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?