Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

aboutmetro

Columbus/PC Intown

47 posts in this topic

The Columbus downtown saw a boost to development with TSYS in the 90's. Synovus and TSYS have been central to the downtown growth.

Recently, CSU has been developing some of downtown along with many, many mom & pop stores.

AFLAC has pretty much been central to any Midtown growth, but also went suburban with the East Columbus campus.

This topic is introduced to discuss the core Columbus/Phenix city development in general.

To date, there's been no brand retail activity. And no introductions of transplant HQ's into downtown. TSYS's 71-acre campus wasn't utilized in the time-frame. I don't have any images of the originally planned campus, but I seem to recall it had at least two more buildings to employ a total of 2,500 new jobs. I think acutually about 900 were created in the first phase. Will the spin-off of TSYS affect the fulfillment of that promise, either positively or negatively?

Are there any opportunities for recruiting 'new blood' for our city center, perhaps even create a skyline, or do the Bradley's have a monopoly on that in Columbus?

The downtown propmotions arem, Uptown Columbus, Inc., will not actively recruit brand retail for the district. They believe it would be detrimental. I believe it would create vigor and synergy...?

Use this thread to discuss development announcements for downtown C/PC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The Columbus downtown saw a boost to development with TSYS in the 90's. Synovus and TSYS have been central to the downtown growth.

Recently, CSU has been developing some of downtown along with many, many mom & pop stores.

AFLAC has pretty much been central to any Midtown growth, but also went suburban with the East Columbus campus.

This topic is introduced to discuss the core Columbus/Phenix city development in general.

To date, there's been no brand retail activity. And no introductions of transplant HQ's into downtown. TSYS's 71-acre campus wasn't utilized in the time-frame. I don't have any images of the originally planned campus, but I seem to recall it had at least two more buildings to employ a total of 2,500 new jobs. I think acutually about 900 were created in the first phase. Will the spin-off of TSYS affect the fulfillment of that promise, either positively or negatively?

Are there any opportunities for recruiting 'new blood' for our city center, perhaps even create a skyline, or do the Bradley's have a monopoly on that in Columbus?

The downtown propmotions arem, Uptown Columbus, Inc., will not actively recruit brand retail for the district. They believe it would be detrimental. I believe it would create vigor and synergy...?

I am not aware of any timetable for expansion of TSYS. As you indicate, I think that there is ample space for additional buildings. I am somewhat concerned about the spin-off. I believe that it makes both Synovus and TSYS much more attractive for a buy-out. If either of both are bought-out, then there is a very real possibility that the number of jobs will not only fail to grow, but that jobs could actually be lost. Columbus has a history of losing local companies - RC, Lummus, etc. Especially worried about Synovus. As long as Blanchard was in charge, no problem. However, Anthony is from B'ham and am hoping that he is not on track to sell out to a national bank and go back home to Ala. If Synovus sells out to a national, there goes the hqs and the bragging fights to being teh hometown of one of the South's biggest regionals.

Long story short -- I am not optimistic that Synovus/Tsys will be a major player DT in the near future.

Big name retailers also not on the horizon for DT. The fear is that that would lead to the WalMart=tization of DT. Ie, it would drive out the small mom-and-pops local small businesses. I think the idea is to keep DT "quaint" and even if the population density was sufficient to warrant big name retailers, dont think that that would happen. At least not on a large scale. Maybe small boutique versions. I for one would like to see a small Barney's or Bloomies (as if!). But I suspect that the future of DT is education, hotels and restaurants and small specify shops. Actually I think that discouraging bigbox retailers is a good idea. Better to have a dozen small specialty shops occupying all those currently vacant storefronts than one large one-stop dept store.

