Saturday, December 23, 2006

Solution to Cosi & City Center Woes?

I cannot envision City Center ever becoming what it once was - a retail giant. With Easton, Polaris, and Tuttle, City Center is no longer unique and cannot surpass the new massive malls. City Center will not draw suburbanites from larger, more convenient options. Instead, the focus should be downtown residents.

How about moving COSI from its massive facility across the river to the City Center building? Ever since COSI's move from Broad Street, it's had financial troubles - the current space is simply too big. And its location does not benefit from foot traffic. If COSI moved into the City Center building, the space would be more manageable, I imagine it'd be relatively cheap to buy, and people could actually walk to COSI. COSI could advertise new events around Capitol Square and get people to make unplanned visits. Who's going to wander over to the current location on a whim? It would also be more accessible for OSU students who will be spending more time downtown with the Urban Arts Space at the Lazarus buiding.

With COSI moving, Columbus gets a great chance to take advantage of the building that is now a symbol for COSI's unrealistic ambition. It could be turned into a massive hotel, the Columbus hotel. Since we razed the Neil House, the Deshler, and other fine hotels, Columbus could use a new, really elegant place to stay. The new hotel would feature beautiful views of the river and skyline - in fact, there could be 2-3 fancy restaurants on the top floor with some of the best views of the river in the entire city. The hotel would be luxurious and one-of-a-kind for Columbus - it would also take advantage of the little water we do have.

Now, the building is quite large, so in addition to hotel accommodations, perhaps it could help give way to a new era of mass transit in Columbus. Columbus could have two union stations - one downtown in the Arena District or Capitol Square, and the other in the old COSI building. The hotel could provide cab rides to and from the airport for guests (included in their hotel fair) and could also provide them will options to travel around the city to conduct businesss - cabs, hopefully streetcars, and perhaps buses (COTA could have a couple luxury buses for the hotel). This would be the place in town to stay and local businesses would have a great way to treat their clients.

Ohio State Expands South

The Ohio State University will for the first time expand into Downtown. It will open the Urban Arts Space gallery and workshop in the historic Lazarus building (set to open September 2007). Read more at Business First of Columbus or at The Columbus Dispatch.

Downtown Housing

Downtown Columbus, in the midst of a modest housing boom, continues to unveil new construction projects and renovations. Visit the 'Housing/Living' section on the Downtown Columbus website to see the many housing options that are available or under construction.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Finally: Tall & Not Ugly

Ever since LeVeque, Columbus has seemed obsessed with constructing hideous high-rise buildings. Finally, a new building under construction will actually "grace" the skyline rather than stain it. Learn more about the tower being built as part of the new Condomiums at North Bank Park here.

Inclined to Build

The new Main Street Bridge will be the longest (and first to support vehicular traffic) inclined arch bridge in world. It is supposed to be completed by June 2009.

Learn about the designer here.

The New 'Broad & High'

Visit to see what the "historic downtown corner" is to become. Fashioned after Times Square, Broad & High will feature strolling digital ticker tapes and billboards, and NBC Studios will broadcast its morning and afternoon shows from a street-level studio. The construction offers an ambitious first step to tranforming Capitol Square into more than just a place to work.