An important approval was granted for the Columbus Crew stadium project Tuesday, as a commission signed off on needed demolition work.
Planning is underway for a new $245 million Crew stadium, which will be built at a site in the city’s Arena District and anchor a surrounding mixed-use development named Confluence Village. Part of the project’s site currently features nine vacant city-owned buildings that would need to be demolished to make way for new structures. Project officials scored a key victory on that front Tuesday, when the Downtown Commission authorized demolition.
There are still details about the stadium plans that need to be resolved, but the commission’s vote allows the planning process to move forward. Demolition is expected to take place next month. More from the Columbus Dispatch:
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Phil Dangerfield, who represents Haslam Sports Group and Crew co-owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam….
Major details remain unresolved on the project, including who will own the stadium site and the development around the stadium.
Plans presented to the commission show the stadium on the north side of W. Nationwide Boulevard immediately west of the railroad tracks, on property owned by Nationwide Realty Investors. Between the stadium and the Olentangy River, the nine old buildings would be replaced by several new buildings on what is now city-owned property.
Those buildings would include an estimated 440 apartments or condominiums, a parking garage and 120,000 square feet of offices, though no details have been finalized on the development, said Jeff Pongonis, a principal with design firm MKSK, which is leading a team of planners for the site.
The Crew has been hoping to break ground in October, with the stadium opening in the summer of 2021. It would replace MAPFRE Stadium as the club’s home.
Planning for the new stadium follows a development that saw Anthony Precourt explore a move of the Crew to Austin, only for a solution to emerge to keep the team in Columbus while allowing him to proceed with plans in the Texas capital. Jimmy and Dee Haslam–owners of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns–and the Columbus-based Edwards family bought into MLS and received operating rights to Columbus, and will be carrying out the plans for a new stadium. Precourt, meanwhile, remained an MLS investor and received rights to Austin, where Austin FC will begin play in 2021 as the league’s 27th team.
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