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Photos: Proposal could finally bring soccer stadium downtown

614now Staff

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Trailing the proposal to transform MAPFRE Stadium into Crew SC’s practice facility and a shared-use sports facility, officials unveiled a plan today to build a $230 million soccer stadium in the Arena District.

The highly-anticipated announcement from the Columbus Partnership and the prospective ownership group of Columbus Crew SC calls for a new stadium to be erected on 13 acres of land on the north side of West Nationwide Boulevard.

The land is currently owned by Nationwide Realty Investors.

Renderings of the 20,000-seat stadium reveal plans for a new Nordecke, complete with standing areas and patio decks, along with multiple levels of covered stands.

Additional, 15 acres of land to the west and south of that parcel would house a dense mixed-use development.

It would be called Confluence Village and containing 270,000 square feet of commercial and office space as well as 885 residential units, 20 percent of which would be affordable.

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Five acres of land would be dedicated to a new park along the Olentangy River, along with other public amenities.

Funding for the stadium project is broken down in the following ways, per Columbus Underground:

  • The new Crew SC owners will contribute $645 million to purchase the team and to build the new stadium and a new training facility at Mapfre Stadium.
  • The City of Columbus will not provide any money for the stadium itself, but will contribute $50 million for infrastructure improvements and to build the Columbus Community Sports Park proposed for the Mapfre Stadium site.
  • Franklin County will contribute $50 million toward a Community Authority that will be created for the new development.

Pending approval, groundbreaking is planned August of 2019 with completion by March of 2021.

“This is the next step in what some may have thought was an impossible dream,” said Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, in a statement. “Today’s announcement showcases our community’s commitment, in partnership with the Haslam and Edwards Families, to MLS soccer in Columbus.”

A public hearing to discuss the proposal and funding is scheduled for 6pm tonight at City Hall.

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Biz + Dev

Landmark Trolley Barn rolls forward, fresh food market planned

Regina Fox

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After six decades of being a piece of Columbus' history, a blighted landmark will get a second chance.

On Monday, Columbus City Council approved a $30 million rejuvenation to the Kelton Avenue Streetcar Barn and Machine Shop at 1600 Oak St on the Near East Side.

When complete, the Trolley Barn mixed-use complex will house a fresh food market, small business co-working and flex office space, restaurants, and community and education space, all while retaining the original character of the historic building, according to a release.

Of the 19 food stalls in the fresh food market, one will be provided to Columbus City Schools Culinary School students.  

Earlier this year, the state introduced a new financing tool called Downtown Redevelopment Districts (DRD) with the goal of helping local municipalities attract investments that preserve historic buildings and encourage economic development in commercial, mixed-use and residential areas.

On the Trolley Barn site, a DRD will be created where the developer will pay 100 percent of the property tax revenue due on the site. The funds generated will support the Columbus City School District, levy agencies, as well as subsidize the operation of the onsite food market, according to a release.

“Using the Downtown Redevelopment District as a strategic investment tool to redevelop the Trolley Barn will increase food access for the neighborhood, improve the neighborhood health indicators and support small and minority business growth,” said Interim Development Director Michael Stevens.

In the early 1900s, the Kelton Avenue Street Car Barn and Machine Shops served as an electric trolley station. Train service extended to the Zanesville region, connecting residents to jobs, housing and shopping.

"We are excited about the restoration of a historic property that will serve as an asset to the Near East community," said Council member Emmanuel V. Remy. "The rich history of the property will be retained and reimagined, and I couldn't be more pleased to be part of this story."

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Biz + Dev

Forbes highlights “revolutionary” Columbus-based app

Regina Fox

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A new app out of Columbus, Ohio is getting the Forbes treatment for its "revolutionary" ability to help people with cognitive disabilities use public transportation.

Wayfinder is a new app sponsored by the Mobility Assistance for People with Cognitive Disabilities (MAPCD) study in collaboration with Ohio State University, Smart Columbus, and COTA.

According to Ohio State University, Wayfinder allows the user to interact with customized, step-by-step instructions for walking, driving, or bus routes created to support their ability to commute within their normal daily life contexts.

According to Mayor Ginther, "the goal of the app is to get participants from point A to point B safely using the bus, making it easier to independently travel to the grocery store or get to work on time."

Wayfinder is currently in its trial mode with 25 participants with cognitive disabilities and their caregivers. After a year, the app will become available for anyone in need.

To read the full Forbes write-up, click here.

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Proposed Brewery District development could change skyline

614now Staff

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The Brewery district could be the site of a massive new construction project according to a report from ABC6.

During a meeting of The Brewery District Commission this week, North Carolina builder Zimmer Development Company and architectural firm NBBJ proposed a 30-story building complex to be developed on a 17-acre plot of land on West Whittier Street. The land is situated near Scioto Audubon Metro Park on the Whittier Peninsula.

According to the plan outlined by the developers, construction of the project would be broken up into three phases to be completed over 10-15 years. When complete, the complex would include over 370 apartments, 79-thousand square feet of office space, retail and restaurant space, outdoor patios, and a nearly 600-car garage.

Aside from the construction process itself, the proposed project will need to overcome a few hurdles in order to move forward. The proposed site of the building is currently owned by the company CSX, and also happens to reside on a flood plain.

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