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nowyano

Ideas for Columbus

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I have lived in Boston for almost all of my life. My wife grew up in rural Alabama (Enterprise) we lived in Columbus for one year before we moved back to Boston. Columbus is not nearly as bad as some people on this board have made it out to be. It is not nearly as much of a metro as say an ATL, Boston, LA or NYC but very few cities are. As far as small cities in the southern area go (Birmingham, Tallahassee, Montgomery, Mobile, Augusta) I have to say that other than Birmingham, Columbus is probably the best.

Now granted I haven't been there in two years, so a lot may have changed, but the city seemed to be doing quite a bit of growing before I left. Let us not forget that a larger skyline does not make a better city. I went to Indianapolis and it's skyline is far superior to Columbus' but I prefer Columbus as a city. I think that there are a few problems with the city that could be improved.

1. PR.

The city is very close to a whole slew of major colleges (Auburn and Tuskegee for example) and most of the students in those schools go to Montgomery and Atlanta for fun. Now while Atlanta is a superior metro Montgomery is not. Columbus needs to get out there and draw the college crowd to their city. They are right there and they need to let people know that.

When my wife and I were moving to Columbus a friend of mine from Brooklyn and another from Cleveland came with us to help in the move. When we came off of the State highway (i don't remember what it is called the one that goes from I85 in Alabama through Phenix City down to Columbus) my friends could see the Goverment Building and the AFLAC towers and on the loop road they could see some of the movie theaters, we later went out to eat at Cannon Grille Pub, downtown, to thank them. Both of them had the response of "wow we didn't know that there were any cities like this outside of ATL, New Orleans and Birmingham in this part of the coutry." Why is this? Columbus needs to learn how to sell itself.

2. Entertainment Value

There is an opera house downtown, hell there is a virtual theater district in the historic district (three maybe four theaters) they need to see if they can get either a couple of B level acts to perform there. Now Columbus will probably not be able to draw someone like an R. Kelley but they could get Rubin Studdard or Clay Aiken. They probably would not land Usher but they could probably entice Chris Brown. They may not get Dave Mathews Band but I'm sure some record label somewhere would want to put on an up and coming act in Columbus to prepare for playing bigger venues.

They also need to have more things happening in the playhouses in the theater district. Maybe Broadway in Columbus at the Opera House? This could be a large selling point. This would also help with problem 1 as the college students would want to come to see something happening in Columbus.

3. Companies Should Entice More Companies

Tax breaks, or something to get other companies there are at least four fairly large companies based out of Columbus (AFLAC being the biggest and most known). The city needs to really push AFLAC to the world, and let the world know that AFLAC is based in the city. They need to try to get some new companies to come in and build.

4. Columbus is a Dead End.

You take I85 to I185 South and then I185 ends. They need some sort of highway project to continue I185 through Columbus to make it a place you drive past on your way to Atlanta or Birmingham. Or make some sort of Interstate that goes to another medium sized Georgia city (Savannah maybe?). You basically have to take small one or two lane state highways in any direction to get from Columbus if you are not coming off of I185 and that is a problem.

Maybe reopen some of the railways to Amtrack. Or put in lightrail for downtown over the old railway tracks.

5. Do Something with the Old Mills.

There are a whole lot of old mills in Colubus I remember a couple being right by the medical facilities right off of whatever the loop highway in Columbus was. These should be turned into something, anything. A great example of a small city that did this is Portland, ME and Manchester, NH both took old Mills and Factories and turned them into Condos, clubs and shopping developments.

These are just some ideas that I have for Columbus.

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I have lived in Boston for almost all of my life. My wife grew up in rural Alabama (Enterprise) we lived in Columbus for one year before we moved back to Boston. Columbus is not nearly as bad as some people on this board have made it out to be. It is not nearly as much of a metro as say an ATL, Boston, LA or NYC but very few cities are. As far as small cities in the southern area go (Birmingham, Tallahassee, Montgomery, Mobile, Augusta) I have to say that other than Birmingham, Columbus is probably the best.

Now granted I haven't been there in two years, so a lot may have changed, but the city seemed to be doing quite a bit of growing before I left. Let us not forget that a larger skyline does not make a better city. I went to Indianapolis and it's skyline is far superior to Columbus' but I prefer Columbus as a city. I think that there are a few problems with the city that could be improved.

1. PR.

The city is very close to a whole slew of major colleges (Auburn and Tuskegee for example) and most of the students in those schools go to Montgomery and Atlanta for fun. Now while Atlanta is a superior metro Montgomery is not. Columbus needs to get out there and draw the college crowd to their city. They are right there and they need to let people know that.

