Interview by Derek Grosso
There’s no denying that Downtown Columbus has undergone a rebirth in recent years. With nearly a dozen major projects completed in 2017 and more than 30 additional projects currently under construction or near completion – including the $74 million Michael B. Coleman Governmental Center opening this week – overall downtown investments total a whopping $1.3 billion, according to the State of Downtown Columbus 2017 mid-year report. The iconic LeVeque Tower has been re-imagined to include residences, a modern French brasserie and bar, and the Hotel LeVeque. Millennial Tower (which will rise 27 stories) has recently been approved by the Downtown Commission. Dining options have also increased, with recent additions like Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Cosecha Cocina, Fox in the Snow (German Village), and Juniper rooftop lounge joining the local restaurant scene. And there’s plenty more to come!
With all of the buzz surrounding our downtown, we asked a group of Downtown Columbus leaders to answer three questions: “Which project are you most excited to see coming to downtown Columbus in the next 1-2 years?,” “Where do you see (or, where would you like to see) downtown Columbus growing over the next 10-20 years?,” and “What are 3 things that downtown Columbus needs right now?”
Name: Jennifer Davis
Company and Job Title: Senior Marketing & Communications Manager at SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center
Which projects are you most excited to see coming to downtown Columbus in the next 1-2 years?
I’m looking forward to the opening of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, the new hotels near the convention center, the re-imagined North Market, and seeing the design chosen for our next parking garage.
Where do you see downtown Columbus growing over the next 10-20 years?
Downtown Columbus will continue to grow and become more dynamic thanks to “the Columbus Way” and spirit of collaboration cultivated by our city, county, business and arts leaders for the benefit of the community. Smart Columbus will bring new and refined transportation and sustainability options, and I hope the arts, Dine Originals Columbus restaurants, independent designers and festivals become as supported as our sports teams.
What are 3 things that downtown Columbus needs right now?
COTA’s Zoo Bus could operate more than seasonally and stop directly at the Greater Columbus Convention Center to benefit both GCCC event attendees and local residents. The CBUS is popular, and it would be great to add a BBUS that made a loop on Broad Street to and from the Columbus Museum of Art, COSI, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Broad & High Streets and when it opens, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. How about a Wine Walk to add to the Ale, Coffee and Made in CBUS Trails?
Read what other Downtown Columbus leaders had to say:
• Bob Bickis, Realtor at Smart Move Realtors and Catalyst at LiveDowntownColumb.US / WorkDowntownColumb.US / PlayDowntownColumb.US
• Kacey Brankamp, Program Director, Downtown CPass at Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District
• David Cofer, Executive Director at PACT (Partners Achieving Community Transformation)
• J. Averi Frost, Executive Director at Central Ohio African American Chamber of Commerce
• Branden Givand, Owner at Flying Gent Men’s Shop
• Brett Kaufman, CEO at Kaufman Development
• Jeff Lafever, Co-Founder/Tour Coordinator at Columbus City Adventures
• Bob Leighty, Executive Director at Parsons Area Merchants Association
• Amy Schmittauer Landino, President at Downtown Residents’ Association of Columbus
• Trent Smith, Executive Director at Franklinton Board of Trade
• Amy Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at Columbus Downtown Development Corporation/Capitol South
• Shiloh Todorov, Executive Director at German Village Society