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FRANKLINTON FLOODWALL - All dried up?

Floodwall offers hope for a Franklinton revival, but few expect a rush to rebuild

Sunday, March 14, 2004

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

By Debbie Gebolys and Mary Mogan Edwards

 

On low ground pocked by boarded-up houses and vacant lots, Franklinton has seldom been associated with the term ‘‘bright future."  Many in the timeworn community think the perception will change Monday.  Whether it does and how fast it might happen, though, are far from certain.

 

Monday is dedication day for the Franklinton floodwall, a 7.2-mile guardian against the Scioto River that has taken 11 years and $134 million to build. It’s also the last day of a 21-year de facto moratorium on building anything new or fixing anything old in a community known more for crime and tinderbox homes than tightknit neighborhoods and Columbus’ birthplace.

 

Much of Franklinton — sometimes called ‘‘The Bottoms" — will be free of the restrictions that discouraged commercial development and priced home renovations beyond reach. Effective Tuesday, new federal maps outlining the flood plain will show lenders that most owners seeking mortgages or home-equity loans no longer need flood insurance costing up to $600 a year.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/local_news/stories/2004/03/14/flood.ART_ART_03-14-04_B1_JR6H9ID.html

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Shit, they better HOPE it flourishes. That area needs all the business it can get.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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It's definitely too late and the area just doesn't have the housing stock for Franklinton to become the next German Village or Victorian Village. However, I don't think it doesn't mean that the area can't thrive, especially the Broad St. corridor and the area around Vets/COSI. Business remains somewhat healthy along Broad St., they just need to get the homes in the area refurbished. Hopefully as more people move in, business can the become healthier in the commercial pockets in the neighborhood.

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From the "I did not know that" file...

Federal gov't came in and proclaimed(?) that no new construction could occur in Franklintown as of 1983, due to the potential flooding hazard.

 

That doctrine was lifted with the dedication of the Flood wall today

(This was mentioned on the local evening news, Monday)

 

Sandor

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No, I didn't.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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For a look at the neighborhood, check out Summit Street's Franklinton thread:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1772.0

 

From the Business First of Columbus, 12/19/05:

 

 

Mt. Carmel looks to cure what's ailing Franklinton

Jeff Bell Business First

 

Mount Carmel Health System is ready to prime the redevelopment pump in Franklinton to secure the future of its flagship hospital. The effort will include spending more than $13 million on landscaping, lighting and parking garage improvements at Mount Carmel West Hospital as well as property acquisitions and support of revitalization activities in the neighborhood.

 

The projects, expected to begin as early as March, are part of a new Mount Carmel plan aimed at helping spark an economic revival of impoverished Franklinton, where the Catholic health-care system has operated a hospital since 1886.  Such progress is needed, said Mount Carmel West Administrator Michael Holmes, if the 426-bed West Broad Street hospital is to proceed with construction projects it envisions.  The projects, outlined in a concept plan recently approved by the nonprofit hospital system's board, include an inpatient tower that could cost more than $80 million, a residence hall for the Mount Carmel College of Nursing, a health and wellness center, and several office buildings.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2005/12/19/story2.html

 

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It's good to hear that there are good times ahead for Mt. Carmel and the Franklinton area. It's wonderful to hear how they are working with the community to imporve not only the hospital but the area(s) around it. I hope they can see all the plans they have in mind come thru. Thumbs up to Mt. Carmel!!!

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My downtown office window overlooks the whole Franklinton area and I once worked for the Open Shelter in that neighborhood.  This project by Mount Carmel is very welcome news.  I hope the effort will be made to keep a good mix of new and existing residents and that it doesn't turn out to be a total gentrification.  This is a neighborhood that has long needed such an economic shot in the arm.  Several individual businesses have invested in properties instead of simply moving out.  One of those is A.D. Farrow's Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, the oldest Harley dealership in the nation.  Tommy's Diner is another business that has stayed put and put their money into improving their building (great place for breakfast BTW).  It's good to see Mt. Carmel join in this effort.  It will be worth watching.

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From Business First of Columbus, 1/9/06:

 

 

Franklinton development taking its time

Cindy Bent Findlay For Business First

 

The completion of the Franklinton floodwall and lifting of burdensome federal restrictions on construction were expected to unleash a new flood, this time of economic development of downtown's older but smaller sister across the Scioto River.  But don't expect the area to turn around overnight, say development consultants and local activists.