Thus any new highrise would most likely be a new hotel near the Iron Works/Dillingham area. A much more remote possibility is a new AFLAC tower (I am assuming that AFLAC -- unlike Synovus/TSYS -- is "safe" from being relocated). WC Bradley does monopolize DT -- but in a good way. They only do quality projects. The property they own between the Eagle& Phenix and the 13th St bridge has been cleared and I assume that they will use it for a multi-purpose (hopefully highrise) project. A combination condo/hotel/retail. But can be sure that that wont get underway until market forces dictate -- as WC Bradley always does its due diligence. Which is good, since a major flop DT would scare aware other developers for a generation. The "key" in my opinion is the whitewater project (and the river not drying up completely). Once that comes on line, I think that there will be renewed interest in DT and providing the amenities for the visitors that that will draw.

Use this thread to discuss development announcements for downtown C/PC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting perspective on Anthony. The devoloving of Synovus and TSYS was exactly my concern. Of course, I expected CB&T to re-brand everything Synovus at some point and that hasn't happened, so...

Re: brand retailers DT. Even Auburn, AL has a Gap downtown! just because brands come in doesn't mean control over quality is lost. I just think if a brand that's not in the mall came to DT, it might attract more folks who now don't even consider going downtown. I know I might go more. For one thing, the brands have serious advertising budgets to draw attention. Many town centers blend them both well, even in the old-and-new-again pud town center developments do that on purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting perspective on Anthony. The devoloving of Synovus and TSYS was exactly my concern. Of course, I expected CB&T to re-brand everything Synovus at some point and that hasn't happened, so...

Re: brand retailers DT. Even Auburn, AL has a Gap downtown! just because brands come in doesn't mean control over quality is lost. I just think if a brand that's not in the mall came to DT, it might attract more folks who now don't even consider going downtown. I know I might go more. For one thing, the brands have serious advertising budgets to draw attention. Many town centers blend them both well, even in the old-and-new-again pud town center developments do that on purpose.

Gap in DT Auburn makes sense -- big college population. If CSU presence in DT were comparable, a Gap in DT here would also make sense. Dont think there would be fierce opposition to a Gap or comparable brand store -- just a preference for a mom-and-pop to provide that element of retail. the thinking is that brand names are more bottomline/this quarter oriented and will cut and run (and ruin rep of DT) more quickly than mom-andpop who will be more committed to longterm success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gap in DT Auburn makes sense -- big college population. If CSU presence in DT were comparable, a Gap in DT here would also make sense. Dont think there would be fierce opposition to a Gap or comparable brand store -- just a preference for a mom-and-pop to provide that element of retail. the thinking is that brand names are more bottomline/this quarter oriented and will cut and run (and ruin rep of DT) more quickly than mom-andpop who will be more committed to longterm success.

That's simply not factual. There may be arguments for excluding chains from DT, but economic success isn't one of them. You can review reseach papers at ICSC on the subject if you have a login. Or you can review this summary from the U. or Wisconsin. Except for a few chairns which currently have financial troubles and aren't expanding anyway (like Kirklands), big retailers do in fact have more staying power than mom-n-pops. These guys are usually paycheck to paycheck, at least the ones in Columbus, and any slight downturn (like a streetscape makeover) forces them out of business. Gap was just an example. Moe's and Kinkos were both discouraged from going downtown. Who knows how many others? Many retailers expect a period of losses and have the wherewithall to absorb it. If a chain retailer did cut and run, it would say more about the viability of DT Columbus as a retail center, than the viability or integrity of the retailer. How many years did Walgreens and Even CVS stick it out down there with lower than average returns? Maybe not big box, but boutique and other chain retailers are desirable. This discussion is probably moot, though, since the current housing downturn has finally crept into the commercial sector. Otherwise, the ability of a downtown to attract chain retailers signals the economic success and viability of a downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's simply not factual. There may be arguments for excluding chains from DT, but economic success isn't one of them. You can review reseach papers at ICSC on the subject if you have a login. Or you can review this summary from the U. or Wisconsin. Except for a few chairns which currently have financial troubles and aren't expanding anyway (like Kirklands), big retailers do in fact have more staying power than mom-n-pops. These guys are usually paycheck to paycheck, at least the ones in Columbus, and any slight downturn (like a streetscape makeover) forces them out of business. Gap was just an example. Moe's and Kinkos were both discouraged from going downtown. Who knows how many others? Many retailers expect a period of losses and have the wherewithall to absorb it. If a chain retailer did cut and run, it would say more about the viability of DT Columbus as a retail center, than the viability or integrity of the retailer. How many years did Walgreens and Even CVS stick it out down there with lower than average returns? Maybe not big box, but boutique and other chain retailers are desirable. This discussion is probably moot, though, since the current housing downturn has finally crept into the commercial sector. Otherwise, the ability of a downtown to attract chain retailers signals the economic success and viability of a downtown.

