The Bridge Street District Area Plan consolidates the character and design recommendations of previous plans and studies and includes special character elements informed by the issues and opportunities specific to each portion of the Bridge Street District. The character elements share similarities with elements of the Bridge Street Corridor Vision Report, but the Area Plan is intended to serve as a more refined concept based on the recent planning for the street network and the building types associated with the Bridge Street District zoning regulations.
Looking at this Special Area Plan as a series of distinct character districts comprised of walkable neighborhoods with a vibrant mix of uses is important for several reasons:
- Different areas have unique existing conditions, such as access, topography, development history, land ownership, adjacent land uses, and other factors that significantly affect potential development opportunities, challenges and character.
- Likewise, each character district will reflect applications of the Vision Principles through their development potential. Some neighborhoods may fulfill certain principles more fully than others, but all of the character districts will complement one another as part of the overarching vision for the Bridge Street District.
- Most development opportunities in the Bridge Street District are geared toward walkable, mixed-use settings that depend on relatively concentrated development activity in specific places.
- These concentrations of development require unique characteristics that deepen their appeal to different niche markets.
- Character districts can help direct development phasing in ways that maximize the benefit of development at every stage. Development in the Bridge Street District will unfold over many years in pace with market absorption. While property owners and developers will have significant discretion in the timing and location of development around the Bridge Street District, new walkable mixed-use development will benefit from being concentrated in certain areas to establish “critical masses” of place, activities, and infrastructure. Character districts centered on walkable focus areas of activity are the prime areas to begin establishing critical mass.
Character District Descriptions
The Bridge Street Corridor Vision Report included a high-level overview of the Bridge Street District and its existing conditions and opportunities in addition to recommendations based on responses to the changing market demand. The Vision Report studied the area as a series of character districts, with a special overlay for the areas bordering the Scioto River and the Indian Run. The locations and summaries of the issues and opportunities for each character district are provided below.
Bridge Street Gateway Character District
Centered on the intersection of Bridge Street with Frantz Road and Post Road, this character district is an important gateway, has strong potential for high-value development, and needs to support and benefit from investments in walkable mixed-use development in adjacent Historic Dublin and the OCLC campus area.
Issues and Opportunities
The western gateway to the Bridge Street District should send a strong, positive message about the community’s identity and signal to drivers a distinct shift from a highway setting to a walkable, mixed-use environment. Principal challenges include reconciling vital pedestrian and access improvements with high traffic volumes, and making the transition (over place and time) from a highly auto-oriented development context to a pedestrian-oriented one.
An important opportunity exists at the west entrance into the Bridge Street District from the regional transportation network along US 33/Bridge Street. Given the high vehicular traffic along this road, development with frontage along the Gateway Corridor should be high-profile with significant visibility. Special attention should be paid to enhancing the pedestrian environment along this critical roadway that forms the spine for the Bridge Street District, particularly as development transitions down to a smaller scale in the adjacent Historic Dublin character district. Building character will typically range from one to three stories with signature architecture and highly walkable designs.
Indian Run Character District
This district consists largely of the OCLC campus plus some adjacent parcels, and holds substantial potential for new walkable mixed-use development that takes advantage of excellent highway access and visibility, walking proximity to Historic Dublin, and adjacency to the Indian Run.
Issues and Opportunities
This character district represents one of Dublin’s most important opportunities to accommodate significant new mixed-use development, owing to its highly consolidated ownership, large developable parcels, excellent visibility from Interstate 270, potential for improved road access, and proximity to the amenities of Indian Run Falls Park and Historic Dublin. Access improvements will play a critical role in realizing this district’s development potential. Direct pedestrian access and possibly new vehicular connections—but only if designed with extreme sensitivity—across the Indian Run to Historic Dublin, independent of Bridge Street, would significantly enhance potential development value and character. Development potential in this character district will be substantially improved by a more comprehensive road network that reinforces connections among the other parts of the Bridge Street District and the City’s larger road system, allowing for a greater degree of traffic distribution.