 

"I'm 100 percent sure it's going to happen. The only question is when. My guess is, at the earliest it will take five years, at the longest maybe 10 to 15," says Joel Teaford, executive director of the Neighborhood Design Center, the Columbus urban planning and development nonprofit, which has assisted with planning in the area.

 

The $129 million floodwall lingered in the planning stages for decades before construction began in 1993. It was finally completed in 2004.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/01/09/focus1.html

 

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Mount Carmel West to upgrade

$27.1 million project aimed at boosting hospital’s visibility

By Mike Pramik THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

You’d think it would be easy to find a hospital that hasn’t moved in nearly 120 years.  But driving to Mount Carmel West, then navigating the somewhat convoluted campus, is often confusing for visitors.  Hospital officials hope to fix the problem by creating clearly marked entryways as part of an effort to increase the hospital’s presence in central Ohio.

 

Mount Carmel West plans to spend $27.1 million in the next couple of years to implement the plan, which also includes hiring doctors and building satellite outpatient centers.  But about half of the money will go toward capital improvements around the hospital’s Downtown campus.  It includes money for land, new lighting, better signs and the demolition of obsolete buildings. The hospital also is renovating its main public-parking garage and plans to create three gateways that will provide a friendlier environment for employees and visitors.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/local_news/stories/2006/03/20/mcarmel.ART_ART_03-20-06_B1_K5ID.html

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An editorial on Franklinton and Mayor Coleman's Home Again initiative.

 

Out with the old…

Demolishing old homes while building new ones is dual progress for Franklinton

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

 

The city’s most-blighted neighborhoods need fewer vacant hulks and more decent homes, so the recent launch of Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s Home Again initiative was doubly good news for Franklinton.  First, city officials and neighbors had the pleasure of seeing one of the city’s worst abandoned homes knocked into rubble.  It is one of 72 blighted homes the city plans to demolish this year.  Then, a few blocks away, something even more remarkable took place: Coleman and others joined in welcoming Ethiopian refugee Tirhas Belay to her new Habitat for Humanity-built house, the first house built in Franklinton for as long as anyone can remember.

 

Development in that community was stifled for decades because of the high possibility of flooding.  Flood-plain restrictions and prohibitive insurance rates made financing next to impossible, so that no one could build new homes and, worse, significant remodeling or rehabilitation of existing properties was equally difficult.  As a result, the neighborhood deteriorated.  Boosters hoped completion of the Franklinton Floodwall in 2004, erasing the flood-plain restrictions, would unleash a deluge of investment in Franklinton, but so far those hopes have been unrealized.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/editorials-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/06/07/20060607-A10-01.html

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Nurses to get new housing

Mt. Carmel adding dorms on its campus

Business First of Columbus - by Jeff Bell

Friday, August 4, 2006

 

The Mount Carmel College of Nursing will work with two real estate developers to build student housing at its Franklinton campus.  The $3.3 million project will help the college meet rising demand for student housing without taxing its financial resources, said Ann Schiele, president of the 650-student private college.  At the same time, the residence halls represent part of Mount Carmel's efforts to help spark an economic revival in one of Columbus' impoverished neighborhoods.

 

The twin-building, 53,000-square-foot complex will rise on the south side of Town Street across from the college on vacant land owned by Mount Carmel Health System.  The residence halls will be built, owned and managed by a partnership between Donald W. Kelley and Associates and Robert Weiler and Associates, both of Columbus.

 

Full article: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/08/07/story2.html

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From Business First of Columbus, 1/26/07:

 

 

Red Capital finances $7M for Franklinton complex

Business First of Columbus - January 26, 2007

 

Red Capital Markets Inc. said Friday it is providing $7 million in financing to the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority to build affordable housing for senior citizens. The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority will use the tax-exempt bonds to build the 100-unit Worley Terrace Apartments on Central Avenue in Franklinton.

 

The apartment complex, which will have one-bedroom units, will operate as a public housing community with rent, including utilities, not to exceed 30 percent of the resident's annual income.  Construction is expected to begin in the spring and should be completed by December. Columbus Metropolitan Housing affiliate Metropolitan Housing Partners Inc. is managing the project.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2007/01/22/daily27.html?surround=lfn

 

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$23 MILLION DEVELOPMENT

Condos planned for Franklinton

Former industrial sites to get new life

Saturday,  April 14, 2007 3:40 AM

By Robert Vitale THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Columbus is turning to a man once labeled the biggest slumlord in Los Angeles to revive a neighborhood that Mayor Michael B. Coleman said has been plagued by "flight, abandonment and blight."  City officials announced a $23 million plan yesterday to turn two former industrial sites and a vacant lot in Franklinton into condominiums, apartments and artists' studios.

