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Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons


After a downtown shopping center became obsolete, Columbus wanted to redevelop the area into a multipurpose green space.

Services Involved

  • Architectural Design
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Columbus Commons

ms consultants worked in conjunction with Corna-Kokosing on the complete demolition and reconstruction of the City Center Mall site in Columbus, Ohio. Corna-Kokosing was the general contractor and ms consultants provided all of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and security system design for the project.

The Former City Center Mall

City Center Mall was a 1.2 million square foot, 3-level shopping center in the heart of downtown. It was developed by the city as part of the Capital South development and officially opened in August of 1989. Less than 20 years later, newer suburban mixed-use shopping centers had brought an end to City Center and other older shopping malls in Columbus. City Center officially closed in March of 2009, and demolition began later that year.

The Beginnings of a Park

The scope of work required the removal of the existing structure while maintaining full operations of the underground parking facility, security operations, and healing of connections to adjacent buildings. All major systems had to be assessed prior to making design decisions. Numerous scenarios of phasing and system configurations were evaluated before selecting a final solution. The final demolition / reconfiguration documents included documenting systems that were to be removed, systems that were to remain in place temporarily and completely new systems. The evaluation process also determined that security office systems and operations needed to be completely relocated to a remote building, while maintaining full operations. All of the demolition/reconfiguration was accomplished while maintaining full operation of the underground parking facility, all of the mechanical and electrical systems, and the security systems.

Environmental Awareness

As part of the project, Corna-Kokosing created detailed programs for recycling waste materials and reusing the maximum amount of existing materials to bring a high level of environmental responsiveness to the project.

Electrical Engineering

ms provided electrical engineering for the Commons. With the extensive electrical requirements necessary to serve the Commons, working within the constraints of a green roof was a worthy challenge. ms designed the park electrical plans, including park lighting, power for seasonal lighting, restrooms, and concession facilities. The entire park is wired for sound, video, and lighting with a control rack located backstage of the pavilion and a control station located front-of-house. This includes controls and wiring for sound and theatrical lighting in the pavilion canopy as well as accent lighting.


In order to work within the green roof space constraints, ms electrical engineers installed conduits inside the green roof long before the decision to create the pavilion was finalized. These conduits allowed the engineers to adapt to meet the needs of the final design instead of requiring that the design be modeled around electrical constraints.

Downtown Entertainment

The Columbus Commons launched with a grand opening Memorial Day weekend, 2012. With the line-up of concerts and performances scheduled every summer, you are sure to find at least one event that will give you a reason to come downtown, settle on a blanket, and enjoy the summer light show.

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