Scioto Peninsula Makeover To Feature New Vets Memorial, Zoo

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman talks about the new Scioto Peninsula project.(Photo: Thomas Bradley/WOSU)
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman talks about the new Scioto Peninsula project.(Photo: Thomas Bradley/WOSU)

Local leaders announced today a new plan for the 56-acre area that borders the Scioto River and downtown Columbus.

Scioto Peninsula rendering

Scioto Peninsula rendering

The plan is a several year, several project plan that is highlighted by a new veterans memorial, a downtown Columbus Zoo experience, the narrowing of the Scioto River and the creation of a new neighborhood with retail and housing. The current Franklin County Veterans Memorial entertainment and events complex will be torn down and rebuilt into a glass and steel museum and open-air amphitheater.

Guy Worley, President of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, announced the plan to reporters and community members at WOSU@COSI, and said the project will be centered around COSI and is aimed at reconnenting Franklinton to downtown.

Construction on the project will begin this fall with the removal of the Main Street low head dam.

The project plans include 33 new acres of green space on the riverfront which also include a riverfront arboretum with up to 1,000 new trees.

“This will be our new central park,” said Worley.

Worley announced that the new veterans memorial will be a memorial to not only Franklin County veterans, but all of Ohio’s veterans. The memorial is being financed by a $25 million gift from Limited founder Les Wexner and his wife, Abigail.

The new downtown Columbus Zoo experience, dubbed the Columbus Zoo Indoor Adventure, will bring a part of the Columbus Zoo to a facility on the banks of the Scioto River. The space will be just south of COSI and feature an aquarium, rainforest, educational facility, stage for presentations and a place to play.

Rendering of new Indoor Zoo plan.

Rendering of new Indoor Zoo plan.

Worley said there have been eight different plans for this area since 1908, and said that this would be the time that the project is finished, and finished how city leaders want it.

Worley said the plan will have a huge focus on education. Not only at COSI, but at the veterans memorial and the Columbus Zoo.

  • Adam

    Why are we replacing an indoor facility that brings millions in revenue into our city though conventions, meetings and trade shows with an outdoor facility that can possibly be used 3 months out of the year. Where is the Arnold Classic going to go? Las Vegas? We don’t have enough meeting and convention space as it is. What are our “leaders” thinking? Why can’t we build this 2 blocks to the south? That would give us a feature on either side of COSI.

  • Carole

    Is this the best way for the city of Columbus to spend millions of dollars??
    We have one of the best zoos in the country very close. It seems the mayor only likes to fill developers pockets. Build up poorer neighborhoods, streets, bridges, public services with those millions.

  • Donna

    I don’t see any mention of a new performing arts hall that would provide the type of venue that our Columbus Symphony deserves.