Planned Neighborhood: Blog 5, Brownfield Redevelopment Update

The current site is located on the East Side of Columbus, near the Franklin Park Conservatory and Bexley, OH. The site is accessible through Oak Street and Kelton Avenue. There are three brick buildings on the site in various states of disrepair, the foliage on site is overgrown, and there is litter in and around the area. The Trolley Barn Block Watch set up with the 12th Precinct of Columbus police covers the neighborhood surrounding Franklin Park, lowering crime levels in and around the site.

Street view of the current lot



Street view of the current lot

Our group has the vision of creating a space that will not only stimulate the economy of the area, but work towards building a vibrant and cohesive community. We imagine spaces that will narrow divides and provide a forum for unity. Planned Neighborhood aims to develop a local produce hub along with a community-learning center. In addition our plan is to include a local brewery and tap house that will provide the nearby residents with a relaxing get away from their normal hustle and bustle. This development will be named The Trolley Barn Block.


The Westernmost side of the site will house our Barn Brewery and parking area.



Current conditions, westernmost building


Current conditions, westernmost building


Bar name and logo

Redevelopment proposal, front view

The more centralized region of the site will be the home of our community gardens, where local gardeners can purchase a small plot to grow crops, herbs, and flowers. Located in the middle of the site, this area should get moderate sunlight in the middle of the day and shade in the dusk/dawn periods. Provided the soil is thoroughly tested, this area could support carrots, radishes, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy vegetables, some of which, including carrots and radishes, grow into the winter months, allowing for sustainable returns of produce. Considering the size of the site, yields would be modest, supporting the small market on a weekly, or every-other-week basis.


Current conditions, mid site

Current conditions, mid site


Redevelopment proposal

Located on the easternmost region of the site will be the proposed Trolley Car Market, Community Center, Learning Kitchen, and a loading dock to support deliveries to the market. The Learning Kitchen will act as an instructional site where families can learn about healthy eating options and how to prepare fresh meals. The Community Center is intended to be used as a space for family gatherings, community events, etc. to support healthy attitudes towards food and to promote the benefits of supporting local growers.


Current conditions, easternmost building


Current conditions, easternmost building


Market name and logo


Redevelopment proposal, front view

The re-purposed brownfield site will be accessible through many modes of transportation, but geared mainly towards those who use non-motorized transportation and public transit. Our consumers will be able to travel to the site on bus, by bike, driving, or with a quick walk. There will be parking amenities for both for bikes and cars, as well as street parking available in the case of lot overflow.


Redevelopment Site Plan

We imagine that although many neighbors will greatly favor our proposal, there will be skeptics. One concern could be that because this site is a brownfield, chemicals and toxins could have infiltrated the ground making it unsafe to grow healthy crops. We have a plan to clean the area of toxins through soil treatments, growth of plants that will revitalize the plots, transporting non-toxic dirt to the site, and the use of compost to create a healthy soil for our families. The compost will be provided from the market and brewery leftovers. Another concern might be that our site will bring in traffic and increase pedestrian visits in what is a relatively calm neighborhood. Although we do hope to bring traffic to the area, our plan is to create a serene space that one can visit to relax, run errands, or learn. In addition, we have taken measures that will act as a buffer to minimize noise from inside the development such as lining the site borders with trees and shrubbery. Finally, we understand that the brewery could have negative connotations associated with it. Our vision for the brewery is to have a tap house/restaurant location that would offer an inviting and relaxed atmosphere. This would be a family restaurant and have a separate brew room were customers could indulge in a few beverages. The establishment would have normal business hours, closing at ten on weekdays and midnight on the weekends, to respect the neighbors and reduce commotion and noise. This facet of the proposal would, of course, first have to gain public support at a neighborhood meeting, but we feel we could provide enough benefits to prove the Barn Bar an asset to the site and the neighborhood.

Overall, we know that the Trolley Barn Block will pay tribute to its roots but add a modern twist to the present neighborhood. We want our guests to be able to see landmarks such as the trolley barn and know that was the same trolley barn that their grandparents passed walking home from church each Sunday. In addition, we want to create a space that will one day be a lasting asset for the community and be a new piece of history for the site.

