers, a local mechanical engineering firm, restored a Greta Garbo and John Gilbert mural, which was painted more than 20 years ago on the side of 294 Oak Street. This mural is a beautiful surprise for pedestrians downtown brought to us by a local family business.

Outstanding Service - Both SIDs
Both SIDs were proud to recognize their exceptional partnership with the Columbus Division of Police. The public/private partnership between the SIDs and Columbus Division of Police involves collaborating to address safety issues, making downtown one of the safest precincts in Columbus. This partnership was recognized as an outstanding public/private partnership by the Homeland Security Association in 2015. Five officers were in attendance to accept the award, including Commander Bob Meader; Scott Peck, 16th Precinct Liaison Officer; Larry Nelson, Advanced Training Unit; and Commander Robert Struasbaugh.

Outstanding Achievement - Capital Crossroads SID
Capital Crossroads recognized the Scioto Greenways, a location of tranquility and beauty in the midst of the bustling city. The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation faced the daunting task of removing a low-head dam, returning the river to its natural state and creating 33 acres of new parkland. CDDC partnered with the City of Columbus and has created a world-class amenity, which appeals to both environmentalists and urbanists. The project was conceived in response to public input, and as a result has become an instant part of the community. Amy Taylor, COO of CDDC, and Mark Bargo, Director of Construction were on hand to accept the award.

Outstanding Achievement - Discovery SID
If holding the event at the Columbus Metropolitan Library wasn’t spectacular enough, DSID also recognized the library for their fantastic $32 million renovation. Now wrapped in glass, the building integrates the neighborhood, including the stunning Topiary Park. The community center makes learning fun, and like the community, the library is open and smart. Roger Sugarman, President of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees; Paula Miller, Chief Financial Officer; Robert Loversidge, President & CEO of Schooley Caldwell Associates; and Brian Mooney, VP & General Manager of Turner Construction accepted the award.

Click here to see images from the event.