Three developments, Whitehall’s Norton Crossing, Dublin’s Bridge Street District, and Columbus Commons in Columbus, are leading the way for walkable urban places and retrofit of the suburban landscape in Central Ohio.
Central Ohio, which here consists of the 11-county Columbus region, could grow by as many as 1 million residents by 2050. According to a 2016 report from the Regional Plan Association, 56 percent of millennials and 46 percent of baby boomers prefer to live in a more walkable, mixed-use neighborhood.
The three developments are the result of the cities of Columbus, Dublin, and Whitehall taking the lead on more connected development patterns in their master plans and also working together as a team for the entire region.
“The Columbus Region is the talent center of Ohio and the Midwest, and our communities are responding with amenities and built environment that reflect this growth,” says Kenny McDonald, president and CEO of Columbus 2020, the economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus Region.
- The Columbus development, the Columbus Commons, opened in 2011 on the site of the old City Center shopping mall. The initial $25 million investment for the Commons has triggered private investment of more than $270 million of retail, residential and commercial space including the under construction Two25 residential building and the recently opened 250 High and Highpoint at Columbus Commons
- The Whitehall development, Norton Crossing, is a new, $50 million mixed-use development planned close to downtown Columbus and the region’s international airport. While much of the investment is from a Columbus-based private developer Continental Real Estate Companies , the city is investing $7.2 million to update adjacent property, create new gateways and entrances and to improve lighting and traffic signals. The private development will include 360 residential units, 15,000 sf of retail space, 2 office buildings, and a central greenspace with a dog park and other common amenities.
- The Dublin development, Bridge Street District, is a comprehensive plan spearheaded by city leaders and stakeholders to create a more walkable, urban space. In addition to the master plan for the entire district, two key projects are already under construction, the restoration of a railroad bridge by the city and a mixed use development by a private developer. The bridge will span the Scioto River and will connect the district’s new riverfront park to historic Dublin, and the new mixed-use project. Bridge Park, the new mixed-use development, will include 269,000 square feet of restaurant office and retail space, two 850-space parking garages, 382 apartments and 42 condominiums, as well as a hotel and events center. The project broke ground in the fall of 2015, and will continue into 2018, with parts of the project nearing completion this fall.
McDonald also notes, “ The Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus and Dublin’s Bridge Street District are two great examples of assets that have been created to attract and retain talent. Both areas, and dozens of others across our region are creating better access to job centers, healthcare and education facilities, as well as community amenities like parks, restaurants, and public spaces.”