 

Coleman said the privately funded development will transform the long-troubled area west of Downtown into "the comeback neighborhood" of Columbus.  City officials said they're aware -- but not alarmed -- that developer Lance Robbins has a history of slumlord violations and unpaid bills.  "I don't know if it's grounds to not work with somebody because they got bad press," said Gary Guglielmi, economic-development manager.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/business/stories/2007/04/14/Frankinvest.ART_ART_04-14-07_C1_GO6CKSJ.html

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Awesome!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Developer plans condos on B&T Metals site

Business First of Columbus - 9:59 AM EDT Monday, April 16, 2007

 

The former B&T Metals manufacturing site in Franklinton may be redeveloped into residential and commercial space.

The city said Brick Investment Corp. plans to transform the site at 435 W. Town St. into 130 residences, a small arts theater, gallery space, retail, a coffee shop and office space. Housing construction for the $23 million project is expected to begin later this year, the city said.

 

B&T Metals was founded in 1932 and made aluminum products ranging from carpet strips to door frames. It shut down in 1982 but the property remained under the ownership of a member of the Kilgore family, who founded B&T Metals.  Los Angeles-based Brick Investment has also purchased several surrounding blighted and abandoned properties for future housing development, including a site across from the former B&T Metals at 401 W. Town St.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2007/04/16/daily1.html?jst=b_ln_hl

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Link contains two photos.  From the 1/28/07 Dispatch:

 

SLOW TURNAROUND

Hardly a deluge

Perceptions that it's a dangerous neighborhood have held back the resurgence of Franklinton despite the $140 million floodwall's opening in '04

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Debbie Gebolys THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

The Franklinton Floodwall was supposed to hold more than just floodwaters from a swollen Scioto River. It also was to hold hope for rebuilding the last derelict neighborhood bordering Downtown. But since the $140 million floodwall opened in March 2004, fewer building permits have been issued each year than before it opened. The city issued just four permits to build single-family houses in Franklinton between the beginning of 1998 and July 2006, city records show. Although city leaders and nonprofit groups attempt to support improvements along W. Broad Street, others perceive that the neighborhood is not safe.

 

Although he doesn't have statistics to compare, "I don?t think our problems are any worse than other areas of the city," said Columbus Police Sgt. Michael Evans, of the 18th Precinct. "There are some areas that are pretty rough and areas that are fine."  But even if crime rates aren't higher, the perception works against revitalization, Franklinton backers said.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/contentbe/dispatch/2007/01/28/20070128-C1-00.html

 

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I lived there up until 10 years ago and frankly the neighborhood sucks. It's still pretty much the same place I grew up in. Central Point is garbage and W. Broad offers nothing. There's no reason for anyone to want to move there besides its convenience to downtown.

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That is very much a 'blah' area. Hospital expansion is nice for creating jobs and replacing vacant areas with stuff. At the same time, it's a reminder how how poorly people in the U.S. take care of their bodies.

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I've always thought that the only thing that will turn this neighborhood around is a mega-project on the scale of Jeffrey Place.  I'm talking over 1,000 units.  A developer really needs to have a huge chunk of land and build a whole neighborhood from the ground up.

 

Franklinton just doesn't have the housing stock to go with the piecemeal approach.  It'll never gather the buzz.

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I'm probably wrong for some reason, but isn't the fact that there isn't much good housing and probably a high rate of abandonment a good thing by making it easy for developers to come in, raze the homes and build a new neighborhood probably with some opposition? Keep in mind that Franklinton simply doesn't have the population or clout (read "money") to stop it. Look at what happened to the historical firehouse they wanted to save. Oh, and there is one good thing about the area; good Mexican food. There's a stall at Broad & Hague which was good, went there at night with some friends and didn't get mugged or shot.

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I agree that it will take a wholesale demolition of much of the existing housing stock to bring Franklinton around. Maybe saving some of the historical buildings, some of the nicer salvagable old abandoned schools, etc. but the basic housing stock sucks and is comprised in large part of decayed 100+ year old wooden dry-as-tinder firetraps. Much of the housing stock is just not up to the standards of Old Town East, the Short North, etc. A Jeffrey Place 'new neighborhood' type of approach is needed IMO.

