This page highlights all development proposals and ideas that either never materialized or were canceled at some stage.
**Last Updated: 7/24/2019- Under reconstruction. 2 projects added on 7/24/2019
1967- Domed Sports Arena
A proposal for a 50,000 seat arena built within a rock quarry in Marble Cliff was floated after a study commissioned by the superintendent of the Columbus Recreation Department, Melvin Dodge, was completed. The study suggested that a large arena could be built inside an existing or tailor-made quarry site by building it on steel trusses and a double layer of inflatable plastic. While Dodge pushed City Council to explore the idea further, lack of interest, competition with existing city teams and infrastructure, and lack of financing prevented it from going much further.
1986- Ohio Penitentiary Mixed-Use Conversion- Coming Soon
$110 Million, 400 units
1987- Center Place- Coming Soon
230 s. High Street, 27 Stories, $50 million
1987-1992- Riverbend Place
In 1986, a parking garage was built at 40 N. Front Street. The garage was specifically designed and built to handle a multi-floor addition on top, and the following year, a 10-story, $23.5 million office building was proposed, making the entire building 19 stories in height. Originally, the city wanted to move some offices there, but when that plan fell through, other tenants were sought out. Midland Mutual was interested for a while, but that fell through as well. The project was supposed to open in 1988, but kept getting pushed back. In 1990, the LeVeque family became involved and pushed for a more mixed-use addition with 3 floors of condos, pushing the project to 20 stories and the price tag to near $40 million. The last mention I could find of this project was in 1991 when it was given a 50-50 chance of moving forward in 1992. It seemed either financing or a lack of potential tenants eventually killed this one. The garage still exists, and because it was built to handle more floors, a new proposal could one day still appear.
1988- Waterford Tower II- Coming Soon
1993- Capitol Place Tower
In 1990, the Columbus Dispatch, in partner with Galbreath Interests, proposed a $150 million, 42-story office tower for the parking lot at 50 S 3rd just south of the 34 S. 3rd Street Dispatch offices. Over the next few years, architectural designs were completed, financing was secured and a construction timetable called for groundbreaking in the fall of 1993. That summer, however, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of New York, the financiers, abruptly pulled out of the project. When no other financing partners stepped forward, the project was eventually canceled.
1994-1996- Soccer Stadium- Coming Soon
1997- Bicentennial Plaza Apartments- Coming Soon
71 W. Rich Street, 21 Stories
2005-2007- Cooper Stadium Motorcycle Mecca
In 2004, a study on the feasibility of renovating the old Cooper Stadium site estimated a cost of $38 million. Instead, city leaders began to look at building a new stadium for the Clippers in the Arena District. As that moved forward, they began to look into ideas to redevelop the stadium once minor league baseball moved out. One of those ideas, first mentioned in 2005, was to create a “motorcycle mecca”. The plan, proposed by Franklinton’s A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson would’ve left the stadium intact while building a hotel, restaurant, dealership and motorcycle racetrack. However, after 2 years of negotiations with the county, the proposal fell through by the fall of 2007.
Other proposals briefly thrown about early in the process included a soccer academy, an auto mall and a business and industrial park.
2008- Buggyworks Phase II- Coming Soon
400 W. Nationwide Boulevard, 23 Stories
2008-2019- SPARC at Cooper Stadium
In early May, 2008, it was announced that Arshot Investment Corp. was set to buy the 47-acre Cooper Stadium site for a race car complex, not so dissimilar from the previous motorcycle mecca proposal that had fallen through the year before. The proposal included a drag strip, half-mile racetrack, hotel and conference center. There was almost immediate neighborhood opposition due to noise concerns, but as 2009 and 2010 came and went, the project only expanded to include a mechanic’s school and auto technology center. 2010 also saw the first name for the proposal: Cooper Park. Despite the heavy local opposition, city and county leaders eventually approved the plan in 2011. Finally, in 2012, Franklin County sold the stadium site to Arshot, and the project took on its final name: The Sports Pavilion and Automotive Research Center, or SPARC. The $40 million proposal had further expanded with the addition of a restaurant and exhibition space. Construction of the project began in early 2013, with the partial demolition of Cooper Stadium. After that initial step, however, progress halted. Although there was sporadic news about it in 2014, 2015 and 2016, the site sat with no work, and the partial stadium deteriorated. By 2017, articles began emerging questioning the lack of progress, with Arshot dodging more questions than it answered, but insisting the project remained alive. There was no more news about the project for 2 more years until July, 2019, when it was officially announced that the project was dead. Arshot, which still owned the property, was now proposing a more “conventional” development, with apartments, offices and retail. The initial renderings did not include the last remaining portion of Cooper Stadium, a sad end to the 1932 building.
2011-2013- Discovery Commons
Developer George Berardi proposed a 5-story, 102-unit apartment building at 273-283 E. Spring Street. The $11.5 million project was mentioned several times and was brought to Downtown Commission meetings for review all the way through 2013, but has since faded away. The older buildings located at 283 E Spring were demolished in 2017, and the project proponents still own the property, so it’s possible another proposal could eventually pop up.
2012-2013- 15 W. Poplar Street
A 3-story, 3-apartment mixed-used project was proposed on the small sliver of land just off N. High Street behind the 670 Cap. As far as I know, the project never really moved beyond the basic proposal stage, as I have yet to find any information that it made it as far as concept or architectural review with the Victorian Village Commission. The proposal’s developer seems to have sold the property to a 15 W Poplar LLC in 2018, suggesting there may be movement on developing this highly desirable location at some point in the future.
2014-2016- Pearl and Prescott
In 2014, a 6-story, 13-unit apartment building was proposed for a site at 848 N. Pearl Street. Later iterations called for 5 stories and 14 condos. By 2016, the project was proposed as only offices. After that, there was not much more that came out, and the project seems dead.
2015-2016- Burwell Station
A 3-story, 4-unit mixed-use project was proposed as the 2nd phase of the Burwell series of developments near the corner of East 5th Avenue and Summit Street. Eventually, however, the 3rd phase of the project, Burwell Heights, became the dominant project and took over the space for Burwell Station.
2017-2018- Grand Central **Coming Soon**