It seems Ohio State is on the horizon of massive growth and development once again.
A few members of Ohio State's board of trustees heard a plan for a large-scale west campus "innovation district" on Thursday that could see 12 million square feet of new development, Emily Bench of Columbus Business First reports.
Two main buildings are expected to be the cornerstone of the new development. One would include research labs, meeting spaces and cafes. The other is for the university's partnership with energy management company Engie.
“I think both of these (projects) … will end up being one of the biggest things done in the city or on a university campus,” said Alex Fischer, the committee's chairman. “It could be one of the biggest developments (of its kind) in the Midwest.”
Serdar Tufekci, CEO of Ohio State Energy Partners, said after the meeting that the Energy Advancement and Innovation Center would be a place to "take good research ideas and turn them into innovative products or processes that can have an impact. The expectation is that it will create intellectual property and revenue from the marketplace, which will fund the future facility."
Keith Myers, vice president of planning and real estate for Ohio State, said at the meeting that the buildings in the planned district would be as tall as seven stories and would include retail space, housing for as many as 4,000 people, parking and an “urban piazza.”
The research facility originally received approval in 2017 when it was planned to go on the main campus, however the development is now expected to occur west of the Olentangy River.
A plan for recreational development along the Olentangy River was also revealed with Myers telling Columbus Business First, "we want to make the river the center of campus.”