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$500M expansion steers Easton away from national chains, towards neighborhood feel

614now Staff

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A massive expansion to Easton Town Center is underway that is intended to steer the area away from national chains and towards a community feel.

The 16-acre, $500 million project, which will include hotels, offices, housing, entertainment, retail, and more, represents Easton co-developer and L Brands founder Leslie H. Wexner’s vision to transform the area into not only a shopping center, but a “neighborhood,” reports The Dispatch.

The new development will be located on the northeast side of Easton, near Macy’s and Nordstrom’s.

RH Columbus, The Gallery at Easton Town Center will be a high-end version of the home furnishings store Restoration Hardware and be the centerpiece of the district.

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RH Columbus will be 40,000 square foot and include a restaurant and a rooftop garden.

Another location of Pins Mechanical along with a boutique Aloft hotel are envisioned, also.

The real neighborhood feel come with the Urban Hearth, an industrial-style gathering place surrounded by breweries, restaurants, and entertainment options, according to a release from Easton per The Dispatch.

An outdoor venue called The Yard is being planned to host live entertainment and community events.

To cater to the new business and its customers, a six-level garage and an expansion of the existing Macy’s garage is planned.

An Easton bike-sharing service is also in the pipeline.

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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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Biz + Dev

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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