 

And that area around West Rich street near I think it is Sunshine Terrace(?) is full of crackheads and the like. Had a friend move from a place on W. Rich last year from across the eight story housing block there. Sofas flying off 6th floor balconys, people taking potshots at passing cars, residents on balconies using dinner plates as frisbees to see if they could take out car windows from the cars parked on the nearby streets...who wants to deal with that stuff??

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FORMER FACTORY A SAFETY HAZARD

Demolition, not renewal, may be next for building

Saturday,  April 28, 2007 6:32 AM

By Debbie Gebolys THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

The former Franklinton factory that the mayor and community leaders herald as a new beginning for a depressed neighborhood could be razed within days.  City officials issued emergency orders Thursday declaring that B&T Metals, 425 W. Town St., "presents an unreasonable and imminent threat to the life or safety of any person or persons in the surrounding area."

 

Owners have until Sunday to come up with a plan to make the building safe or hire a licensed contractor to demolish it.

Only two weeks ago, Los Angeles developer Lance Robbins was announcing $23 million in plans to rebuild B&T and three other city blocks between Town and Rich streets immediately west of the CSX railroad tracks.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/local_news/stories/2007/04/28/b_tmetals.ART_ART_04-28-07_B1_JR6H9ID.html

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Franklinton a fresh start for developer

Monday,  April 30, 2007 3:32 AM

By Debbie Gebolys and Robert Vitale

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Across the street from the crumbling factory building he plans to turn into artists' studios and trendy condos, Lance Robbins stood with the people who guide development in Columbus and was hailed as a savior for Franklinton.  Mayor Michael B. Coleman applauded the Los Angeles businessman's vision for the long-stagnant neighborhood and counted him among those "bringing new hope to the historic heart of Columbus."

 

City officials and neighborhood leaders are counting on Robbins to help revive a section of the city long passed over by other developers. Two weeks ago, he announced his plan to spend $23 million at and around the former B&T Metals plant at W. Town and Lucas streets.  But Robbins is counting on Columbus, too, to help revive a reputation scarred by decades of legal, political and business disputes.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/local_news/stories/2007/04/30/robbins.ART_ART_04-30-07_A1_EK6HNGU.html

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Franklinton: The new Short North?

Could the neighborhood west of Downtown become a haven for hipsters?

By Jordan Gentile / May 3, 2007 

 

Three years ago, Chris Sherman was frustrated. The 28-year-old designer lived in Old Towne East, rented a workshop in the Short North and ran his remodeling business from a third location.  He needed a place to consolidate all of the disparate elements of his life.  But it had to be versatile—spacious and durable enough for working but stylish and convenient enough for living.

 

A SoHo-style loft was the obvious choice. “I wanted to have the freedom,” Sherman said from the second floor of his ultra-sleek home, “to be able to design my own space, and this allowed me to do it.”  Franklinton, the weathered neighborhood just west of Downtown, turned out to be the only place he could have pulled it off.  “Something like this in Victorian Village could be $500,000 to $800,000,” he said. “This building was like an eighth of that amount.”

 

Read more at http://www.theotherpaper.com/TOP5-3/5-3_substory3.html

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PROBABLY not going to reach the level of Short North? Be serious... Unless you create art galleries with paintings of giant vicodin pills its not going to work in Franklinton. Or the bottoms or hilltop for that matter.

 

I'm glad to see that they're finally looking at those old factories..I always thought they should be converted.

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Hey, it definately has the potential to be a true artist neighborhood (unlike that OTHER place with overpriced martinis and tofu served in Chicago-style pizza.  Trash).


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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^^ Thankyou.

 

I SO want Franklinton to succeed. Ideally, I'd like to see it happen more organically, but if condos is what it takes to get people interested, so be it. I wonder, though, if "artists" are condo-types. Or are we marketing the cache of living near artists?

 

Chicken, meet egg.

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It could be an Oakley.

