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

Failed Project #2- Gay/Front City Office Tower

Beginning in 1984 and continuing into 1985, a parking garage/city office project was being tossed around to house an increasing number of city office works. Space had become tight and many existing buildings were more than 50 years old and required extensive renovations. The Daimler Group started construction on the 10-story garage part of the project at the southeast corner of W. Gay and N. Front in late 1984. The 16-story office project that would’ve been built on top (for a total 26-story building) was just one of 3 options the city was considering to alleviate its office problems. The other two options consisted of a $75 million civic center about a block north of City Hall, or simply renovating the existing buildings.

In the end, it was deemed that there were too many other problems to spend public dollars on. At the time, there was quite an issue with road maintenance funding, and the city deemed that it was not the right time to build a brand new tower for city workers. By April 1985, the project was dead, although the garage was finished and remains to this day.


The garage in 2015.

Ironically, within a few years, the city would have several much larger office towers. 5 new towers were built between 1986 and 1991, though not all were specifically built for city offices. Renovation of existing buildings has been ongoing since.

Cool Link of the Day: Before and After Worldwide

Similar to the Before and After posts of how Columbus has been changing, the link below from the site Urb-I, has hundreds of before and after photos of streetscape change in a host of world cities. Columbus itself is not included, but perhaps that can be changed as the site allows anyone to submit images.

http://www.urb-i.com/#!before-after/ceh8

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.

Before and After Google Special: 2007-Present Part 2

For the 2nd installment, let’s take a look at Downtown.

Location: W. Mound at S. High, facing southwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Mound at S. High Street, facing northwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Main at S. High, facing northeast.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Main Street, facing west.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015

Location: S. Front and W. Main, facing south.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Main and S. Front, facing north.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Town and S. Front, facing south.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Town and S. High, facing northwest.
Date: March 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Town and S. High, facing east.
Date: March 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Rich between S. High and 3rd, facing north.
Date: April 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Rich and S. 3rd, facing northwest.
Date: March 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: Civic Center Drive at the Riverfront, facing north.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: Broad and High, facing northeast.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Gay and S. Front, facing northwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in September 2015.

Location: E. Gay and S. 4th, facing east.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Gay and N. 5th, facing north.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Long and Normandy, facing southeast
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015

Location: Cleveland Avenue and E. Gay, looking northwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Gay and N. Grant, facing south-southwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2014.