Group seeks public input: Residents can guide plan for neighborhood

The city will seek the public’s input during a three-day workshop to guide future development in central Columbus.

The Central Columbus Neighborhood, near the former Golden Castings Foundry, has seen a transition over the past six years as several former factories have been replaced with multi-family developments or re-purposed as stores and restaurants, said Emilie Pinkston, senior planner with the city-county planning department.

The area for the proposed neighborhood plan has a southern boundary at Sixth Street just north of Cummins’ Columbus Engine Plant and a northern boundary of 19th Street between Chestnut Street and Lincoln Park.

Assessments of the neighborhood and ideas for its future will be discussed during the Oct. 24 to 26 workshop.

One of the new developments is an apartment complex project by Herman & Kittle Properties Inc., Indianapolis, that will result in 209 apartments by next summer. The company is building two, four-story apartment buildings as part of the $28.3 million project at 1616 10th St.

The company also plans to build a 40-unit complex as part of a $6.2 million workforce development housing project known as the Lofts at Ashford that would be located across from Ashford Park. However, that proposed project at 10th Street and Hutchins Avenue is dependent on whether Herman & Kittle Properties Inc. is granted tax credits by the state, said Caroline Diamond, senior development analyst with the company.

The planning department has been collecting data by evaluating existing land uses and looking at owner- and renter-occupied housing in the area while also working to determine what the neighborhood’s needs are, Pinkston said. That information is being used to help create recommendations for the area, she said.

The Oct. 24 workshop from 6 to 8:30 p.m. will focus on a presentation that describes the current conditions of the neighborhood and the intent of the Columbus Neighborhood Plan. Participants will be able to discuss neighborhood assets, concerns, opportunities for improvement and what they think the neighborhood should look like in 10 to 20 years, Pinkston said.

The Oct. 25 workshop from 6 to 7 p.m. will allow community members to see the results of the previous evening’s discussions. Attendees also will be able to see and comment on preliminary recommendations for locations of new homes, apartments and businesses in the area, in addition to street and sidewalk improvements and design guidelines.

A closing presentation will be given during the final evening of the workshop from 6 to 7:30 p.m. that will include draft recommendations for future development and improvements in the neighborhood, Pinkston said. Community members can attend whichever workshop works best for them based on their schedules, she said.

The city approved a contract in May for $83,500 with Design Collective, an urban planning firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, to create the Central Columbus Neighborhood Plan, expected to be released in the spring. It will include recommendations of locations for new homes, apartments and businesses, the overall form and character of new development and streetscape improvements such as sidewalks and street trees.

It will also address transportation improvements such as street upgrades and improvements to transit, bicycle and pedestrian routes, Pinkston said.

For more information

For more details on the Oct. 24 to 26 Central Columbus Neighborhood Plan workshop, visit the planning department’s website at columbus.in.gov/planning/columbus-current-projects/.

More information: 812-376-2550

If you go

What: Three-day public workshop for Columbus Central Neighborhood Plan

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 24; 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 25; and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26.

Where: United Way of Bartholomew County, 1531 13th St., in the lower level next to the Columbus Bike Co-op.

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com