How I Would Complete the Arena District

In the 2nd in this series of posts, I made maps for how I imagine the Arena District could be finished and made whole.

Here’s the link to the map. There are 2 pages, so be sure to check them both.

What I envision for this area is as follows:

-5 new parking garages, all at least 5 stories and 500 spaces. They would also be mixed-use with ground floor retail/restaurant space and potential residential above. 1 additional garage already built would be expanded.
-7 groups of historic buildings would be preserved. These could be converted to mixed-use spaces.
-10 existing buildings would be torn down and replaced with mixed-use development.
-11 new parks/green spaces would be created. The largest would be go in the large wooded lot south of Vine Street and north of the railroad tracks.
-A transit hub for light rail would be built at the railroad tracks just north of Nationwide Boulevard west of the Buggyworks complex. The location could serve trains going in any direction.
-New pedestrian/bike trails would be built from the Scioto River connecting to the new transit hub, as well as to a new parking garage behind the LC Pavilion and to the large central park south of Vine Street. The trail would then run parallel to the park, cross under 670 and connect with the Olentangy Trail.
-The old casino site would become the new home of a new/relocated stadium for the Columbus Crew.
-Broadbelt Lane would be extended past the new stadium site and then connect to W. Nationwide Boulevard. This would allow several new mixed-use buildings to go up around the stadium.
-A large public plaza would go in north of the stadium. It would potentially include a playground, skate park, public art pieces, barbeque areas and perhaps an outdoor skating rink.
-At least 22 surface lots would be replaced with mixed-use development, all at least 5 stories in height. Those closest to the Scioto would be minimum of 10 stories.
-Bike lanes would go on all major streets, and new sidewalks would be constructed where they either don’t exist or where they need to be connected.

So, what do you think of this plan?


So today I made several updates. I posted Christmas Day weather climatology and also added a new December Weather page. I updated the November Weather page with 2013 information and also updated the Columbus Development page with all recent proposals and updated project counts.


Columbus Area Housing Market- November

November home sales were down in Central Ohio for the 2nd straight month. One main reason seems to be the culprit: There just aren’t enough houses to go around. Hot urban markets simply have a limited stock of homes with very few going up for sale at any one time, and builders still have not been building very much since the recession. Combined, the total number of homes for sale has declined to levels not seen since the early 2000s. This explains why most markets are still seeing gains in home prices while overall sales have fallen from the year before.

The bottom line is that demand is outpacing supply, and that situation doesn’t look to change anytime soon, especially in the urban core.

Here are the stats for the 21 major areas of Franklin County that I look at housing stats for.

Top 10 November 2013 Sales Totals
1. Columbus: 701
2. Dublin: 52
3. Clintonville: 49
4. Gahanna: 38
5. Upper Arlington: 38
6. Hilliard: 36
7. Reynoldsburg: 36
8. Grove City: 35
9. Westerville: 31
10. Canal Winchester: 20

Top 10 November 2013 Sales Increases over November 2012
1. Downtown: +50.0%
2. Grandview Heights: +14.3%
3. Clintonville: +6.5%
4. Hilliard: +5.9%
5. Minerva Park: +0.0%
6. New Albany: +0.0%
7. Obetz: +0.0%
8. Gahanna: -2.6%
9. Reynoldsburg: -5.3%
10. Grove City: -5.4%

Top 10 Year-to-Date Sales Through November 2013
1. Columbus: 9,561
2. Dublin: 747
3. Upper Arlington: 678
4. Clintonville: 656
5. Westerville: 580
6. Grove City: 568
7. Hilliard: 533
8. Gahanna: 494
9. Reynoldsburg: 466
10. Pickerington: 291

Top 10 Year-to-Date Increases Through November 2013 Over 2012
1. Minerva Park: +46.2%
2. Pataskala: +31.3%
3. Gahanna: +30.3%
4. Reynoldsburg: +28.0%
5. Whitehall: +27.3%
6. Hilliard: +27.2%
7. Clintonville: +24.2%
8. Grove City: +23.7%
9. Westerville: +23.4%
10. Bexley: +22.5%
10. Downtown: +22.5%

