Columbus Riverfront 

Riverfront Redevelopment in the Midwest

Redeveloped Riverfronts are creating valuable assets and driving economic development for communities across the Midwest.  Click on the cities below to see some of the exciting ways communities have revitalized their riverfronts into beautiful parks and greenways that are reconnecting people to their rivers and waterways.  

White River,


Re-Imagining our Riverfront will create a safer river experience by removing the dangerous low-head dam located within the project site. 

Exciting News!

On February 19, 2018, the Columbus Redevelopment Commission voted unanimously to approve a new contract with Hitchcock Design Group for Phase I – Preliminary Design and Phase II – Design Development / Permitting Services.  During these phases Hitchcock Design Group will further refine the Re-imagined Riverfront Concept Plan, provide preliminary engineering and submit the design to various state and federal agencies for permitting.  This next step in the design of the riverfront is very important as it will address securing and stabilizing our river banks, dam removal, water levels, water quality, fish passage, people trail connections and access to the water.  This is a NECESSARY and EXCITING NEXT STEP!

Riverfront Design Team presents the final Riverfront Concept to the Columbus Redevelopment Commission!

On January 22nd, 2018, Hitchcock Design Group presented the Columbus Redevelopment Commission with the final concept for the Columbus Riverfront project.  The CRC members voted unanimously to accept the $8.6 million concept plan that includes several overlooks of the East Fork of the White River, connections to the People Trail system, an in-water recreation park, and many other captivating amenities.      


Project Summary

    The Columbus Redevelopment Commission is leading an initiative to improve the appearance, recreational function, environmental quality, and economic benefit of the East Fork of the White River between the 2nd and 3rd Street bridges (see project map).

    On behalf of the city, the Redevelopment Commission has engaged a team of planning, design, engineering, and market economic professionals led by Hitchcock Design Group to create a compelling riverfront concept that improves access to and along the river, and creates dynamic public places consistent with the city’s rich cultural history.

    As an integral part of the project, the team will consider modifications of the low-head dam to improve river water quality, safety, and navigation. The Redevelopment Commission expects the concept to be finished in September and introduced to the community during a series of public workshops and meetings.

Opportunity Analysis

   The consultant team and Redevelopment Commission will follow a three phase process starting with the Opportunity Analysis, which will identify issues and the most promising strategies to meet the city’s aesthetic, recreational, environmental, and economic objectives for redeveloping the riverfront.

   These strategies will be based on the physical and natural characteristics of the project site, the available cultural and financial resources, and the interests of the public and related stakeholders.

   This phase concludes with an Opportunity Analysis Report that includes the results of a web-based survey, key stakeholder interviews, a market analysis, and a public workshop. 

Alternative Riverfront 


   Next, during the Alternative Riverfront Concepts phase, the consultant team will create consensus on an overall strategy, the most promising public sector improvements, and private sector redevelopment opportunities.


   Then, the consultant team will develop preliminary implementation recommendations and work closely with the Redevelopment Commission to refine the most promising concepts into a Preferred Riverfront Concept.


    They will also develop a Preliminary Implementation Memorandum that considers public policy, operational improvements, and capital improvement issues. This phase will include a public open house to showcase the Preferred Riverfront Concept and receive public comment.

Riverfront Concept Plan

   In the Riverfront Concept Plan phase, the consultant team will document and obtain approval of the finalized recommendations, including an Implementation Table outlining short term (3-5 year) capital and operational implementation projects, and Riverfront Improvement Guidelines detailing standards and best practices.  


   This information will be published in a final Riverfront Concept Report summarizing the consultant team’s recommendations.  When complete, they will present their final recommendations to the Columbus City Council, the Redevelopment Commission, and the public.

Project Team:

Rick Hitchcock

Leadership, Strategy, Group Facilitation

Hitchcock Design Group

Randy Royer

Principle in Charge

Hitchcock Design Group

Scott Shipley

River Recreation

S2O Design and Engineering

Dan Martin

Market Economics

Market & Feasibility Advisors

Jason Larrison

Project Manager

Core Planning Strategies

Bill Hawkins

Civil, Structural, & Electrical Engineering

Strand Associates

Contact information:

Heather Pope

Director of Redevelopment

Columbus Redevelopment Commission

Randy Royer

Principle in Charge

Hitchcock Design Group