Columbus officials have announced redevelopment plans for the North Market.
Mike Foley has details.
The existing North Market building will be preserved, but Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther says there are big changes for the parking lot.
“A 35-story, mixed-use skyscraper. The new edition will include an expansion of the North Market, a new public outdoor plaza, a public two-story grand atrium, and 291 additional public parking spaces."
Last year, the city began a Request for Proposals with three goals, enhance the North Market to make it sustainable, preserve its cultural integrity and address the market’s operation during development. Of the seven proposals received, the city opted for the plan by Wood Companies/Schiff Capital. The development team will invest more than $100 million into the project, but also receive a 15-year, 100% tax abatement. Mark Wood says the design allows for market expansion and increases the public space.
“The first four floors of the development are masonry-based, very much respecting the surrounding neighborhood. This will be a mixed-used development. There will be underground parking, and that will be designated solely to the market’s use. The first and second floors will have retail, restaurant, office, additional market space, and this grand atrium that will create a great social spot for the customers of the North Market customers.”
Columbus Development Director Steve Schoeny says the plan will increase the market’s daily customer base.
“We’re going to have 200 residential units sitting on the spot where all of you are standing now, where the North Market becomes the kitchen, the garden, the prep area for those residents. It becomes their refrigerator, it becomes their basis for how they live, and this becomes one of the places in the city where you can truly live a modern, urban lifestyle. Part of the reason the tower is so tall is because they have pulled it back from the street, so that at the street you don’t have this overwhelming Manhattan-style skyscraper up to the sidewalk. You have a different feel of the street but yet you still have a landmark that brings people to the market.”
“I don’t feel as though the sky is falling around the North Market.”
Marty McGreevy and her Market Blooms business have been a part of the North Market since 1990. While she admits being surprised initially by the height of the building – roughly 400 feet tall – she says the community space and the transition from the market to the market tower should enhance what the North Market currently offers.
“People are very passionate about the North Market and no one wants it to change, but something has to change for the fresh to survive. So to fear the change, I won’t. The bigger fears for fresh have been the opening of Trader Joes and Whole Foods and Giant Eagle, which has taken a lot of our customers. So I’m hoping that people living and working down here will utilize the market for their grocery needs and support the soul of the market.”
The city will hold public meetings for input on the design. The first of those will take place May 9th, although the place and time haven’t been decided. Officials are hoping to finalize the concept by September. Construction will begin next spring with an estimated construction time of two years.