Editor’s note: We love it when folks use existing successful business models for a blueprint. Why reinvent the wheel when a tweak will due
COLUMBUS, Ohio — About $1 billion in development around an arena primarily for hockey transformed a dreary section of downtown Columbus that used to be an industrial area and home to a run-down prison.
“People didn’t come downtown very often, and they certainly didn’t live here. Things are different now. This is a place to be,” said Sherri Lyle, 44, of suburban Powell, who works in Columbus’ 14-year-old Arena District.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are paying attention. The team is preparing to develop a 28-acre site where the Civic Arena stood, across Centre Avenue from the $321 million Consol Energy Center that opened in 2010.
“We’ve sat down and talked with them several times about what they have done relative to development,” said Penguins Chief Operating Officer Travis Williams, noting the team studied similar projects in Cincinnati, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Jose, Washington and Pittsburgh’s North Shore.