2. Entertainment Value

There is an opera house downtown, hell there is a virtual theater district in the historic district (three maybe four theaters) they need to see if they can get either a couple of B level acts to perform there. Now Columbus will probably not be able to draw someone like an R. Kelley but they could get Rubin Studdard or Clay Aiken. They probably would not land Usher but they could probably entice Chris Brown. They may not get Dave Mathews Band but I'm sure some record label somewhere would want to put on an up and coming act in Columbus to prepare for playing bigger venues.

They also need to have more things happening in the playhouses in the theater district. Maybe Broadway in Columbus at the Opera House? This could be a large selling point. This would also help with problem 1 as the college students would want to come to see something happening in Columbus.

3. Companies Should Entice More Companies

Tax breaks, or something to get other companies there are at least four fairly large companies based out of Columbus (AFLAC being the biggest and most known). The city needs to really push AFLAC to the world, and let the world know that AFLAC is based in the city. They need to try to get some new companies to come in and build.

4. Columbus is a Dead End.

You take I85 to I185 South and then I185 ends. They need some sort of highway project to continue I185 through Columbus to make it a place you drive past on your way to Atlanta or Birmingham. Or make some sort of Interstate that goes to another medium sized Georgia city (Savannah maybe?). You basically have to take small one or two lane state highways in any direction to get from Columbus if you are not coming off of I185 and that is a problem.

Maybe reopen some of the railways to Amtrack. Or put in lightrail for downtown over the old railway tracks.

5. Do Something with the Old Mills.

There are a whole lot of old mills in Colubus I remember a couple being right by the medical facilities right off of whatever the loop highway in Columbus was. These should be turned into something, anything. A great example of a small city that did this is Portland, ME and Manchester, NH both took old Mills and Factories and turned them into Condos, clubs and shopping developments.

These are just some ideas that I have for Columbus.

I'll add to your list.

PR:

Columbus is becoming more of a college town. Columbus State University is one of the fastest growing universities in the state with 8,000 students. The university is investing $40 million downtown by bringing the art and music school into one location. Also, the university is building two 5-story dorm buildings for hundreds of students. This will make downtown Columbus feel more like a college atmosphere. Even though Auburn is a much bigger university, downtown Columbus nightlife blows downtown Auburn's nightlife out of the water. I go to school in Athens (go Dawgs!), and I can honestly say that DT Columbus is becoming a lot like downtown Athens with bars, clubs, restaurants, retail, etc. Auburn will never have the feel of DT Columbus or DT Athens. As CSU expands, DT Columbus will become much more like Athens. Will DT Columbus ever be like DT Athens?? Probably not but DT Columbus could certainly become a lot like it.

Entertainment Value:

I believe the entertainment level of Columbus has grown a lot in the last few years. The number of concerts the come each year has been expanding. With the civic center and the beautiful Rivercenter, major acts are starting to notice Columbus. Every concerts at the Rivercenter is sold out. James Taylor sold out in like 20 minutes I heard. Acts like David Copperfield, Willy Nelson, YoYo Ma, Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, etc (forgive my spelling haha) have all come. Columbus probably gets more big name acts than in other city in GA except for the ATL.

Companies Should Entice More Companies:

I totally agree on this!

Columbus is a Dead End:

I-185 does need to be extended. It would be great if it could be extended down to Florida (Tallahassee or Panama City). U.S. 431 will finally be completed in 1 or 2 years. That will give Columbus as well as Atlanta residents a complete 4-lane highway to PC and Destin. There has been talks of building I-14 from Augusta, GA out to Mississippi. This is planned to go through Columbus.

Do Something with the Old Mills:

A lot is being done with the old mills around the city. Many such as Eagle and Phenix (which is underconstruction) and Johnston Mill have been or are in the process of being converted into lofts and condos. I would like to see 1 or 2 nice 20 story condos go up along the riverwalk.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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I agree that Columbus is making progress on all the issues identified -- with the possible (and notable) exception of transportation. I still amazes me at how (apparently) unconcerned the "powers that be" (local, state and federal) see to be about this obvious impediment to progress. I can only hope that there is a whole lot going on behind the scenes -- cause there isnt a lot that I can see being done to speed things along (pun intended).

Once the white water project comes on line, that will certainly give a BIG boost to 1, 2 and 5.

