Large crowd turns out for Fair Oaks meeting

WRB staff photo

The first of four public sessions to discuss the master plan for the Fair Oaks Mall property was held Thursday night at the mall.

The Fair Oaks Community Development Corporation, made up of Columbus Regional Health, The Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County and the City of Columbus, have contracted with MKSK to develop a Master Plan. Eric Lucas, project lead for MKSK, explained to a standing-room only crowd that, while there are no set plans in place, the idea is to turn the property into a sports complex and office space for the city parks department. Some health services provided by CRH would also be included. Connectivity to other parks and the people trails system would also be addressed.

Lucas explained that MKSKS is also looking to optimize space at Donner Park and Donner Center. While the mall is structurally sound and capable of being modified, the Donner Center building has little adaptive use. Engineers note the age of the building, a number of deferred-maintenance issues that have led to damage and ADA compliance issues offer a set of challenges on what can be done with the structure. As for the park property, it is believed that connectivity and parking could be improved.

The second public meeting is set for Aug. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the mall.

You can get more information about the Fair Oaks Mall project, as well as offer your suggestions, online at