Average Sales November 2013
Urban: 79
Suburban: 28.7
Urban without Columbus: 16.8

Average % Change November 2013 vs. November 2012
Urban: -7.1%
Suburban: -11.6%
Urban without Columbus: -6.5%

Average YTD Sales Through November 2013
Urban: 1,097.7
Suburban: 435.9
Urban without Columbus: 251.4

Average YTD % Change YTD Through November 2013
Urban: +14.9%
Suburban: +19.9%
Urban without Columbus: +14.4%

Top 10 Average Sales Price November 2013
1. New Albany: $614,687
2. Bexley: $456,365
3. Dublin: $344,341
4. Upper Arlington: $326,913
5. Downtown: $302,464
6. Worthington: $296,328
7. German Village: $271,656
8. Grandview Heights: $257,001
9. Pataskala: $196,158
10. Hilliard: $193,756

Top 10 Average Sales Price % Change November 2013 Over November 2012
1. Worthington: +59.6%
2. Pataskala: +38.0%
3. Downtown: +36.7%
4. Bexley: +32.5%
5. Obetz: +30.8%
6. New Albany: +28.6%
7. Dublin: +21.6%
8. Whitehall: +10.1%
9. Minerva Park: +10.0%
10. Pickerington: +10.0%

Top 10 Average Sales Prices YTD Through November 2013
1. New Albany: $541,931
2. Upper Arlington: $364,369
3. Bexley: $351,282
4. Dublin: $335,164
5. German Village: $297,832
6. Downtown: $286,470
7. Worthington: $249,979
8. Grandview Heights: $226,458
9. Hilliard: $215,966
10. Gahanna: $198,612

Top 10 Average YTD Sales Price % Change Through November 2013 vs. 2012
1. Whitehall: +17.2%
2. Minerva Park: +17.1%
3. Downtown: +15.5%
4. Upper Arlington: +13.0%
5. Obetz: +12.3%
6. Gahanna: +11.6%
7. Reynoldsburg: +8.5%
8. New Albany: +8.3%
9. Worthington: +8.1%
10. Bexley: +4.9%

Average Sales Price November 2013
Urban: $227,811
Suburban: $229,942
Urban without Columbus: $238,166

Average Sales Price Change November 2012 vs. November 2012
Urban: +12.5%
Suburban: +6.0%
Urban without Columbus: +13.7%

Average Sales Price YTD
Urban: $217,072
Suburban: $223,394
Urban without Columbus: $226,041

Average Sales Price % Change YTD
Urban: +6.3%
Suburban: +4.9%
Urban without Columbus: +6.6%

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets November 2013 (Based on Average # of Days for Listings to Sell)
1. Grandview Heights: 15
2. Westerville: 38
3. Clintonville: 40
4. Upper Arlington: 44
5. Hilliard: 47
6. Bexley: 49
7. Worthington: 57
8. Whitehall: 61
9. Dublin: 62
10. Minerva Park: 65
10. Obetz: 65

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets YTD
1. Worthington: 40
2. Grandview Heights: 44
3. Upper Arlington: 45
4. Clintonville: 50
5. Westerville: 52
6. Hilliard: 54
7. Bexley: 58
8. Gahanna: 59
9. Dublin: 62
10. Grove City: 64

Average # of Days Before Sale, November 2013
Urban: 57.4
Suburban: 89.4
Urban without Columbus: 56.3

Average # of Days Before Sale YTD
Urban: 60.6
Suburban: 62.7
Urban without Columbus: 60.2

Top 10 Lowest Market Housing Supplies (Based on # of Months to Sell all Listings)
1. Worthington: 1.6
2. Upper Arlington: 2.1
3. Hilliard: 2.2
4. Minerva Park: 2.2
5. Bexley: 2.3
6. Clintonville: 2.4
7. Westerville: 2.4
8. Gahanna: 2.6
9. German Village: 2.6
10. Grandview Heights: 2.6

A healthy housing supply is considered to be around 5 months. Anything less than 3 months is considered very low. All of the 21 areas I looked at were below 5 months, indicating a county-wide shortage.