3 is being seen to (note Kia) -- I still have hopes that another european car maker will make an announcement at some point and I am sill holding out hopes for AMD to renew its interest in the mega-billion $ chip plant. However, the transportation issue is obviously a factor in new plant location selection.

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Once the white water project comes on line, that will certainly give a BIG boost to 1, 2 and 5.

what is the white water project?

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what is the white water project?

The plan to breech the two dams between Oliver Dam and downtown so as to return river to its natural state. Result will be ~ 2 miles of white water rapids (rafting, kayaking) thru DT. Word is that it will be finest urban white water course in East. Only some places out west comparable. Should get under way this year

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Nowyano is right about whitewater. I'm not an enthusiast, but I have a couple of friends in Birmingham who are. Apparantly, some wihitewater guides are discussing the Chattahoochee as it is without the breech and kyakers are already visiting. The know the times the water is released from the dam and all of that. The funny thing was he didn't make the connection until I mentioned Phenix City... He asked, "is Columbus near Phenix City?" I was flabergasted that Phenix City is getting all the play and not Columbus! When I told him about the 20-mile (or however long) riverwalk in Columbus, and the nightlife downtown, and all of that, he was really excited. He and some friends have already visited. The things I didn't know to tell him was where along the river he could set up his tent. Do they allow that camping at Oxbow.

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This is a radical thought... change the name of Columbus. Whenever you travel outside of Columbus, you have to constantly qualify your answer with, "no, Columbus, GEORGIA". With the name Columbus, we will always be 'the other Columbus'. So we'll always have a second, inferior image. When you hear in national news that this or that happened in Columbus, it always means Ohio. No, we need our own name. So I'm starting with this suggesstion....

Benning, Georgia. It's already instantly recognizable and respected by millions of military folks world-wide. There's not another town named benning anywhere larger than Columbus is right now.

Discuss...

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This is a radical thought... change the name of Columbus. Whenever you travel outside of Columbus, you have to constantly qualify your answer with, "no, Columbus, GEORGIA". With the name Columbus, we will always be 'the other Columbus'. So we'll always have a second, inferior image. When you hear in national news that this or that happened in Columbus, it always means Ohio. No, we need our own name. So I'm starting with this suggesstion....

Benning, Georgia. It's already instantly recognizable and respected by millions of military folks world-wide. There's not another town named benning anywhere larger than Columbus is right now.

Discuss...

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The topic was PR. And the first rule in Marketing/PR is brand identity. Listen to national news, if they say Portland, they mean Oregon. If they say Cleveland, they mean Ohio - Atlanta, they mean Georgia, not Atlanta, TX, Savannah, you mean Georgia, not Mississippi... and so on. Say Columbus in Birmingham, 2 out of 3 people think Mississippi.

Sometimes tradition has to bend for the greater good. Even New Amsterdam changed its name to avoid confusion. It may not be common, but it's not unheard of. Columbus (GA), will never be a world, national or even regional player with an 'also' name. It needs its own identiy. Just the name change alone would bring tons of free PR in the form of publicity. Columbus Ohio may be the 'other' Columbus to you, me and 184,998 other people, but to most of the other 300,000,000+, it's THE Columbus.

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On Entertainment, see the Venues topic. The Entertainment district is coming along quite nicely. Another top notch hotel would be nice, and probably even another Trade Center expansion. The Civic Center is too small to compete for "A" national entertainment.

Second the Companies on recruiting Companies. Many believe, and maybe some truth, that the likes of AFLAC, TSYS and Synovus (All of whom changed their names and re-branded their companies, by the way) have an interest in keeping other big white collar companies out. Two schools of thought... 1) more companies attract more labor, and 2) more companies drive up the cost of labor. Unfortunately, some of the old guard believe the latter.

On Dead End. Amen, amen, and amen.

On the mills, some are finally being re-habed. Some have been lost to fire and some to demolition. I guess the closest thing we have to a warehouse district is 10th Ave?

But we lost a great opportunity to revitalize some of the blighted areas when we didn't pass the TAD. Now, we just have to wait for private people with vision to move into these neighborhoods and turn them around like Lakebottom. But that takes decades, unfortunately...

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The topic was PR. And the first rule in Marketing/PR is brand identity. Listen to national news, if they say Portland, they mean Oregon. If they say Cleveland, they mean Ohio - Atlanta, they mean Georgia, not Atlanta, TX, Savannah, you mean Georgia, not Mississippi... and so on. Say Columbus in Birmingham, 2 out of 3 people think Mississippi.