Never said was factual -- just that that it was the predominent thinking. The fact that a failure of a chain retailer would say more about viability of DT than retailer is precisely THE point. If a chain (say GAP) came in and then left, that would chill the marketplace. If a mom-and-pop comes in and fails, too bad, try try again. The thinking is that -- for the time being -- better to roll the dice with mom and pop than take the chance that the Gap (or Moes or Kinkos) will come in, fail and then poison the well. Idea is that until DT becomes more established (like when and if Whitewater EVER comes on line) mom and pops is the path of least resistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Construction has started on the new YMCA near 14th street and broadway. Just wondering does anyone know whats going on behind Countrys on Broad Theres a large crane that has been parked over there for several months now and it appears that the demoltion of that part of the Phenix & Eagle has been complete. Is there some type of development expected there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Construction has started on the new YMCA near 14th street and broadway. Just wondering does anyone know whats going on behind Countrys on Broad Theres a large crane that has been parked over there for several months now and it appears that the demoltion of that part of the Phenix & Eagle has been complete. Is there some type of development expected there?

I thought that area was slated for a high-rise condo building, but I haven't heard anything in a long time. With the way the market is I have no clue. That is a perfect location for a high-rise condo, hotel, or office building. I doubt anything will happen there until the market gets better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I thought that area was slated for a high-rise condo building, but I haven't heard anything in a long time. With the way the market is I have no clue. That is a perfect location for a high-rise condo, hotel, or office building. I doubt anything will happen there until the market gets better.

I do not think anything is on paper yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New Downtown YMCA Begins Construction

Construction crews began working last month on the site of a new downtown YMCA building to replace the marble and brick that have served as a center for fitness in the town for 105 years.

The new place, being built at 14th Street and Broadway, will look like a modern marvel of brick, steel and mirrored windows. It'll offer 52,000 square feet of space for gyms, a swimming pool and exercise rooms -- about 37 percent more space than the current home, on 11th Street.

But the most appreciated space increase likely will be outside the new building. Construction of the new John P. Thayer YMCA, named for a man who's served on the YMCA board for nearly 40 years, is expected to cost between $10 million and $11 million.

Among the new place's amenities:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Vision for the library land has been circulating around town... Midtown Centre... if only...

If nothing else, the parking scheme makes more sense. In the old new site plan, the parking deck wasn't convenient to the school admin building. And there wasn't customer friendly parking adjacent to the 'Citizens' Service Center', as I recall. But also, the vision has a hotel, which makes alot of sense with a Natatorium to attract tournaments. Also, it has a vertical residential condo or coop tower! Some developments are even combining these two things - hotels & condos - but this doesn't seem to do that. There's also plenty retail strip and still plenty of greenspace. One of the towns around Atlanta even bought a retail area similar to Main Street Village and turned that into the citizens service center and rented space to retail and restaurants. Eye candy below if I did the attachment right...

post-13798-1212070559_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Vision for the library land has been circulating around town... Midtown Centre... if only...

