City commission approves funds for NexusPark design plans

The city of Columbus is moving money around to pay for final plans for the revamped Fair Oaks Mall project.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission approved shifting $450 thousand dollars for the project, when the commission met earlier this week.

The city’s director of administration and community development Mary Ferdon and parks director Mark Jones made a presentation to the commission at its meeting this week, outlining the need to pay for the final master plans for the NexusPark project. They stressed the long-standing need to move the city’s parks and recreation department offices to a newer facility than the more than 80-year old Donner Center, as well as community interest in providing more public spaces for health and wellness activities, and a fieldhouse for indoor sports.

The commission agreed to move $450,000 as a grant from the city’s central tax increment financing district to the newly established mid-town TIF district. The funds would go to hire the MKSK engineering firm to complete the exterior master planning, design and construction documents for the revamped mall site. The contract will cost about $427,000.

Ferdon said the work on the fieldhouse should start late this year, and renovation on the new parks and recreation facilities in the former mall by this summer.