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Design for New Downtown Riverfront Park Approved

A new three-acre riverfront park got a final stamp of approval from the Downtown Commission this morning.

The park is designed to complement a bike and pedestrian bridge – already approved by the commission – which will connect the Olentangy Trail to the western terminus of Nationwide Boulevard, where a new soccer stadium is currently under construction.

The new greenspace will also serve as an amenity for Confluence Village, a mixed-use development that is planned for the land that sits between the river and the stadium.

Brad Westall, Greenways Planner for the City of Columbus, presented the latest iteration of the plan for the park to the board at its July 28 virtual meeting.

“We’re obviously very interested in making this pedestrian-friendly and to make it a gathering place for special events,” Westall said, “but to also honor the desire of the public to have access to the river and to the Downtown riverfront.”

Westall explained that a new boat ramp on the site has been redesigned with the needs of kayakers in mind, and that the city hopes to make kayaks available for rent at the location.

Also approved at this month’s meeting was an updated plan for two large parking garages that will sit at the western edge of the Scioto Peninsula development. Spaces for murals have been added to the garages; one on the south side of State Street and two on the north.

The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation will be in charge of commissioning artwork to be displayed on the buildings.

Finally, a plan for a 30-unit apartment building on East Rich Street was also heard by the commission. The project, which has already been presented several times to the Historic Resources Commission, also calls for the renovation of two historic homes. It was well received by the Downtown Commission, but will need to return to the board for final approval.

The plan for murals on two parking garages in the Scioto Peninsula development. Rendering by Mode Architects.
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Brent Warren

Brent Warren is a staff reporter for Columbus Underground covering urban development, transportation, city planning, neighborhoods, and other related topics. He grew up in Grandview Heights and has a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from OSU.

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