If nothing else, the parking scheme makes more sense. In the old new site plan, the parking deck wasn't convenient to the school admin building. And there wasn't customer friendly parking adjacent to the 'Citizens' Service Center', as I recall. But also, the vision has a hotel, which makes alot of sense with a Natatorium to attract tournaments. Also, it has a vertical residential condo or coop tower! Some developments are even combining these two things - hotels & condos - but this doesn't seem to do that. There's also plenty retail strip and still plenty of greenspace. One of the towns around Atlanta even bought a retail area similar to Main Street Village and turned that into the citizens service center and rented space to retail and restaurants. Eye candy below if I did the attachment right...

post-13798-1212070559_thumb.jpg

This is an amazing plan. Who is proposing this and what is the liklihood of this coming to life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Planning (still) to relocate the rail yards. The L-E reported that the chamber thinks the 88-acre track has alot of commercial potential. That's true, but if that's all they're thinking, it's a very narrow vision of it's potential. I would hope the parcel would be offered to someone with the vision of Jacoby Development who re-developed a former steel mill site in Atlanta into Atlantic Station. A true mixed use development with retail, commercial, lodging, and residential. Golden Foundry hasn't been discussed, but it would make an awesome indoor mall!

64232642.oeMp0CnW.jpg

Atlantic%20Station%20Buildings.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see downtown columbus georgia build some highrise condos downtown.Phenix city across the river is suppose to be building highrise condos on their downtown riverfront. So i think downtown columbus should follow phenix citys feetsteps and do the samething and start building highrise condos or hotels in their downtown also.And i no the best spot downtown for columbus to start building the highrise condos or hotels downtown.My best spot is by the river behind the barbarbue restraunt near the tsys headquarters building. Some highrise condos and hotels would look good their near the empty land along the river in downtown columbus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Planning (still) to relocate the rail yards. The L-E reported that the chamber thinks the 88-acre track has alot of commercial potential. That's true, but if that's all they're thinking, it's a very narrow vision of it's potential. I would hope the parcel would be offered to someone with the vision of Jacoby Development who re-developed a former steel mill site in Atlanta into Atlantic Station. A true mixed use development with retail, commercial, lodging, and residential. Golden Foundry hasn't been discussed, but it would make an awesome indoor mall! Wow aboutmetro is that what downtown columbus georgia is talking about doing to downtown columbus like what the pictures below show with the highrise condos.I hope downtown columbus does still do this for real with downtown because downtown columbus would look good with highrise condos downtown

64232642.oeMp0CnW.jpg

Atlantic%20Station%20Buildings.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


At Uptown Columbus, Inc's - the non-profit that promotes downtown Columbus - annual meeting, Christopher Leinberger (website) will be speaking. He's with the Brookings Institute and an excellent speaker on urban development, walkable cities, etc. The luncheon is March 5th. Contact Uptown's offices (link) for info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At Uptown Columbus, Inc's - the non-profit that promotes downtown Columbus - annual meeting, Christopher Leinberger (website) will be speaking. He's with the Brookings Institute and an excellent speaker on urban development, walkable cities, etc. The luncheon is March 5th. Contact Uptown's offices (link) for info.

Maybe some of us on this forum should all join together and go to the luncheon and tell them being christopher leinberger want we want to see come to columbus and what we would like to see come to columbus. What I mean by what we would like to see come to columbus is like maybe some more fastfood restraunts or more hotels or maybe some midrise condos in midtown columbus and other stuff that you might want to see come to columbus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe some of us on this forum should all join together and go to the luncheon and tell them being christopher leinberger want we want to see come to columbus and what we would like to see come to columbus. What I mean by what we would like to see come to columbus is like maybe some more fastfood restraunts or more hotels or maybe some midrise condos in midtown columbus and other stuff that you might want to see come to columbus.

