Coleman Quiet On Reports Of Downtown Overhaul

Under the reported plan, Veterans Memorial would be demolished and replaced with an arts center. The city also reportedly wants to build a zoo attraction in the area south of COSI.(Photo: City of Columbus/Downtown Development Corporation)
Under the reported plan, Veterans Memorial would be demolished and replaced with an arts center. The city also reportedly wants to build a zoo attraction in the area south of COSI.(Photo: City of Columbus/Downtown Development Corporation)

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is downplaying reports that the city is considering a plan to demolish Veterans Memorial and replace it with a new arts center and a $50 million zoo attraction.

The Columbus Dispatch reported this week that Coleman and several local lawmakers have been briefed on the plan.

The Dispatch report says the art center hinges on an anticipated $25 million donation from retail magnate and philanthropist Les Wexner.

The zoo project would reportedly be financed separately.

Speaking on All Sides with Ann Fisher Thursday, Mayor Coleman says he has talked to downtown developers about the Scioto Peninsula, but he says it’s far from a sure thing.

“What you saw in the Dispatch…was a flavor of what might occur on the peninsula, but it is not fully laid out, nor is it fully accurate,” Coleman said.

Coleman declined to say why reports might not be “fully accurate.”

An official announcement of development of the Scioto Peninsula is expected this summer.

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