Sometimes tradition has to bend for the greater good. Even New Amsterdam changed its name to avoid confusion. It may not be common, but it's not unheard of. Columbus (GA), will never be a world, national or even regional player with an 'also' name. It needs its own identiy. Just the name change alone would bring tons of free PR in the form of publicity. Columbus Ohio may be the 'other' Columbus to you, me and 184,998 other people, but to most of the other 300,000,000+, it's THE Columbus.

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To me that only means that we have to work harder to make Columbus GA equally as well known -- or convince Columbus Ohio to change its name. If you say Portland to a national audience, then most will think Oregon. But say it in New England and the majority will more likely think Maine. I am not sure that most in B'ham think Miss. when they hear Columbus. I suspect that most will be aware that there is more than one city named Columbus and, if unclear from context, will ask or expect clarification rather than jump to an assumption that it is Miss and not Ga or Ohio (or Nebraska etc). IMHO, Pr/brand identity -- especially when it smacks of gimmicktry -- has to bend to the greater good of tradition. Not to mention economics. Consider how expensive it is when an area code changes. Magnify that by about a million times 9or more)for a name change of city approaching 200k. You could hear the screams all the way to Columbus Ohio!

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i think columbus georgia needs to work more on its downtown like giving it a bigger and niceier skyline downtown columbus needs alot of work done to it downtown columbus georgia needs more taller buildings downtown to give it a bigger and niceier skyline so heres my ideas for downtown columbus georgia i think downtown columbus needs to work more on its downtown by building highrise condos downtown the condos need to be the same height as the goverment center downtown or the condos need to be 11 to 12 storys high in downtown the condos need to be high enough to give it a skyline

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i think columbus georgia needs to work more on its downtown like giving it a bigger and niceier skyline downtown columbus needs alot of work done to it downtown columbus georgia needs more taller buildings downtown to give it a bigger and niceier skyline so heres my ideas for downtown columbus georgia i think downtown columbus needs to work more on its downtown by building highrise condos downtown the condos need to be the same height as the goverment center downtown or the condos need to be 11 to 12 storys high in downtown the condos need to be high enough to give it a skyline

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i think columbus georgia needs to work more on its downtown like giving it a bigger and niceier skyline downtown ...building highrise condos downtown the condos need to be the same height as the goverment center downtown or the condos need to be 11 to 12 storys high in downtown the condos need to be high enough to give it a skyline

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I hate the local banks around here. I bank with WaMu and they don't have one down here. Does anyone know if one is planned to be built down here?

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I think people obsess over skylines a little too much. I get that everyone wants to be NYC, or Chicago, but a nice skyline does not make a great city, it just makes it look like one. Again I go to my Indianapolis example, the skyline was nice, but the city was awful. It's the entertainment, shopping, eating, and people, it's the experiences that you can't get in the rural areas or even the burbs that make a city a city.

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I hate the local banks around here. I bank with WaMu and they don't have one down here. Does anyone know if one is planned to be built down here?

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sorry if i was obsess over skylines but i think columbus georgia needs a bigger and better skyline because with columbus georgia almost having 200,000 people in the city of columbus it needs a better skyline for a city its size because downtown columbus only has one tall building downtown and thats the government center and so i think columbus georgia needs to work more on its downtown all columbus has to do is just build three highrise condos downtown like 11 storys to 13 storys high and then downtown columbus will look bigger and beautiful with a skyline and it may attract more people to downtown and to the city

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I agree with you that the Skyline of Columbus needs to be improved. There are other taller type Highrises other than the Goverment Center in Downtown Columbus to include: The Goverment Center (12 stories), The Corporate Center (10 Stories), The Ralston Towers (10 Stories & 9 Stories), The Marriot (8 stories)Columbus Ledger Building (7 stories), Suntrust Building (6 stories) Those are really the tallest in downtown, but there are several 6 sotry and under structures that sit inbetween these buidlings. Columbus downfall is that the city tried to expand to quickly and rather than develop a centralized skyline buildings popped up widely. For instance in Midtown the Aflac building(20 stories) is the cities tallest structure Also in midtown on 13th ave a lonely 9 story senior apartment complex towers over standard homes and shopping areas. Then look north of downtown The Medical Center/ Doctors hospital area create their own unique little brick skyline view of medical offices.

