COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–It’s 320 acres of farmland at the Hamilton Road exit of State Route 161. But a trio of developers and the City of Columbus are moving ahead with big plans for office buildings, retail, hotels, upscale apartments and senior living units.
The development, to be called Hamilton Quarter, will include 1 million square feet of retail space, 700,000 square feet of office space, 800 new apartments and 130 senior living units.
The first phase of the project is roadwork scheduled to begin in April. North Hamilton Rd will be connected to the Hamilton Rd. exit of 161 by way of an S-curve that will wind through the new development.
The retail development will be built along a walkable boulevard in a “Main Street” style.
Rerouting traffic through the new development is expected to ease traffic congestion in the area.
Paige Giroux says it sometimes takes 10 – 15 minutes to travel a mile from her home to a fitness center at the intersection of Hamilton Rd and Dublin –Granville Rd. She has her doubts about the ability to improve traffic flow while adding some much new development at the same time.
“I think it’s great for the economy as far as jobs and retail,” Giroux said. “It’s great for business in the area however I could see it getting to be a problem with the traffic and driving around this area.”
Ann Johnson works out at the same fitness center and has similar concerns.
“I always hesitate to see more development in areas because it’s already crowded enough in Central Ohio to begin with but if it’s going to resolve traffic issues, Yes, please because it’s no fun sitting and waiting five to ten minutes to turn left on these roads,” Johnson said.