- Walkable Core
A Walkable Core is desired at the center of each of the Bridge Street District’s “bookends” to serve as a community focal point with the highest concentration of mixed uses and walkable development that emphasizes pedestrian connectivity over vehicular movement. Buildings are expected to be highly pedestrian-oriented and suited to an active streetscape, ranging in height from two to five stories. The Walkable Core in this part of the Bridge Street District is likely to function primarily as a support service area complementing adjacent office and residential development.
- Highway Visibility
One of the greatest opportunities associated with the Bridge Street District is the potential for new development to have significant visibility from regional roadways, making a strong statement about Dublin and its urban core. The Highway Visibility area is intended to ensure that the Interstate 270 frontage is developed with high-profile buildings that set the tone for development within the Bridge Street District as an area with a strong character and an energetic economic environment. Development within the Highway Visibility area may result in a mix of land uses depending on location, access to regional roadways, and available developable land area, but the desired character is for buildings ranging from three to seven stories with contemporary architecture framing the highway spaced to allow views into the interior of the Bridge Street District. The predominant land use is expected to be a mix of office, hotel, and other commercial uses, although some residential may be appropriately and sensitively placed within this area. Development within the Highway Visibility area will help support development in the nearby Walkable Core and Greenway Frontage areas.
- Greenway Frontage
- The Greenway Frontage area is intended to ensure that development with frontage along the Indian Run is treated as a signature element of the Bridge Street District, simultaneously complementing the density and vibrancy of adjacent areas while framing one or both sides of natural green corridors and parkways. The Greenway Frontage character will be predominantly residential, with buildings generally ranging from two to four stories in height.
- Walkable Core
Historic Dublin Character District
Today’s Historic Dublin is the heart of this highly walkable character district.
Issues and Opportunities
Historic Dublin has become one of the prime inspirations for the Bridge Street District due to its tradition as a walkable district of mixed retail, residential, office and cultural/civic uses and the fact that it constitutes Dublin’s center of community. The emergence of Historic Dublin as a destination for dining and locally-based retail has heightened the District’s role as the center of community. This is also the character district where future growth faces the most significant physical constraints.
Pedestrian and parking improvements, which can be a key element of successful new development, will enhance existing conditions, bringing the area even greater vitality and success. Sensitive mixed-use redevelopment of a few appropriate infill sites, with an emphasis on housing, could provide a valuable complement to existing uses. The long-term potential to redevelop the school sites north of Bridge Street opens much broader horizons with the opportunity for mixed-use development that complements Historic Dublin’s existing core. The natural areas and neighborhoods surrounding the Historic District need to be treated sensitively in all cases; new development must avoid creating negative impacts in these areas. Historic Dublin’s supply of small parcels under private ownership presents inherent redevelopment challenges, but the area’s existing density and richly interrelated uses amplify the benefits of even modest additions.
The Historic Core area applies to the historic village center of the community and reinforces this special area as the centerpiece of the Bridge Street District. The intent of this area is to ensure that infill development and redevelopment occurs in a sensitive manner while providing an improved pedestrian environment. The Historic Core area extends west beyond the actual boundaries of the Historic District as new development along Bridge Street should begin to transition in scale down to buildings that are consistent with the historic development pattern of Historic Dublin, typically ranging from one to two-and-a-half stories.
The Greenway Frontage area is intended to ensure that development with frontage along the Scioto River and the Indian Run is designed with a high level of detail and pedestrian-oriented elements. Development with frontage along these greenways in particular should be treated as signature elements of the Bridge Street District, simultaneously complementing the density and vibrancy of adjacent areas while framing one or both sides of natural green corridors and parkways. Buildings will generally range from two to four stories in height, although buildings with additional stories may be sensitively designed to make the most of river and stream corridor views.
Riverside Character District
Located along the east side of the Scioto River, with highly visible roadway frontage along Riverside Drive.
Issues and Opportunities
Given its proximity to Historic Dublin, the Riverside Character District is one of the most appropriate locations for shorter-term catalytic redevelopment. Potential opportunities include introducing a greenway and destination park along the east bank of the Scioto River to substantially raise the river’s profile as an asset in Dublin’s park and greenway network, help bring residents from across Dublin together around shared activities and places, and anchor unique new neighborhoods. Market opportunities favor an emphasis on housing development in the Riverside Character District, with a range of unit types and residents. Complementary medical and office development toward Tuller Road, and office and neighborhood-retail development near Dublin-Granville Road, are also appropriate as part of a mixed-use neighborhood setting.
