North Market Will Lose Half Its Parking Spaces For Proposed Tower

Jul 17, 2019

Columbus officials have released details of an agreement to build a new tower next to North Market.

The final agreement further tweaks the bottom line—all told, the project will cost $192 million, and will have 26 stories. A proposed tower project in 2017 would have been 35 stories, and this month's revived plan originally featured 28.

The development will nearly double current parking spaces, but because most of those will be for tenants or hotel guests, North Market will lose about half of its current public spaces. Just 80 spaces will be left for market patrons, down from 138. Developers are getting the land from the city for free, but they’ll pay the market $300,000 a year to make up for lost parking revenue.

The market will receive another $200,000 annually during construction to cover lost business, including special events, and to help merchants.

Within the development will go a boutique hotel, restaurants and apartments. The lion’s share of the hotel's bed taxes will go to maintenance at North Market.

Developers will get to hang onto a quarter of the project's revenue in exchange for making at least 15% of residential units more affordable. The criteria align with what city officials sometimes refer to as workforce housing—meant for households making 80-100% of the area median wage.

A diagram of elements of the new, 26-story North Market Tower.
Credit NBBJ

The parcel, which includes North Market and its parking lot, is currently valued at $4.5 million by the county auditor. It generates no property taxes because it is owned by the city. 

In addition to handing off the land, the city will spend $2 million on design work and another $6 million on nearby infrastructure improvements.

The state and county are pitching in, too. The state will contribute $1 million for a the building’s grand atrium. Franklin County will provide $2.5 million in grant money as well as a $3.5 million loan for parking construction.