This is a policy discussion with a renowned expert in urban planning. If you'd want to suggest how specific types of businesses - particularly high density residential, as you suggest with mid-rise condos - work or don't work in a new urbanism planning model, and especially in a walkable communities policy discussion, then that would probably be welcome, assuming there's a questions and answer portion. And too, keeping in mind that this is an Uptown organization, though Mr. Leinberger also speaks to suburban walkable development. But this isn't really the venue to suggest specific restaurants or hotels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a policy discussion with a renowned expert in urban planning. If you'd want to suggest how specific types of businesses - particularly high density residential, as you suggest with mid-rise condos - work or don't work in a new urbanism planning model, and especially in a walkable communities policy discussion, then that would probably be welcome, assuming there's a questions and answer portion. And too, keeping in mind that this is an Uptown organization, though Mr. Leinberger also speaks to suburban walkable development. But this isn't really the venue to suggest specific restaurants or hotels.

The discussion was excellent. There was a pre-luncheon Q&A that was very informative. Basically - use the proposed trolley for light rail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to see some highrise condos or highrise hotels come to midtown columbus I would like to see some highrise condos or highrise hotels that are 13 to 14 stories or even maybe 20 to 25 story highrise condos or highrise hotels come to midtown columbus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding infill development of vertical residential and true mixed-use developments in Columbus, a representative from the Boulevard Group, a consultant used by the Columbus Housing Authority, said this:

"I just wanted to let you know that the designs for the Arbor Pointe and Ashley Stations are what we felt was most appropriate for the market. Cutting-edge urban development was not really what this market wanted. With short commutes, few folks are willing to live in denser (more urban) housing. It is just a different style of living, not better or worse. As the town grows in size, it is likely that the inner city will become a better market for more dense housing in the styles that you describe. We did consider other styles, but just determined that the product was not as marketable.

As for mixed-use, you asked about commercial and retail development on the sites. Yes, land is preserved on both the Ashley Station and Arbor Pointe sites to enable the development of commercial/retail businesses, as the market grows."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding infill development of vertical residential and true mixed-use developments in Columbus, a representative from the Boulevard Group, a consultant used by the Columbus Housing Authority, said this:

"I just wanted to let you know that the designs for the Arbor Pointe and Ashley Stations are what we felt was most appropriate for the market. Cutting-edge urban development was not really what this market wanted. With short commutes, few folks are willing to live in denser (more urban) housing. It is just a different style of living, not better or worse. As the town grows in size, it is likely that the inner city will become a better market for more dense housing in the styles that you describe. We did consider other styles, but just determined that the product was not as marketable.

As for mixed-use, you asked about commercial and retail development on the sites. Yes, land is preserved on both the Ashley Station and Arbor Pointe sites to enable the development of commercial/retail businesses, as the market grows."

I kind of figured that Ashley Station would probably be as good as it gets in Columbus. It's not bad at all considering the contrast it has with Atlanta suburbs... I just believe that they seriously need to pull and incorporate neighborhood retail into those developments and not just leave them like they are -- just homes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of figured that Ashley Station would probably be as good as it gets in Columbus. It's not bad at all considering the contrast it has with Atlanta suburbs... I just believe that they seriously need to pull and incorporate neighborhood retail into those developments and not just leave them like they are -- just homes.

It's too bad and kind of sad to have such a resigned attitude about Columbus' urban development and Ashley Station getting as good as it gets. Columbus is re-doing some of its older 'housing projects' and the results are a huge improvement. With public-private partnership, the Housing Authority is demolishing the old pre-war apartment homes and building garden-style apartments. Image below:

PeabodyHomes.jpg

Unfortunately, they're missing a golden opportunity to build more urban style mixed-use and vertical residential which requires less land and provides more housing near employment centers requiring less fuel thus generating less traffic, smog, commute times, and so on. In short, good urban planning... The city is facing serious air quality issues. This particular development is along what should some-day become a commuter rail line. But even without that, it is in an area that is convenient to major employment areas, schools and shopping. The government of all 'developers' should lead the way in good urban design and not allow such low expectations to persist in infill development. They should lead by example. Otherwise, they run the risk of being hypocrites... "do as I say, not as I do..." Where's the vision?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's too bad and kind of sad to have such a resigned attitude about Columbus' urban development and Ashley Station getting as good as it gets. Columbus is re-doing some of its older 'housing projects' and the results are a huge improvement. With public-private partnership, the Housing Authority is demolishing the old pre-war apartment homes and building garden-style apartments. Image below:

