Neighborhood Placemaking in the Riversouth District

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Following up on its success with the residential development Annex at RiverSouth, Lifestyle Communities recently began construction on the nearby Trautman Residential Development. The new apartment building is located at the corner of High and Rich Streets, where the Trautman building and a three story bank building formerly stood.

The eight story tower, which includes street-level commercial space and underground parking, is Lifestyle Communities’ first venture into building an urban highrise. With the popularity of downtown housing continuing to expand, the developer is taking the opportunity to turn the area into a multi-block neighborhood, with various amenities housed in structures of diverse scales. The classic architectural elements of the tower  – from pediments and pilasters to traditional building materials – impart a timeless feel to the structure. A “sister” tower is currently being planned for the southwest corner of the High and Rich Street intersection, expanding the neighborhood further.

See David B. Meleca of David B. Meleca Architects, LLC and Chase Miller of Lifestyle Communities at DesignColumbus 2015, where they will discuss placemaking in the development process, the importance of architectural language as branding, and the challenges of incorporating design-build into the urban context.

DesignColumbus 2015 will take place at COSI on April 20.

This year’s keynote speaker, Doug Kridler, is sponsored by The Columbus Foundation’s Green Funds.


2014 Keynote Speaker: A Cooperative Approach to Downtown Development

Guy WorleyAttend DesignColumbus 2014 to hear keynote speaker Guy V. Worley, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) President/CEO, describe the process of implementing the 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan. His presentation, “Rebuilding Downtown Columbus,” will focus on recent projects, including the Scioto Greenways project and the Scioto Peninsula Strategic Land Use Plan.

Vibrant communities rarely come into being as a result of strict top-down management. Therefore, when the CDDC (a private, non-profit development organization) and the City of Columbus worked with MKSK (formerly MSI Design) to update the city’s previous downtown business plan, they strove not to mandate specific solutions but rather to organize and align various stakeholders. The result was a plan that provides a framework around which diverse groups can come together to create a community.

Public input helped shape the 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan from its earliest phases – more than 1,000 public comments were received relating to the overall vision for downtown. Ultimately, the plan conceptualized downtown as being schematically divided into three areas: the north-south High Street Core; the Discovery District, dominated by educational facilities, to the east; and the Riverfront District, located to the west on the Scioto Peninsula, which offers a variety of civic and cultural amenities.

The Riverfront District has received extensive advancement over the last couple years, and as the Scioto Greenways project is completed and the Scioto Peninsula Strategic Land Use Plan is developed and implemented, cooperation between the public and private sectors continues to shape redevelopment efforts. Projects recently completely by the CDDC have also benefited from investment and sponsorship by local corporations. For example, construction of the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion at Columbus Commons was funded by a public-private partnership including the City of Columbus, AEP, Nationwide and more. Additionally, corporate partners sponsor events at Columbus Commons ranging from Downtown Live, a live concert series sponsored by Carter and the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, to Shakespeare in the Park, which is supported by the AT&T Foundation.

As Columbus continues to make strides in revitalizing its downtown, DesignColumbus 2014 attendees have the opportunity to learn about the Scioto Greenways project from initial idea to reality, including an update on the progress of construction. Additionally, “Rebuilding Downtown Columbus” will include an overview of the Scioto Peninsula Plan and its various components, including the public infrastructure and strategic investments in public spaces necessary to facilitate private development on the Peninsula.