Columbus gets a cool university village
In continuation of yesterday’s entry on built examples of the ‘next university’, here’s one that’s a sign of where things are going, this one at Ohio State University in Columbus.
South Campus Gateway is a $150M four-block mixed-use urban village located between the University and one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, with 30+ retail shops, university office space, multiplex cinema and nearly 200 rental apartments. 2-bedroom ‘loft apartments’ with great views and 10-ft. ceilings will rent for $1200-$1300 – not bad considering how many students double up.
One feature that shouldn’t be overlooked? It actually has a paseo of sorts, that evasive, ever so un-American pedestrian-only street. However, it’s unclear if many of the restaurants and shops will be indies… probably not, though Rome wasn’t built in a day.
…and $35M of it was paid for by New Market Tax Credits, if you read last Friday’s entry.
I actually live in the South Campus Gateway here in Columbus on the OSU campus and it amazes me that so much (40%?) of the retail space still remains unleased after 1 1/2 years or so.
I have to ask myself what this bodes for our city’s vision of a revitalized downtown, with mixed-use projects aplenty, if such a project with lots of foot traffic AND ample parking is having a difficult time getting to the right mix.
Of course there are thousands of variables that go into the success mix for developments like this but it is good to finally have one to study in urban Columbus.
As a side-note there are really NO indy type spots here. My roommate owns a start-up restaurant that is the first in a planned franchise business called Pesto and he had to fight to get in here…from what I understand they are being very selective.