How I Would Redevelop Westland Mall

*Republished 1/21/2016.

Next up on the easy reposts is this Google Map I made about redeveloping the Westland Mall site. It was recently announced that Westland Mall will very likely be torn down sometime later this year, but the current owners have not yet given any details on a potential redevelopment plan. Here is the article about Westland’s imminent doom: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/12/09/Westland-Mall-uncertain-future.html

What I would like to see go into this huge site is a new neighborhood that employs a lot of urban-style characteristics. That means low to mid-rise mixed-use buildings that surround a large urban park. The buildings would contain ground floor retail with residential above. Offices, markets and hotel space would also be included in the new neighborhood. The buildings would front both West Broad and Georgesville Road. New multi-use paths would connect this development to existing paths on Georgesville and to the miles-long Camp Chase Trail along the railroad tracks near Sullivant and Georgesville. The main central park would have playground space, a ball field or two, and perhaps even a small pond. Bike lanes would go throughout, along with wide sidewalks for potential restaurant and retail patio space. Basically, this would be like the West Side’s version of the Bridge Park development in Dublin. Read more about that project here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/09/15/Dublin-bridge-park-project-underway.html This would end up being a hugely transformative project for the West Side in a way that the new casino never could be. I suspect, however, that the developer will go with some kind of single-story, single-use big box retail concept like a Walmart, along with fast food outlets near West Broad. Hopefully, that is not the case and they are more forward thinking.

So here is the map I made on the general idea of what I think should happen: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zjN5g-xqXg7o.kzt8Is9kvs04&usp=sharing

In the past, I have made similar redevelopment maps for other areas. Check them out too!
Arena District West: http://allcolumbusdata.com/?p=2243
Southeast Downtown: http://allcolumbusdata.com/?p=2152

Before and After Google Special: 2007-Present Part 3

In the 3rd installment, we look at the Arena District/Far Northern Downtown area.

Location: N. High and W. Nationwide Blvd, looking northwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and N. Front, looking northeast.
Date: July 2007

Same location in May 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and John H. McConnell Blvd., facing north-northwest.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. at Neil Avenue, facing north.
Date: October 2007

Same location in July 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. at Neil Avenue, facing northwest.
Date: October 2007

Same location in July 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and Huntington Park Lane, facing north.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and Hanover Street, facing south.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and Hanover Street, facing west.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: Neil Avenue and Broadbelt Lane, facing west-northwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: Neil Avenue and Vine Street, facing southwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: Vine Street and Convention Center Drive, facing south.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: N. High and Vine Street, facing west-southwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: N. High Street at the Convention Center, facing north-northwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Random Columbus Photos #2

Photo Date: Unknown, Pre-1910
Location: The southeastern corner watchtower of the Ohio Penitentiary site.

The old Ohio Penitentiary first opened up in 1834. The most iconic building of the complex was that which lined West Spring Street and built during the Civil War. It can be seen in the background of the photo as the light building. The Ohio Pen had an interesting, and occasionally disastrous, life. On April 21, 1930, a massive fire broke out that would kill 322 inmates and become the worst prison fire in United State history. At its peak in 1955, the prison held over 5,200 inmates. After that year, the prison population steadily declined, and in 1984, the prison transferred its final inmates to other facilities, effectively ceasing operations. About 12 years later, a portion of the outer wall collapsed onto some cars, and the city began to aggressively plan a new life for the site. In 1998, despite some protests to save some of the historic buildings, the entire complex was demolished to make way for new development as part of the Arena District. Today, the only reminder of the prison site is that the eastern edge of McPherson Commons park runs along the same line as the original outer wall.

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.
http://goo.gl/maps/t0Xw1

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?