Planned Neighborhood – Blog 6

The charge of a planner is not only to design spaces with people in mind, but is equally concerned with designing spaces that people keep in their minds. Though there are correlational trends to draw in traffic, there is no set formula for providing a space with an attractive atmosphere. A space can be designed with every activator in record: water, shade, movable seating, etc. That same space can provide opportunities for recreation, entertainment, and commerce, or could just as well be planned expertly to mix these uses with residential zones. However, these spatial assets would be worthless if the area does not interest potential residents. An empty space is a wasted space.

The City of Dublin Planning Commission currently plans to undergo a dramatic re-designing of their “Bridge Street District.” In doing so, their aim is not only to attract the “best and the brightest” to the new district, but to retain residents. As such, they must resolve the issue in their design methods; they must prevent the new development from becoming an empty space. The site at hand is a 3.75 acre Greenfield located off of Dale Drive, zoned in the BSD Scioto River Neighborhood District. The site is bordered by residential and office zones.

When asked what should be placed in this site, the team answered with another question: What makes a district desirable? The team developed a hypothesis that it is a place’s distinctness, an intangible character present in streetscape and structure façades that creates an atmosphere which clearly defines the place in both space and time. What makes a place desirable is the fact that it is unlike anywhere else. It can be similar to another area, but the character of the district feels different than anywhere else in the metro area. As such, our team decided that a local history museum could be placed in that area. The museum would feature small installations regarding the history of Dublin, and Columbus, and feature works by local artists and community members. The bulk of the area would be devoted to an event center which could house travelling exhibitions and be available for reserved events, such as concerts, speaker series, weddings, workshops, or government meetings. Our team believes that the addition of a cultural space with a community center could tie together the homey, family-friendly characteristics already present in Dublin, as well as prompting community events geared towards a younger crowd. This land use is conveniently located to both an office sector as well as a residential district, allowing several members of the new district access to the space without creating a nuisance.

The Aqueduct by: The Chair of Pierre

The question of what to do with the 3.75 acre plot of land located in the Bridge Street district on Dale Dr. has multiple factors that influenced the decision we made. The Zoning of this parcel is technically BSD Scioto River Neighborhood District, but it is surrounded by office residential, commercial, and public zoning as well. The prime location of the parcel at the intersection of Bridge St. and The Scioto River probably has something to do with the convergence of all of these zones. The site seems prime for an attractive mixed-use project. The Scioto River is in-navigable and essentially economically useless, but its intersection with Bridge St. creates valuable land which the current use is under utilizing.

The Scioto And Olentangy Rivers are the foundation of Columbus, and Downtown, The Short North, OSU, and Dublin are all located by their banks and connected by their confluence. All of these areas have unique qualities that have resulted in outstanding development and prosperity in the past 20 years, but they are all separated and not in comfortable walking distance. The only way to access these areas currently is for everyone to drive their gas guzzling cars in traffic to each destination and crowd the area by parking their cars. Which is stupidly inefficient and an old idea of 20th century suburban life that the population’s preference is shifting away from. Also, many attractions in these areas are restaurants and bars that serve alcohol, and while everyone can pretend like people do not drunk drive, that is an event that happens too often. This system forces people to choose between staying close by and drinking, driving to a destination and not drinking, or driving to an area and then drunk driving home. We as a city need to learn from J.T. Barrett because great people do make mistakes, but if he had an alternative mode of transportation that could take him home from where the fun was…



