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A Fully Integrated Sports and Entertainment District

Nationwide Arena District
Columbus, Ohio, USA

“... one of the Midwest’s most successful urban redevelopment projects”

The New York Times

The historic, industrial texture of Ohio’s capital city is expressed in this 100-acre mixed-use district, which has helped transform downtown Columbus.

The development of the Arena District was catalyzed by the opening of the 18,500-seat Nationwide Arena that HOK designed as home to the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

In collaboration with developer Nationwide Realty Investors (NRI), HOK provided design services for projects throughout the district, including more than 1.5 million square feet of office and retail space, the Arena Grand Theatre, Lifestyles Community Pavilion Amphitheater, Huntington Park, Burnham Square and Northbank Condominiums, Arena Crossing Apartments and four parking garages.

The district master plan was developed by Columbus-based MKSK (formerly MSI Design). The plan takes its cues  from the world’s best urban neighborhoods. In addition to a tightly knit infrastructure, the design features street-level architectural details, wide brick sidewalks, inviting green spaces and hospitable storefronts. Pedestrian routes conform to city grids and maintain a strong visual connection to the arena.

Though distinct in their design, the district’s buildings share a strong industrial reference to warehouse structures that dominate the cityscape. Their detailing and form emphasize simplicity, with large rhythmic windows and tall ceilings. The result is a unified experience that is rare in mixed-use developments.

Planned as a 15-to-20-year development, the district appears finished even as it evolves. Its buildings, public gathering spaces and infrastructure are integrated seamlessly in a timeless, pedestrian-friendly tapestry that keeps improving as new projects open.

“About $1 billion in development around an arena primarily for hockey transformed a dreary section of downtown Columbus,” reported Trib LIVE in 2014.


100 acres / 40 hectares
Office and retail: 1.5 million sq. ft. / 139,000 sq. m.
Residential Housing: 639 units
Nationwide Arena: 18,500 seats
Huntington Park: 10,000 seats
Arena Grand Theatre: 45,000 sq. ft. / 4,180 sq. m.
LC Pavilion: 24,500 sq. ft. / 2,275 sq. m.
Four parking garages: 4,525 cars


Graphic Design 
Interior Design
Sustainable Design
Urban Planning


Columbus Landmarks Foundation – James B. Recchie Design Award

International Masonry Institute – Ohio Golden Trowel Award

City of Columbus Department of Trade and Development – Plan It Award

Columbus Metropolitan Club – Harrison Smith Award for Urban Design


5 October 2014
“Columbus Provides Blueprint for How to Develop Mellon Arena Site”
Trib LIVE 

2 December 2008
“A Waterfront Revival in Columbus, Ohio” 
The New York Times