Average # of Months to Sell All Listings, November 2013
Urban: 2.8
Suburban: 3.6
Urban without Columbus: 2.7

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales November 2013 vs. November 2012
Urban: -1.7%
Suburban: -12.6%
Urban without Columbus: -0.5%

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales YTD vs. YTD 2012
Urban: +9.3%
Suburban: +19.4%
Urban without Columbus: +8.2%

Average % Change of Condo Sales November 2013 vs. November 2012

Urban: +23.3%
Suburban: +52.8%
Urban without Columbus: +26.6%

Average % Change of Condo Sales YTD vs. YTD 2012
Urban: +27.6%
Suburban: +26.4%
Urban without Columbus: +28.3%

How I Would Develop Southeast Downtown

The southeastern corner of Downtown will be getting a relative boost in the next few years, thanks to the Mound Street Connector, currently under construction. As part of the I-70/I-71 rebuild, a new ramp will run from westbound I-70 into Downtown via Mound Street, which currently is a dead end at the Split. It has been that way since the highway was constructed in the early 1960s. The city of Columbus recently came out with development guidelines for the Mound Street Corridor concerning preferred type of development, preferred heights, etc. I wanted to make my own map of how I would redevelop this long-neglected part of Downtown if I had the ability.

This is the map I came up with:

The area I looked at is bounded by Main Street to the north, 71 to the east, 70 to the south and 3rd Street to the west.

Some of the details include:
-The creation of 2 gateways into Downtown, one on Mound and the other on Main Street. The gateways could include some kind of large public art sculpture, signature signage and landscaping, or really anything that provides a welcoming entrance into the heart of the city.
-20-25 historic buildings that currently exist in this part of the city would be preserved. Any historic commercial buildings would remain as such or converted to mixed used with residential above and ground-floor retail. Historic homes would be restored (if needed) and kept as residential buildings or perhaps used for small businesses.
-4 new CoGo stations would be built.
-Currently, several streets have incomplete or non-existent sidewalks. These would be completed along with landscaping.
-Mound Street’s original street grid would be restored. That means connecting the sections between Grant and S. 5th Street.
-Noble Street’s original street grid would be restored, also between Grant and S. 5th Streets. Both new sections of Mound and Noble would have sidewalks and landscaping.
-17 major street intersections would be rebuilt with brick. Pedestrian priority walks and signaling would be installed.
-4th Street would be converted to 2-ways with a landscaped central median.
-All major streets would have designated bike lanes.
-3 pedestrian/bike greenways would be created. The first would run along Waldo Alley from Fulton Street to the south to Walnut Street to the north. The 2nd would run from Fulton Street to the south to Rich Street to the north. Finally, the 3rd would run along Lazelle Street from Fulton Street to the south to Town Street to the north. The paths would be landscaped and would have bike and pedestrian lanes. Cafes and other small eateries could line certain sections, and they could also potentially be the site of markets and other events. Adjacent residential/mixed-use buildings would have direct access to these paths.
-31 buildings would be torn down. These would be non-historic, low-rise buildings with non-adaptable uses and suburban layouts.
-These 31 along with 21 other surface lots would be replaced with mixed-use development for a total of 52 new buildings. The minimum height being 5-10 stories depending on the location. Mixed-uses would include residential over retail/offices.
-Over 60 surface lots in all would be replaced with some kind of development.
-6 new parking garages would be strategically built to serve new development needs with a minimum of 3,000 spaces. Ground-floor retail would be included, and the garages would be built with the potential to add residential/offices on top.
-13 new parks or green spaces would be created.

What do you think? It’s just a wish list I want to see and a fun little exercise more than anything. Obviously, private/public developers would have to step forward. Not to mention that the 31 tear downs just might object to losing their buildings. Oh well… we can all dream, can’t we?

