Costs approved for revamp of downtown Columbus entrance plaza

The city of Columbus is providing $450 thousand dollars toward the design and construction costs in a project to redo the plaza at the entrance to the downtown area.

The plaza includes the POW/MIA and law enforcement memorials as well as the Robert D. Garton Veterans Plaza just off of the Second Street bridge. The plaza is about an acre and a half in size and is two half circle pieces of property just off the bridge and flanking either side of the road.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission and Landmark Columbus through the Columbus Design Institute had issued a request for qualifications to choose a designer for the property in February. That drew 18 designers interested in working in Columbus. The committee interviewed five designers earlier this month and and have selected their final candidate. Announcement of the final decision is scheduled later this month.

The property was last redesigned in 2000 by Michael VanValkenburgh and Associates. The goal is to transform the gateway to be safer, more attractive and accessible, to maintain greenspace and to allow more activity and interaction.

The Redevelopment Commission approved the request for funds from the Columbus Design Institute at its meeting this week.