PeabodyHomes.jpg

Unfortunately, they're missing a golden opportunity to build more urban style mixed-use and vertical residential which requires less land and provides more housing near employment centers requiring less fuel thus generating less traffic, smog, commute times, and so on. In short, good urban planning... The city is facing serious air quality issues. This particular development is along what should some-day become a commuter rail line. But even without that, it is in an area that is convenient to major employment areas, schools and shopping. The government of all 'developers' should lead the way in good urban design and not allow such low expectations to persist in infill development. They should lead by example. Otherwise, they run the risk of being hypocrites... "do as I say, not as I do..." Where's the vision?

Well... you have to consider the simple fact that the demand heavily depends upon what is the preference of the residents in Columbus. In Atlanta, we have whole districts filled with young business professionals, college students, and everything in-between that falls in that (20-30) age bracket.

People move to Columbus for one of two reasons: because it's a significant departure from the hustle and bustle of urbanism (great for the elderly, retirees, and families with small children), or because of the military. Since military families are somewhat transient and do not HAVE to live in one area for a significant period of time, they really aren't bothered with the city as it is. Just as long as they have access to what they NEED, they are less likely to concern themselves over "extras"... and Fort Benning is doing a good job of downplaying the significance of Columbus to military families. They have multiple shopping centers, eateries, banks, healthcare, schools... and Chattahoochee County High is taking over what Spencer could no longer support. They have outlets for entertainment as well... and from what I've been told, many of the single soldiers bypass entertainment venues in Columbus, going to either Montgomery or Atlanta to club, etc. So Columbus kind of becomes the city over yonder to them... they only live there if nothing is available on post. I know this because I am a military brat, my grandmother works in Housing Services for the soldiers and she HAS to see all soldiers to process their paper work.

These reasons supplement another major factor that keeps the city from being visionary and having to change from what it's always been --- youth flight. When "we" youth graduate from high schools in places like this, the vast majority of us leave for places with better opportunities and a much more invigorating quality of life. The people of the city is comprised of families with small children or teens in high school, elderly, retirees, and middle aged folks with some youth meshing in between--- but most are in school. One question I asked myself is, "If I moved to a place because I love the quality of life that it offers me, then why would I want it to change into something different?" Hence the reason why many people have petitioned for a huge park and green space to go on the old Columbus Square Mall site instead of mixed use. I heard that MANY people were up in arms when an Atlanta developer suggested that they should build town homes and mixed use. So it's NOT the Government Centre that is at fault for Columbus being the way it is... it's the citizens.

Sadly to say... but it's going to literally take outlandish "Atlanta" like sprawl, budget strained city services trying to cover large areas, long commutes, wasted resources, and near L.A. like air pollution (because the valley that Columbus sits in is like that of a bowl) to convince the city to build upward, urban, and eco-friendly.

I like the Garden homes by the way... I hope they go through with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... you have to consider the simple fact that the demand heavily depends upon what is the preference of the residents in Columbus. In Atlanta, we have whole districts filled with young business professionals, college students, and everything in-between that falls in that (20-30) age bracket.

People move to Columbus for one of two reasons: because it's a significant departure from the hustle and bustle of urbanism (great for the elderly, retirees, and families with small children), or because of the military. Since military families are somewhat transient and do not HAVE to live in one area for a significant period of time, they really aren't bothered with the city as it is. Just as long as they have access to what they NEED, they are less likely to concern themselves over "extras"... and Fort Benning is doing a good job of downplaying the significance of Columbus to military families. They have multiple shopping centers, eateries, banks, healthcare, schools... and Chattahoochee County High is taking over what Spencer could no longer support. They have outlets for entertainment as well... and from what I've been told, many of the single soldiers bypass entertainment venues in Columbus, going to either Montgomery or Atlanta to club, etc. So Columbus kind of becomes the city over yonder to them... they only live there if nothing is available on post. I know this because I am a military brat, my grandmother works in Housing Services for the soldiers and she HAS to see all soldiers to process their paper work.