Unlocking the Riverside Character District’s full potential will require improved access, with a signature new pedestrian bridge and pedestrian improvements on the existing bridge. Consolidated land ownership in the Riverside Character District boosts prospects for coordinated mixed-use redevelopment at the neighborhood scale. Successful transformation of this character district will depend in part on making pedestrian-friendly transportation improvements that enable river access across Riverside Drive; improving conditions for pedestrians, bikes and cars alike at the Riverside Drive/West Dublin-Granville Road intersection; and the creation of a network of improved street and greenway connections to the character districts to the east.
The Bridge Street Corridor Vision Report and Vision Principles emphasize the importance of recognizing and preserving the outstanding natural features present in the area while leveraging opportunities to treat these special areas as focal points and community gathering spaces. The Greenway Frontage area is intended to ensure that development with frontage along the Scioto River is designed with a high level of detail and pedestrian-oriented elements, with development in this area serving as some of the most highly visible examples of the types of development anticipated in the Bridge Street District. Development with frontage along Riverside Drive in particular should be treated as signature elements of the Bridge Street District, simultaneously complementing the density and vibrancy of adjacent areas while framing one or both sides of natural green corridors and parkways. Buildings will generally range from two to four stories in height, although buildings with additional stories may be sensitively designed to make the most of river views.
West Dublin-Granville Road Character District
The corridor around State Route 161 east of the Scioto River presents great development potential through its access, visibility, consolidated land ownership, and opportunities to connect with adjacent walkable districts.
Issues and Opportunities
Reflecting a classic pattern of automobile-oriented development, this corridor along West Dublin-Granville Road presents some of the greatest challenges and opportunities for high-density, walkable development in the Bridge Street District. Despite the presence of a recreational path and planted median for some of its length, West Dublin-Granville Road presents a less-than-ideal pedestrian environment today, lacking pedestrian-oriented destinations and presenting uncomfortable pedestrian conditions alongside fast-moving traffic. At the same time, high traffic volumes make the corridor a natural place for development that benefits from visibility—particularly hotel and small- and mid-size offices. Office or retail development on several large parcels flanking the road may face market pressure for replacement by uses earning higher development returns over the mid- to long-term. This creates an opportunity over time for pedestrian-oriented office and hotel development–as well as complementary housing and retail—to foster walkable districts on both sides of West Dublin-Granville Road while gaining value from excellent visibility and access. A continuous pedestrian-oriented environment along West Dublin-Granville Road will arise gradually over time in pace with market demand and aggregation of smaller parcels.
The north edge of the Dublin-Granville Road Character District offers one of two major routes for a potential greenway connection linking the Riverside and Sawmill character districts. The greenway would provide important access and amenity value that would stimulate development along the northern edge of this character district.
Given the high vehicular traffic along West Dublin-Granville Road, development with frontage along the gateway corridor should be high-profile with significant visibility. Over the long-term, similarities may exist with development in the Highway Frontage character areas, although special attention should be paid to enhancing the pedestrian environment along this critical roadway that forms the spine for the Bridge Street District. Development in this area will result in a mix of primarily commercial uses, although the strongest market opportunity for this area is for high-profile office uses that desire an address on one of the most significant streets in the city. Supporting retail and personal service uses may be located in nodes along the Gateway Corridor to serve employment drivers in this area. Building character will typically range from three to five stories with signature architecture and highly walkable designs.
Tuller/Greenway Character District
This character district offers opportunities for important connections: greenways connecting the Scioto River to Sawmill and West Dublin-Granville Roads, an expanded street network that integrates existing housing developments into larger walkable neighborhoods, and improved access to Emerald Parkway.
