Riverfront project wins commission approval

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission has approved just under half a million dollars in a contract to begin the design and permitting work for a new downtown riverfront project.

The area in question is between the bridges on Second and Third Street. Last month, the commission heard a presentation on a plan by the Hitchcock Design Group for that area.

Last night, the commission formally adopted the plan and agreed to pay for further development at a cost of just over $496,000 dollars.  Heather Pope, the city’s redevelopment director explained.

The costs would include $219,000 for Phase I, preliminary design services, and $260,000 for Phase II, design development and permitting. There is also a fee for other services of $17,900.

The Redevelopment Commission has a $500,000 upper limit on the spending it can authorize before needing the approval of City Council Although the commission is under the $500,000 cutoff, they still plan to get city council approval for the spending, said Pope.

Pope cautioned that the contract would take the project right up to the point where applications can be made to regulatory bodies that control the riverfront.

But after that, there is no guarantee that the city’s plans would be approved.


Money for the project would come from revenue in the city’s tax increment financing district — a portion of property taxes paid by owners in the district that are scooped up by the commission for development projects.

Pope said the contracts would next go to the City Council for approval, likely next month.