Battelle Memorial Institute has long been a community anchor and major employer in the city of Columbus. While its campus south of The Ohio State University is no doubt a landmark for the neighborhood, much of the property it controls in the area has never been fully utilized by the organization.
However, that should be changing soon – as Battelle recently announced its intention to sell the excess land it owns south of W 5th Ave, bordered by Perry St, W 3rd Ave, and the Olentangy River.
The approximately 20 acres of land being put up for sale currently includes several large surface parking lots, a small industrial storage building, a daycare center, and two green spaces – one at the property’s southern edge along W 3rd Ave and another smaller strip on W 5th Ave east of Perry St.
Preliminary discussions between Battelle and the city indicate a preference for mixed-use development that maximizes the value of the land, focusing mainly on either residential or office space along with the possibility of retail on W 5th Ave.
One use that isn’t likely to be proposed for the site is a hotel, many of which have been developed nearby along Olentangy River Rd in recent years.
While the bike trail on the property’s western edge will be preserved alongside any future development, the fate of the current green space is less certain.
The city’s 2005 Harrison West plan called for the grassy area along W 3rd Ave to be preserved as parkland, and the Harrison West Society is currently in talks with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department to investigate the feasibility of purchasing that portion of the property.
At this time Battelle is still seeking to identify qualified developers and gathering feedback from the city and community. The next steps will be to request proposals for the land, and then select the developer which best aligns with their vision and priorities.
Concurrently, upgrades and renovations are expected to take place at Battelle’s main campus north of W 5th Ave – including the addition of employee parking spaces to make up for those that will be lost as a result of any new development.
© Columbusight.com. All Rights Reserved.