Issues and Opportunities
The Tuller/Greenway Character District plays three important supporting roles for mixed-use development in the Bridge Street District east of the Scioto River. First, it contains existing residential developments that can contribute a valuable “critical mass” to support new residential development nearby. These developments are poised to benefit from the added amenities and access improvements that adjacent development will bring as it contributes to the creation of a true neighborhood. Second, the Tuller/Greenway Character District offers two potential opportunities for an important east-west greenway, street and transit links between the Riverside and Sawmill character districts. The east-west connections also improve regional access to Emerald Parkway as an alternative to Bridge Street and West Dublin-Granville Road. Third, this character district can deliver substantial additional development capacity, with opportunities to take advantage of visibility from I-270 as well as connections to emerging neighborhoods to create even higher-value development than exists in the area today. Land ownership and access patterns in the Tuller/Greenway Character District offer significant flexibility for providing an optimal response to these opportunities. While this is the single character district not directly accessible from a major arterial—and thus not likely to be a core location for mixed-use development—it will play a very important role as a complement to surrounding character districts through the direct street linkages, green space amenities and additional development opportunities it offers.
Mixed uses are permitted and encouraged in nearly every part of the Bridge Street District since the intent of the Vision is to provide an environment where residents and businesses have access to a variety of amenities within walkable distances. While a mix of uses are permitted and expected in this area, the Residential Core areais expected to remain primarily residential. The Residential Core is tucked into the interior of the Bridge Street District, making the land less suited for high-profile commercial development requiring enhanced access and visibility. The principal opportunity for land within the Residential Core is that it has the opportunity to provide the critical population densities needed to support adjacent commercial and employment centers. Buildings in the Residential Core will range from one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half stories, although residential densities will effectively only be limited by the ability to provide adequate parking. The Residential Core will be tied together and connected to neighboring areas through a greenway network providing space for outdoor recreation and a transportation route for bicyclists and pedestrians.
One of the greatest opportunities associated with the Bridge Street District is the potential for new development to have significant visibility from regional roadways, making a strong statement about Dublin and its urban core. The Highway Visibility areais intended to ensure that the Interstate 270 frontage is developed with high-profile buildings that set the tone for development within the Bridge Street District as an area with a strong character and an energetic economic environment. Development within the Highway Visibility area may result in a mix of land uses depending on location, access to regional roadways, and available developable land area, but the desired character is for buildings ranging from three to seven stories with contemporary architecture framing the highway spaced to allow views into the interior of the Bridge Street District. Commercial and limited residential development within the Highway Visibility area will help support development in adjacent character districts.
The Greenway Frontage area is intended to ensure that development with frontage along the proposed the proposed greenways is designed with a high level of detail and pedestrian-oriented elements. Land uses within the Greenway Frontage areas will be predominantly residential, with a few key commercial anchors in strategic locations serving as important pedestrian destinations and gathering spaces. Buildings will generally range from two to four stories in height, although buildings with additional stories may be sensitively designed to make the most of river views.
Sawmill Character District
The Dublin Village Center shopping center site and adjacent parcels hold great potential to become a destination entertainment-focused mixed-use district with great visibility and access from Interstate 270 and strong connections to adjacent neighborhoods and green spaces.
Issues and Opportunities
The Sawmill Character District is a prime location, owing to its proximity to the Interstate 270 interchange at Sawmill Road and the consolidated ownership of more than 50 acres of land on the current Dublin Village Center site. The opportunities in this character district depend on incorporating enough complementary activities into a dense, pedestrian-oriented network of mixed-use buildings and blocks to form a critical mass of activity during weekdays, evenings and weekends alike. The land use mix should include regional-destination retail, dining, entertainment, offices, and housing. Small-floorplate multi-tenant office buildings are a prime market opportunity and fit well into blocks that include ground-floor retail and multiple-family housing. High development densities are essential to providing enough people and activities in walking distance to keep the character district vibrant and full of choices 18 hours a day, seven days a week. High densities also play a key role in creating sufficient development value to fund structured parking, which is another essential ingredient to a compact and walkable district. Density and walkability are the foundations of the market opportunity in this district; without them, the market will only support the lower-value, auto-oriented development pattern that exists—and has struggled to remain economically viable—today.
New development in the Sawmill Character District also depends on establishing direct access and visibility from Sawmill Road through additional property aggregation and road improvements. Potential greenway and street linkages west to the Riverside Character District, Historic Dublin and beyond would open access to critical amenities that support additional development and improve regional traffic circulation. Transit connectivity would substantially increase development opportunities and values in the Sawmill Character District and throughout the Bridge Street District as a whole and the Dublin community beyond.
