Riverfront Project Update


Public Input Workshop

Wednesday, April 5 • 6 - 8 pm
City Hall • Cal Brand Meeting Hall

Download the Public Input Workshop Poster (PDF)

Help us RE-IMAGINE the Riverfront during an interactive workshop. Share your ideas and suggest improvements for the Riverfront area between the 2nd and 3rd Street Bridges.  


Take the online survey to share your thoughts at the Columbus Riverfront Website. 

For additional information, contact Heather Pope, at hpope@columbus.in.gov or Randy Royer at rroyer@hitchcockdesigngroup.com


Project Summary: 

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission is leading an initiative to improve the appearance, recreational function, environmental quality, and economic benefit of the East Fork of the White River between the 2nd and 3rd Street bridges (see project map). On behalf of the city, the Redevelopment Commission has engaged a team of planning, design, engineering and market economic professionals led by Hitchcock Design Group to create a compelling riverfront concept that improves access to and along the river, and creates dynamic public places consistent with the city’s rich cultural history. As an integral part of the project, the team will consider modifications of the low-head dam to improve river water quality, safety, and navigation. The Redevelopment Commission expects the concept to be finished in September and introduced to the community during a series of public workshops and meetings.

The consultant team and Redevelopment Commission will follow a three phase process starting with the Opportunity Analysis, which will identify issues and the most promising strategies to meet the City’s aesthetic, recreational, environmental, and economic objectives for the riverfront. These strategies will be based on the physical and natural characteristics of the project site, the available cultural and financial resources, and the interests of the public and related stakeholders. This phase concludes with an Opportunity Analysis that includes the results of a web-based survey, key stakeholder interviews, a market analysis, and a public workshop. We encourage the community to participate in the survey and the public workshop.

Next, during the Alternative Riverfront Concepts phase, the consultant team will create consensus on an overall strategy, the most promising public sector improvements and private sector redevelopment opportunities. Then, the consultant team will develop preliminary implementation recommendations and work closely with the Redevelopment Commission to refine the most promising concepts into a Preferred Riverfront Concept. They will also develop a Preliminary Implementation Memorandum that considers Public Policy, Operational Improvements, and Capital Improvement issues. This phase will include a Public Open House to showcase the Preferred Riverfront Concept and receive public comment.

In the Riverfront Concept Plan phase, the consultant team will document and obtain approval of the finalized recommendations, including an Implementation Table outlining short term (3-5 year) capitol and operational implementation projects, and Riverfront Improvement Guidelines detailing standards and best practices. This information will be published in a final Riverfront Concept Report summarizing the consultant team’s recommendations. When complete, they will present their final recommendations to the Columbus City Council, Redevelopment Commission, and Public.



Opportunity Analysis                      

Project Kickoff                                       February 2017
Public Workshop                                April 5, 2017 


Alternative Riverfront Concepts     

Preferred Riverfront Concept              June 2017

Preliminary Implementation Memo     July 2017 

Public Open House                          (TBD) 

Presentation to Redevelopment Commission  (TBD) 


Riverfront Concept Plan 

Final Riverfront Concept Report        September 2017

Public Presentation                         (TBD)


Project Team: 

Hitchcock Design Group                            Lead, Landscape Architect 

S20 Design & Engineering                        Riverfront Recreation 

Market Feasibility Advisors                       Market Analysis & Economics

Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC   Water Resources 

Strand Associates                                    Civil Engineer 


December 2016: Summary Update

During the summer of 2016, a Riverfront Community Committee was formed. Representatives from the Arts Council, Columbus Young Professionals, Landmarks Columbus, the Visitors Center, community stakeholders, downtown merchants, and the City of Columbus Engineering, Parks & Recreation and Redevelopment Departments provided valuable input on what the community wanted to see along the riverfront.

The committee’s marching orders were to go into the community and gather citizen ideas on what was important and desired. From this research and idea generation, a “Request for Proposal” was generated.

After careful consideration, the Evaluation Team unanimously selected Hitchcock Design Group as the design team for recommendation to the Redevelopment Commission for the Riverfront Redevelopment Project. On December 19, 2016, the Redevelopment Commission approved entering into contract negotiations with Hitchcock Design in an amount not to exceed $229,000.

Following execution of a final contract, Hitchcock will begin working on several riverfront designs with plenty of opportunity for public input, engagement and interaction.   2017 will be a year filled with new riverfront ideas! 

Read the Complete Design Team Recommendation

Hitchcock Design Group Proposal

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