Columbus’ Changing Transit Scene

There’s been some discussion over the last few years about how driving habits are changing nationally. I’ve seen at least a few reports suggesting that overall driving is actually on the decline and has been for some time. This even while the population of the US continues to rise. A new report has come out detailing the changing habits of cities. Here is how Columbus and other Ohio cities fared.

Percent Change in Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled from 2006-2011
Columbus: -5.7%
Dayton: -0.2%
Akron: +1.2%
Cleveland: +5.1%
Youngstown: +5.4%
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Columbus saw the largest drop in vehicle miles traveled, indicating that people there are driving less. Northeast Ohio all saw increases, which goes against the national trend. Toledo and Cincinnati did not have comparable numbers.

Percent Change in Per-Capita Passenger Miles Traveled on Mass Transit 2005-2010
Columbus: +1.6%
Dayton: -0.6%
Akron: -2.8%
Youngstown: -8.3%
Toledo: -28.8%
Cleveland: -34.2%
Cincinnati: -34.8%

Columbus was the only city to see an increase in its mass transit miles. Cleveland, Cincinnati saw drops of more than 1/3rd.

Change in the Proportion of Workers who Commuted by Car, 2000-2011

Dayton: -1.5%
Columbus: -1.2%
Toledo: -1.0%
Youngstown: -1.0%
Akron: -0.8%
Cleveland: -0.4%
Cincinnati: -0.2%

All 7 saw declines.

Change in the Proportion of Workers who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
Columbus: +0.3%
Akron: +0.1%
Cleveland: +0.1%
Dayton: +0.1%
Toledo: +0.1%
Cincinnati: +0%
Youngstown: +0%

Columbus saw the largest increase of all 7, although the actual changes are all small. No city measured in the US saw a change of more than +1.7%. The majority of cities were less than 0.3%.

Change in the Proportion of Workers Who Worked From Home, 2000-2011
Columbus: +1.4%
Cincinnati: +0.9%
Dayton: +0.8%
Cleveland: +0.6%
Toledo: +0.6%
Youngstown: +0.6%
Akron: +0.5%

Columbus again leads, though all cities saw increases.

Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2006
Cleveland: 8,285
Youngstown: 8,806
Akron: 9,379
Columbus: 9,956
Dayton: 10,084
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2011
Cleveland: 8,705
Youngstown: 9,284
Columbus: 9,385
Akron: 9,490
Dayton: 10,068
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2005
Cleveland: 172.0
Cincinnati: 110.0
Dayton: 64.7
Columbus: 52.6
Toledo: 51.6
Akron: 42.9
Youngstown: 17.3

Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2010
Cleveland: 113.0
Cincinnati: 71.8
Dayton: 64.1
Columbus: 53.4
Akron: 41.7
Toledo: 36.7
Youngstown: 15.9

% of Workers who Traveled by Car, 2011
Cleveland: 89.2%
Columbus: 89.8%
Cincinnati: 90.6%
Dayton: 91.4%
Akron: 92.5%
Toledo: 93.1%
Youngstown: 94.4%

National Rank (of 100 cities) in the % Change for those who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
Columbus: 15th
Dayton: 37th
Cleveland: 38th
Akron: 39th
Toledo: 49th
Cincinnati: 74th
Youngstown: 81st

% Change of Households with No Vehicle, 2006-2011

Akron: +2.2%
Dayton: +1.0%
Cleveland: +0.9%
Columbus: +0.9%
Cincinnati: -0.3%
Toledo: -0.4%
Youngstown: N/A

% Change of Households with 2+ Vehicles, 2006-2011
Toledo: -4.2%
Akron: -3.6%
Dayton: -2.8%
Cleveland: -2.6%
Columbus: -1.4%
Cincinnati: -1.1%
Youngstown: N/A

So what does all this data tell us? Well, for the most part, all Ohio cities are seeing car use decline in some way or another. Columbus performs strongly in car use declines and increases in at-home workers and increases in bike commuting. Mass-transit was where it performed the weakest, where it’s middle of the pack. Yet even there, it saw increases in its use.

Full study link: