Below is a summary of several projects that are in various stages of completion. Click on the images below to be directed to that project’s page.

Hotel/Conference Center

In 2018, the Bartholomew County Heritage Fund supported an initiative called Envision Columbus to study the needs and potential for future growth in Columbus.  That study identified 3 opportunity zones for development; commercial, residential and park systems.  The commercial area targeted the 2nd and 3rd Street corridor in downtown Columbus as an area that could be revitalized into a destination that would attract cultural, dining, and entertainment opportunities.  Their recommendations included a downtown hotel as well as the addition of a downtown conference center as vital to the growth of the area and a building block for future public and private development.

Multi-Family Housing and Urban Grocer

In January, 2021 the Columbus Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved Phase I of the downtown mixed use project to include a 200 unit downtown apartment building as well as an urban grocer.  The CRC will be working with Flaherty & Collins Properties on the development.  Phase I is expected to break ground in early 2022, once detailed designs and budgets are complete. A phased opening for this portion of the development is projected for 2023 and 2024. The second phase of development, includes plans for the development of a hotel and conference center that will enable Columbus and Bartholomew County to expand hospitality and tourism initiatives

As part of the Envision Columbus initiative, the committee included recommendations for multi-family housing in the downtown area as well as an urban grocer.  By increasing opportunities for housing within the downtown core, this project will promote downtown living and shift perceptions on the quality and character of current downtown housing.  An urban grocer has the capacity to increase the vibrancy and support additional residential and retail development in the area.  Both of these elements provide an opportunity for sought after urban living close to the cultural amenities, established parks and downtown assets that so many in our community are seeking.

Court Services Center

In 2019, the City of Columbus adopted the Envision Columbus plan as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The Envision Columbus plan focused on downtown development. The plan identified some catalytic projects for downtown Columbus, with one being the development of a new downtown Hotel Conference Center. The future location of the Hotel Conference Center is currently a surface parking lot for Bartholomew County employees and the Probation Department.

The Redevelopment Commission has acquired the referenced County owned property. The acquisition agreement included building a new Court Services Center in exchange for ownership of the property for the future Hotel Conference Center development.

1821 Trail

The Bicentennial Commission and City of Columbus announce the seminal project for the Columbus Area Bicentennial will be the “1821” Trail extension along First Street, from the Haw Creek Trail, which ends at Lafayette Street, to Water Street. This trail extension will also include architectural and art elements to encompass the 2021 Bicentennial theme of “Common Ground.” The 1821 Trail will be a key addition to the Columbus Park Foundation trail system and will connect our 26 miles of trail which extends throughout the city. The Riverfront project will later complete the final piece from Water Street to Mill Race Park. This trail extension will also include architectural and art elements to encompass the 2021 Bicentennial theme of “Common Ground.”

Riverfront Project

Work has been underway to ensure public input on all plans to refocus attention on our Riverfront.  We realize that this is “our” River and that the future of our community will continue to be tied to innovation and creativity.  Having a vibrant Riverfront that is developed based upon considerable community and public input is important to the future of Columbus.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife is currently reviewing the plans and recommendations for redevelopment of a tremendous community asset.  Those plans made a priority of protecting our environment, ensuring safety in all aspects, being fiscally responsible and continuing Columbus’ history and legacy of architectural quality and innovation throughout all design aspects.

Railroad Overpass Project

In 2016, the City of Columbus engaged an engineering firm to complete an impact study and provide possible solutions to the impending increased train traffic.  Multiple overpasses were considered.  Part of the process also included working with the Indiana Department of Transportation (as both State Road 46 and Indiana 11 are owned by the State of Indiana) to establish a feasible timeline and funding options.  An overpass solution was identified. In July 2017, an announcement was made that a $30 Million overpass was going to be built.  The State of Indiana, City of Columbus, Bartholomew County, Louisville & Indianapolis Railroad and CSX came to together to fund this large economic development project. Construction began in November, 2019.

State Street Project

The State Street Trail Connection Project has had a tremendous impact on the east side corridor.  The new bridge and landscaping are an inviting welcome to the area for residents and visitors to our community alike.  State Street now boasts a beautiful, architecturally significant bridge portal to the east side of  Columbus, and the east side of Columbus is a shining representation of safe streets, pedestrian and bicycle friendly pathways, green spaces for families and visitors, economic opportunity and simply put–Columbus at its best.

Starting at the bridge and continuing all the way to Mapleton Street, the north side of State Street is boasting its first connection to the Columbus Trail System.  New 8-10 foot wide concrete sidewalks, new gutters and curbs, multiple new concrete driveways at business entrances are making sidewalks multi-purpose and accessible to all.

A newly completed Trail Connection from the Gateway Node to the People Trail provides a safe and continuous passage or cyclists and pedestrians–under the State Street Bridge–from the north side of  State Street to the south side of State Street.  Cyclists and pedestrians no longer need to wait for traffic signals to change at the busy 5-way intersection to the State Street Bridge at 2nd and Central.

This project was made possible through the Columbus Redevelopment Commission’s investment of $6.5 million toward improvements to the State Street community and the citizens that live and work there.

Phase 2A of the project, a trail extension down State Street from McKinley Avenue to Indiana Avenue with an 8-foot-wide multi-use trail, was completed last year.  From McKinley Avenue to Mapleton Avenue, dancing “C” panels were added representing the area’s industrial heritage.