95 percent of ancient Ohio was forested. But centuries ago there were also small regions of prairie. Tall grasses and wildflowers were part of the prairie ecology and so were bison. Researchers near Columbus are trying to reestablish a prairie / bison ecosystem.
Panel Approves City Center Mall Demolition
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The Columbus Downtown Commission’s approval allows the city of Columbus to issue a demolition permit to the Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. Chairman of the Downtown Commission Stephen Wittmann says the building is unusable, and re-purposing the structure would be too costly.
“You know, lamentably, there’s a large amount of square footage of building there that, frankly, is only 20 years old. And clearly, in a sense, it’s a shame to see that go away. But I think what you have to do is look forward and say, What is the opportunity?’” says Wittmann.
Demolition is expected to begin in early October and finish in the summer of 2010, and the green space could be open to the public by the end of 2010. The owners of the mall say the building will be systematically dismantled, allowing the underground parking garage to remain open throughout the demolition.
The estimated cost of the demolition is $15 to 20 million. Capitol South and the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation plan to contribute $15 million. They are still seeking additional funds from federal, state, and local grants.