A special mixed use activity area will serve as the center of the Sawmill Character District, one of the Bridge Street District’s two “bookends” expected to maintain more of a regional shopping and entertainment focus based on the market opportunities for this area. The Walkable Core corresponds with the Neighborhood District zoning designation for this area and may coincide with the shopping corridors required as part of this special zoning district. A Walkable Core is desired at the center of this character district to serve as a community focal point with the highest concentration of mixed uses and walkable development that emphasizes pedestrian connectivity over vehicular movement. Buildings are expected to be highly pedestrian-oriented and suited to an active streetscape, ranging in height from two to five stories.
An important opportunity exists at the east entrance into the Bridge Street District from the regional transportation network along SR 161/West Dublin-Granville Road. Given the high vehicular traffic along this road, development with frontage along the gateway corridor should be high-profile with significant visibility. Over the long-term, similarities may exist with development in the Highway Frontage character areas, although special attention should be paid to enhancing the pedestrian environment along this critical roadway that forms the spine for the Bridge Street District. Development in this area will result in a mix of primarily commercial uses, although the strongest market opportunity for this area is for high-profile office uses that desire an address on one of the most significant streets in the city. Building character will typically range from three to five stories with signature architecture and highly walkable designs.
Scioto River Overlay
The Scioto River Overlay Character District links the Bridge Street District on either side to the Scioto River through enhanced view corridors, recreational connections, and neighborhoods with destination parks and restaurants.
Issues and Opportunities
This overlay district celebrates and benefits from the Scioto River in adjoining portions of the Indian Run, Historic Dublin and Riverside character districts. The recommendations for this overlay character district focus on larger private parcels where significant redevelopment is proposed, and to public parcels that have potential for park and recreation improvements. The overlay character district addresses natural resource protection, visual access, physical access, and land use.
Development activity in the Scioto River Overlay Character District should first aim to preserve the sustained quality of the Scioto River corridor as a natural asset. Special attention should be paid to avoiding any negative impacts on the sensitive ecology and topography of the river and its tributaries.
Public visual and recreational access to the river corridor should be improved wherever possible. Principal opportunities include creating a recreational path system and destination public park on the east bank, creating public river vistas from Historic Dublin, and improving walking and recreational access across the river itself through enhancing the existing bridge and the potential for a new bridge devoted to recreational access. A new bridge would introduce a signature design element and open a convenient pedestrian connection between Historic Dublin and new mixed-use development in the Riverside Character District. Access improvements would also include more extensive walkable street networks on either side of the Scioto River and the integration of new recreational paths into the city’s larger recreational path and bikeway networks. As part of this integration, the suggested reconstruction of Riverside Drive as a parkway should include safe, convenient pedestrian crossings and measures to limit traffic speed.
New development on either side of the Scioto River should include a mix of land uses that benefits from the river’s presence and contributes to the quality of public space. For instance, restaurants with views to the river and outdoor seating are encouraged. Multiple-family housing and office buildings are also strongly encouraged according to market opportunity. Building and site design should maximize opportunities to capitalize on river views as value assets. Recommendations for accomplishing this objective with multiple-family housing, for example, include creating river-facing courtyards and terracing building heights so that as many dwelling units as possible enjoy river views. The success of public open spaces around the Scioto River should be judged more on their quality than quantity, since a balance that includes high-value mixed-use development can help provide the funding and presence of people that can draw greatest public benefit from the river corridor.
As the Bridge Street District develops over time, with incremental improvements to the street network, development around the edges of each district may take on a mix of development characters depending on actual street alignments, greenway connections, market demand, and development opportunities. In all cases, a vibrant mix of uses and architectural character is desired.
Established Residential Neighborhoods
A few pockets of single-family residential neighborhoods are embedded in the Bridge Street District. These established residential neighborhoods include Indian Run Estates, properties on South Riverview and Franklin Streets in the Historic District, and properties along Dublin Road and High Street north and south of the Historic District (respectively). These properties will be preserved and buffered from adjacent development, although carefully sited pedestrian connections will be made in appropriate locations.