Dublin Villager

Bridge Street District

River development may carry $29.5M price tag

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The three critical pieces of development in the river corridor of the Bridge Street District identified at Dublin's State of the City address carry a $29.5 million price tag.

The relocation of Riverside Drive, a pedestrian bridge and a riverside park were recently identified by Dublin staff as catalysts for development along the east and west sides of the Scioto River near state Route 161.

During a March 4 meeting between Dublin City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission members, preliminary costs were divulged, including $9.7 million for the relocation of Riverside Drive, $12 million for the pedestrian bridge and $7.8 million for about 20 acres of parkland on the east and west sides of the river.

During the March 14 State of the City Address, Terry Foegler, Dublin's director of strategic initiatives and special projects, said those three items are needed to spur redevelopment along the river in the Bridge Street District.

The city began plans for redevelopment in the Bridge Street District in 2009, aiming for more dense, walkable, urban style development in Dublin's core that runs along state Route 161 between Sawmill Road and the Interstate 270/U.S. Route 33 interchange.

Darren Meyer, principal of consulting company MKSK, said March 4 the three catalysts work together, although the realignment of Riverside Drive may have to come first.

"It's the linchpin piece of the east side moving forward," he said. "It has impacts on the future park land and impacts on future development."

The realignment of Riverside Drive will free up land on the east side of the river for a park that is expected to take up about 12 acres.

Uses for the east side park currently planned include trails on the land and in the river, as well as views of the Scioto River.

"Views of the river will reveal the asset that is overlooked because it's so heavily wooded right now," Meyer said.

The parks on both sides of the river will also act as a landing point for the pedestrian bridge near North Street on the west side and Dale Drive on the east.

Paul Endres of Endre Studio worked on the design for the pedestrian bridge and March 4 said after looking at several designs, an s-shaped suspension ring cable bridge with one tear-drop shaped tower would be most fitting in the area.

"The single tower would be made of stone very similar to the stone in the historic neighborhood," Endres said. "We tried to keep the new bridge part of the old, historic fabric."

The realignment of Riverside Drive, pedestrian bridge and riverside parks could bring a hotel, two- and three-story townhomes, and as much as 315,000 square feet of office space, 217,000 square feet of retail and a $279 million in private investments when the area reaches build out, Meyer said.

Development on the west side of the river could include apartments, retail and office space at the proposed North Riverview development, a possible new site for the Dublin branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and more housing and retail at 94 N. High Street, for an anticipated total of 135 apartments, 44,000 square feet of office and 39,000 square feet of retail.

Although the March 4 meeting and State of the City provided a few details about development for the river corridor, more information is expected in a report due next month.

Foegler said the report should include more details about costs, land acquisition and other development elements.

City Manager Marsha Grigsby said the information should be available as the city begins planning for the annual update of its five-year capital improvement plan that outlines future projects in Dublin.

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