Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Much Ado About City Center

(insert your own city center joke here)

As all of you readers who have ever been in Columbus, Ohio know, City Center is a failing mall. There are about three food stores in it, and really nothing else. Over the years, the mall has fallen from its once popular status to that of a derelict car on the side of the road. Anyways, the mall is going to be closed in early March and destroyed, all part of Mayor Coleman's plan for redevelopment. Hey, at least it is better then his streetcar idea.



Anyways, Coleman will destroy the mall (which the city took over after the owner forgot to pay rent) and invest at least $165 MILLION dollars at redeveloping a location downtown where nobody lives and nobody wants to use. That seems like such a smart idea. I do not know why, but Coleman really seems to think that changing how City Center looks, making it a park and an open-air market with restaurants and the like will work. How is this going to work in the winter? How is this going to change what already is there?

In all honesty, I can not see how this could help make the area work. The restaurants will face the same problems. The same number of people will go. And, quite frankly, it will be less popular in the winter. It seems as if Mayor Coleman is chasing a pipe dream. But, I mean, this is the guy who thought up street cars, so what else would you expect?

But, the rub is, I actually think that we need to fix City Center in some way. I am behind the idea of creating an open market atmosphere, but I question if it will work or not. The location is an eye sore, and it is just losing the city money. Really, this might be the best solution, but it is not what I would do. Frankly, I would find companies that are interested in the idea, and promise them two years of free rent if they promise to stay there for five. Think about it, wouldn't that work?

Anyways, I believe that we need to do something, but what should we do. I think that the investment is a bad idea, but it is a step in the right direction. What do you all think?

2 comments:

Jeff Lehner said...

I don't have any specific ideas as to what should be done with the City Center space, but I note that Mayor Coleman proposes this re-development at a time when Columbus is (considering, reportedly) cutting police officers. That's not defensible.

And I note that one of the talking points of 'stimulus' supporters these days (see Barney Frank on MTP Sunday morning) is that it will keep cops on the street. Disconnect.

Ben said...

I dont have any ideas either, but seems like it wont work.

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