Commons Construction to Begin Without Hotel, Convention Center

Construction on the new $18 million Commons in Columbus will begin within weeks.

With a bid awarded last week, Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong says winning construction company doesn’t want to wait to begin.

“The company wants to start right now if they could. But we have to go through some formalities of making sure the bond is gone through and the paperwork is signed off. And fact just to take advantage of this great weather.  Dunlap, the construction company wants to start this month,” Armstrong said.

“Get some good weather while they can. Order some steel ordered while the steel prices are still low. And get the project in under budget.”

The pro-Commons group in Columbus won a remonstrance on the project by a margin of 16 to 1 earlier this summer. The city still has to bid out many of the features in the Commons, including furniture and signage.

Armstrong says with Dunlap agreeing to build most of the structure for $12 million, the city could end up spending less than $18 million. Since the remonstrance began in March, steel prices have risen, but interest rates are lower, Armstrong said.

But the real cost of the signature campaign, he says, was the delay and possible loss of a proposed adjoining convention center and hotel.

I think that it’s going to be delayed until spring. I think that Tim Dora will go forward with the project. But we see the economy picking up slightly, not a lot. I think that project will occur now. Just going to cost him a little more money and him a little more time,” he said.

The building is set to open in the first quarter of 2011.

Daniel Robison

Daniel started as WFIU's Assistant News Director in July 2008. He graduated with a B.A. in history in 2007 and earned an M.A. in journalism two years later. Daniel hosts Ask the Mayor weekly and the occasional Noon Edition. He also hosts Morning Edition on Thursdays, sleepily. Daniel's beats include everything News Director Stan Jastrzebski wants him to cover. And it feels strange to type biography of myself in the third person like this. So that's that.

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