Friday, December 28, 2007

Broad & High in Motion

This is a short video of the Broad & High electronic sign.

Times Square Downtown Columbus ?

The latest attraction downtown Columbus is the new Times Square style elctronic displays at Broad & High (short video coming in next post). It joins a lot of huge advertisements on building as well as a large TV screen at State & High that provides news and weather. For the price, it doesn't look as big as it should be, but the buildings are being renovated next to it. NBC4 is putting in a new studio and 8 Broad Street is turning into a post-modern high-rise condo. The signs on top spin including the Nationwide Clock that includes one side that spins really fast.
But don't get too excited about Downtown. The City Center shopping mall is ending its 18 year run with an unknown future. After more than 30 years of trying to revive downtown, there are more empty storefronts than ever before (even if you exclude the City Center Mall). Streetscapes, skyscraper, malls, events, condos and fancy signs haven't turned the tide of decline. Good paying jobs, including most office jobs, have left for the suburbs. The new downtown has been built a mile outside of the real downtown in the Short North, German Village, Brewery District, Arena District, and the future Grandview Yard. People are just tired of searching for parking, waiting on traffic lights, but most, the part nobody wants to admit, they are tired of dealing with society's vagrants along High Street. City Center was built between the Greyhound Bus Depot and the virtual bus station for city buses along the sidewalks of High Street. Not a great location for an upscale mall. Downtown is broken, like most downtowns across the nation. People who can spend the money have moved farther out of town along with new office jobs and new shopping malls. Transportation in and out of downtown is relatively easy, but it brings many who don't purchase much in an upscale mall.

New Short North Scenes

IBIZA, the green "monster" condo project scheduled for Hubbard & High has surrounded the site with a fence and full color blow-ups of what to expect. They also have a storefront office across the street at First & High. This project and the Jackson at Fourth & High are changing the character of the Short North. Already the Garden Church has moved-out at Fifth & High and new upscale businesses are jockeying for spaces. LIQUID, a nightclub and restaurant owned by women, will take over the Little Brother's space (is this a 90's revival business? Don't we have enough of those kind of names on bars?) A fancy shoe shop has gone in near Fifth & High as the gas station at the corner bites the dust.
La Fogata Grill brings mexican cuisine to the Short North and their Christmas trees along old pavement display is authenic enough for Mexico
Another pocket park sculpture has been finished. This time it is next to the Chase Bank and has nice stained glass between steel ibeams.