These reasons supplement another major factor that keeps the city from being visionary and having to change from what it's always been --- youth flight. When "we" youth graduate from high schools in places like this, the vast majority of us leave for places with better opportunities and a much more invigorating quality of life. The people of the city is comprised of families with small children or teens in high school, elderly, retirees, and middle aged folks with some youth meshing in between--- but most are in school. One question I asked myself is, "If I moved to a place because I love the quality of life that it offers me, then why would I want it to change into something different?" Hence the reason why many people have petitioned for a huge park and green space to go on the old Columbus Square Mall site instead of mixed use. I heard that MANY people were up in arms when an Atlanta developer suggested that they should build town homes and mixed use. So it's NOT the Government Centre that is at fault for Columbus being the way it is... it's the citizens.

Sadly to say... but it's going to literally take outlandish "Atlanta" like sprawl, budget strained city services trying to cover large areas, long commutes, wasted resources, and near L.A. like air pollution (because the valley that Columbus sits in is like that of a bowl) to convince the city to build upward, urban, and eco-friendly.

I like the Garden homes by the way... I hope they go through with that.

That's all well and good. But, I too am an Army brat of sorts. My mother is a retired Captains widow. She doesn't live on base and, though she gets health care on base, she does retail shopping both on base and off. New populations from BRAC will live off base. There are NO new homes being built on base for this new population. As gas prices go up, it's less attractive to drive to base than around the corner. Military families at my mothers church in North Columbus also, for the most part, do significant shopping in town.

Let's be clear, I'm not faulting the CCG for the perceived consumer demand for housing. I am faulting them for failure to lead and educate. Yes, more people with children probably showed up at public hearings related to the library. Most of those were of an interest group that are proponents of 'greenspace' and parks wherever and whenever. There was no alternate vision from the City or consulting planners the showed both could be easily incorporated at that site. And you should know that singles under 65 are typically a silent majority. In Columbus, for example, non-family and householder living alone makes up a majority of households. That's typical in metro areas. The more sophisticated non-public marketplace understands this demographic and caters to them. Governments typically do not.

I have nothing against garden homes, but in the scheme of urban planning, they have a place. My objection to these garden homes in this location by this developer is: 1) it is a rare site that is well situated for more urban vertical residential; 2) it is on a route that, if the right kind of developments were built (TOD's), would eventually support commuter rail and that ROW already exists there; and 3) that developer caters to a population that has fewer choices and therefore isn't as subject to whims of the consumer. And more generally, this developer (ultimately under the auspices of the local government - though through the Housing Authority - is the very entity that is or should be promoting more sustainable development.

Like I said, I like those kinds of apartments and I've lived in those kinds of apartments in suburban areas. Finding that housing choice in the marketplace isn't difficult, it exists everywhere. We need a developer willing to take the chance to build a different type. There's no empirical evidence right now to suggest they wouldn't work in Columbus. Your assessment of the demographic make up of Columbus might be a little skewed and off. The only way to know would be to 1) try them, or 2) have a better (than anecdotal) understanding of what drives housing choices of various demographics, and 3) look to similar markets. In the 3rd, when you look at Macon and August, for example, these markets have successful vertical apartment developments. Columbus has demographics that would suggest opportunities for success, including a slightly better educated population (higher percentage of bachelors degrees - I know, I was surprised too); and, in the case of Macon, slightly higher median income.

Again, this particular site is in the 'Medical District'. An area with nearby employment of educated, well paid people. Hence the success of this type of development in Augusta, for example.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.