City Council approves $2.6 million for former Fair Oaks revamp

The city of Columbus is planning to spend $2.6 million dollars in preliminary work on the former Fair Oaks Mall site, to turn it into NexusPark.

Columbus City Council was asked to approve the additional appropriation this week. It includes include Perkins + Will as architect for about $1.5 million and Taylor Brothers as construction manager for about $685,000. There is also a pool of over $442,000 that would be used for various expenses including demolishing the former Goodies store space, permits and other expenses, says Mary Ferdon, director of administration for the city.

The first phase for the city will include a fieldhouse where the former Goodies store now stands, and administration offices for the city parks department, fitness areas and locker rooms and activity spaces.

The $2.6 million would initially come from the city’s General Fund, but that would be reimbursed once bonds are sold for the construction, Ferdon said.

Money for the construction of the fieldhouse will come from bonds repaid through local income tax revenues, while the other parks-related functions will be paid for by bonds backed by property taxes for parks.

Councilwoman Elaine Hilber expressed concerns, including that the first phases do not include any funds for changes at Donner Center, where the parks offices are currently located.

City Council gave its first approval to the spending at its meeting Tuesday. Hilber voted against the proposal.