I'm all for seeing some new highrise type development downtown and in midtown, but by no means do I want to see that never ending sea of highrises and skyscrapers like New York or Chicago. A skyline that I have long admired is Tucson, AZ. Tucson is a city of over 525,000 people, but has a very simple skyline that is what I would like to see Columbus become. Unique about Tucson is that this is one of the largest cities in America and the tallest building is the Unisource Energy Tower and it's only 23 stories high. Below is a photo of Tucson.

aQ8MbJ1qNn.jpg

Downtown Tucson, AZ a city of over 525,000 with a simple skyline (in my opinion what Columbus' skyline should strive to become)

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I doubt it because Wamu folded a few weeks back. I think they were bought up by someone, can't remember.

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I have lived in Columbus for a year now. I have yet to see any of the things happening that other people are talking about. I think the theater district should definitely be more developed. Bring broadway plays here. Heck bring some opera here.

I would love to see I-185 extend to Florida.

I agree that Columbus needs to do some major PR work. I don't think expanding the skyline is the answer. There are plenty of empty buildings in the midtown area that should be looked at. Redevelop those areas before building up new ones.

It seems to me that Columbus is catering to the low income people. Yes there are plenty of low income people who live here, but there is from what I see a large population of higher income people living here. I'm neither, but I think this town would be nice if it catered to all classes. I've never seen a town this size with so many walmarts and kmarts. I mean do we really need 4 walmarts and 4 kmarts?

Another thing that I think Columbus could benefit from is a better newspaper. There may be more events happening in town that I'm not aware of because people around here don't advertise very well. Most decent cities have a section in their news papers with events happening around the town to make it easier for people to know what is going on. I have also found that the majority of articles in the paper were written by journalists at other papers and then published in the Ledger-Enquirer. More local news in all of the sections of the paper not just the front page would make the paper worth reading.

Phenix City should also not be over looked when thinking of improving Columbus. I realize it's in a different state and that governing rules are different. But, these two cities are so close together they should be working together to improve the area. I would guess that the majority of the people who live in Phenix City work in Columbus. When I was talking about the newspaper I think that there should be more coverage of events and happenings in Phenix City as well as Columbus and other nearby areas.

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Mamameko first of all its good that columbus does have 4 walmarts and kmarts thats a good thing for columbus. Because in the next few years columbus will be getting 30,000 new people moving into the area so its good to have that many walmarts. Because lets say for an example if columbus only had 1 walmart and 1 kmart and with the 30,000 new people moving to this area in about 2 to 3 years. If columbus had only 1 walmart and 1 kmart dont you think that 1 walmart and that 1 kmart would be packed and busy with people see in how that would be the only walmart and kmart in columbus. And I dont think you would wont to go into a busy and crowded walmart not me anyway would not wont to go into a packed and crowded walmart or kmart. So its good that columbus does have alot of walmarts and kmarts in the area. Because columbus is ready just in time for brac. When brac moves here its suppose to bring 30,000 new people to the columbus and fort benning area. Oh and another thing mamameko the reason why columbus has so many walmarts is because columbus is a nice size metro area. So its good that columbus does have these many walmarts and kmarts. Because for an example if I lived on the other side of columbus and wanted to go to a walmart store or a kmart store then I would have to drive way over on the otherside of town just to go to a freakin walmart or kmart store. So please dont complain about columbus.

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I have lived in Columbus for a year now. I have yet to see any of the things happening that other people are talking about. I think the theater district should definitely be more developed. Bring broadway plays here. Heck bring some opera here.

I would love to see I-185 extend to Florida.

I agree that Columbus needs to do some major PR work. I don't think expanding the skyline is the answer. There are plenty of empty buildings in the midtown area that should be looked at. Redevelop those areas before building up new ones.

It seems to me that Columbus is catering to the low income people. Yes there are plenty of low income people who live here, but there is from what I see a large population of higher income people living here. I'm neither, but I think this town would be nice if it catered to all classes. I've never seen a town this size with so many walmarts and kmarts. I mean do we really need 4 walmarts and 4 kmarts?

Another thing that I think Columbus could benefit from is a better newspaper. There may be more events happening in town that I'm not aware of because people around here don't advertise very well. Most decent cities have a section in their news papers with events happening around the town to make it easier for people to know what is going on. I have also found that the majority of articles in the paper were written by journalists at other papers and then published in the Ledger-Enquirer. More local news in all of the sections of the paper not just the front page would make the paper worth reading.

Phenix City should also not be over looked when thinking of improving Columbus. I realize it's in a different state and that governing rules are different. But, these two cities are so close together they should be working together to improve the area. I would guess that the majority of the people who live in Phenix City work in Columbus. When I was talking about the newspaper I think that there should be more coverage of events and happenings in Phenix City as well as Columbus and other nearby areas.

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