The Aqueducts: Columbus’s first passenger rail line that connects the city’s points of interest along the Scioto on Olentangy Rivers. The largest problem with setting up a railway in Columbus is that there is already infrastructure such as roads, buildings, sewers, etc. everywhere in the way of any desirable path. Well, Columbus has been set up on the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers and many key points of the city are already on the banks of these barely used rivers. Obviously the rivers themselves would not serve as a transport for the trains. Large arches spanning over the river at intervals deemed structurally manageable would lift the railways above the river and frame it. The architectural style will be a tribute to Rome’s greatest innovation- The Aqueduct. Four key areas would need to be connected at the initial phase, the Arena district, the Short North, Ohio State University, and Dublin’s new Riverside District. Each of these areas have private and public entities that would be financially interested in connecting their business to the foot traffic a train station will bring, and each area has unique qualities that they can implore in their stations to symbolize their goals. The general format for each station would be.. an elevated structure to match the height of the rail lines which funnels into the centralized boarding hub for the train system. Underneath the structure would be a sturdy foundation that stored ample parking. The foundation should take the ground space and elevate it, similar to how Elis S. Chesbrough lifted the skyline of Chicago to install it’s first sewer system. On this lifted structure will be a mixed use space that is a central train station surrounded by a retail center, community center, and recreational park space.

Each area can tailor their station to their needs and desires, which the city of Dublin can use to fit their needs as the most suburban of the key areas. The historic district in Dublin is a a very desirable spot and has potential to be a great place, but it has to compete with the many attractions down town has to offer. The young professional crowd that Dublin is trying to allure is always going to have that draw to downtown, and no number of “cool office parks” or breweries will change that. What it does have to offer is a quaint area with a stable economy that is a nice place to become a real adult, so Dublin should stop trying to create attractions, and rather focus on connecting it’s cool new Riverside District with the existing great attractions that OSU, the Short North, and downtown already possess.


Explore Nation: The Bridge Street District

We found that the three acre greenfield plot could have a few different uses. The surrounding area doesn’t include many places for entertainment, so we decided to focus on that aspect. The idea of a concert/entertainment center and venue would work well on the plot and in the context of the surrounding district. This venue would be made up of an indoor theatre area which includes a restaurant/bar and also an outdoor theatre venue. This site would be very suitable for professional young adults who are looking for something fun and entertaining to do. In addition, the venue would bring in more money and revenue to the area, along with some interesting performances and events.

We also thought that it’d be interesting to create a playground made for adults on this site. It’s been a pretty big hit in other cities around the nation, and it could be an important addition to this district. This playground or recreational jungle gym would include adult-sized, mature playground equipment that can be used by the young professionals living in this area. It would be a nice place for these young adults to spend their leisure time, a place where people can let off steam and get rid of some stress.

Another idea we had was to transform the area into a grocery store that could be used by the residents living in the district. There aren’t many walkable grocery stores in the surrounding area, so one on this site would make sense and be very suitable for this area. 



New Kids on the Block: Mixed Use Village

The New Kids on the Block came up with an interesting way to use this land on the lot in the picture below. The idea that this district wants to be more welcoming and enjoying, we figured that having an all-in-one mixed use area would attract people to come the Bridge District.

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The mixed used pedestrian villa will contain two lines of buildings in range from five through eight stories. The common use is from residential to commercial and office use. There will also be a Recreational center that welcomes public use and all parking is proposed to be in the rear leaving the in-between space for pedestrian use. Bridge District will propose night live attraction, with Shoppe’s, dining, recreation, theatre, and brewery.


Some elements that will make this village appeal to tourist and the people living in the communities are defined keys of Dublin. We would use materials like older stone and as well as modern stone to present character. We’ll also present lamp posts to help light the area at night.

Urban Avengers: The Bridge Street District – Attracting Millennials and Young Professionals

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For this 3.75-acre site in the Bridge Street District, we propose a new, outdoor green space. The focus of this feature is an open amphitheater with an over-hang for entertainment.


On roughly half of the site would sit the amphitheater, which could be used for live concerts, plays, and local attractions. In addition, towards the front of the stage there would feature a retractable screen to serve as an outdoor cinema. The base of the structure would be brick to tie into the surrounding Bridge Street District buildings and residencies.


To the rear of the amphitheater would be either an area with permanent concession stands for events or a parking area for food trucks. While the amphitheater would be substantial enough to host live music, it would not be large enough to bring big acts or tourists to the area.

Our new proposal would create a gathering site for young professionals to enjoy the outdoors and generate a sense of community, while also serving as a friendly area for those with families. Overall, it would give the community a gathering place of their own to interact with each other.