 

Except Oakley is...well...eww!  (j/k, I love Oakley)


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I've been up all night bored, so I threw together some info about the neighborhood just for fun.   :-D

 

thebottomsaq6.jpg

 

columbusthebottoms001it0.jpg

 

columbusthebottoms002og9.jpg

 

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columbusthebottoms017ft4.jpg

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columbusthebottoms041vu5.jpg

 

columbusthebottoms039ql0.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Great work David!  The only time I ever went to the Bottoms when I lived in Columbus was to go to a Clippers game.  It's an area with so much potential, and the city would love to fix it up, but it's tough with 315 cutting a path right through it.  Hopefully over time the area is restored to its full potential!

 

On a side note, it looks like there is a bit of gang activity there...  watch your back!

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Grit and heartbreak aside, I LOVE Franklinton. The Franklinton arts group had a float in the Doo-Dah parade, and it served as a tart reminder of the overall phoney baloneyness of present day Short North/IV/VV. (David: add a pin to Italian Village marked "Kingfish being angry.")

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Do I look like I live on 1st Avenue in Grandview Heights?  NO.

 

Bring that pin thing up a 1/4th of a mile and you'll have it right, _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _...

 

As for Franklinton, so much potential, so little time.  Atleast they have Florentine's.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Meh, blight is only the tip of the ice berg. The biggest problem in the neighborhood is uneducated people, bad parenting, and addiction to coke and painkillers. Parents sending their kids to school without jackets. Teachers spend more time calling children services for abuse than anything else.

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The biggest problem in the neighborhood is uneducated people, bad parenting, and addiction to coke and painkillers.

 

So basically, a CDawg wet dream.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Meh, blight is only the tip of the ice berg. The biggest problem in the neighborhood is uneducated people, bad parenting, and addiction to coke and painkillers. Parents sending their kids to school without jackets. Teachers spend more time calling children services for abuse than anything else.

 

It's a little thing called "persistent poverty." It is SUCH an inconvenience.

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The biggest problem in the neighborhood is uneducated people, bad parenting, and addiction to coke and painkillers.

 

So basically, a CDawg wet dream.

 

I spit out my coke onto the work keyboard upon reading that. Gee thanks :D

 

"Piru Blood Gang" That is just fucking hilarious.

 

On the topic, do you feel that the area is slowly gaining ground in its efforts to save the neighborhood? I spot many freshly boarded up buildings, and fences that I hope does not indicate eminent demolition. It looks pretty much the same as when I drove through it several years ago.

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The biggest problem in the neighborhood is uneducated people, bad parenting, and addiction to coke and painkillers.

 

So basically, a CDawg wet dream.

 

I spit out my coke onto the work keyboard upon reading that. Gee thanks :D

 

"Piru Blood Gang" That is just fucking hilarious.

 

On the topic, do you feel that the area is slowly gaining ground in its efforts to save the neighborhood? I spot many freshly boarded up buildings, and fences that I hope does not indicate eminent demolition. It looks pretty much the same as when I drove through it several years ago.

The bottoms have been the same since I lived there as a little kid 13 years ago. Its probably the worst quality housing stock in the inner city and thus one of the very last places developers are interested in rehabbing. Almost every other neighborhood that close to downtown has been gentrified. That's why the artists are moving into the warehouses. I think that slowly the bottoms will be razed starting with parts closer to downtown. COSI has already started the trend, on the site of an old high school. I say bring in the gays and starving artists. Unfortunately all of the razing will make for a lot of displacement, meaning the people moving farther west. There simply isn't much worth saving in the bottoms so I don't really see infill development working unless we're talking about the Mt. Carmel hospital area. I do think the area will be a lot different in the next 30 years than what has happend in the last 30 (absolutely nothing).

 

On a side note, it's interesting that people think the bottoms never had a chance because of flooding. Our basement did flood nonstop and the area in general sucked but the hilltop is almost as bad these days. In fact, it's been almost as bad for atleat a few decades.

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I find it interesting (inspiring) that so much was invested in creating a floodwall for Franklinton. That's a very unglamorous, forward-looking project. And when you consider its benefit to the poorest of the poor, there's something postively WPA-esque about the whole thing.

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Struggle for development in Franklinton

Homes not right fit for neighborhood, leaders say

Sunday, October 28, 2007

By Mark Ferenchik, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Vince Gazzara wants to build four houses in Franklinton, the poor Columbus neighborhood of century-old houses just west of Downtown that is struggling to reverse its fortunes.  But he doesn't want to build basements, garages or porches.  So neighborhood leaders -- as much as they want new construction -- don't want his houses.

 

The houses Gazzara wants to build aren't fancy.  They're two-story, vinyl-sided homes on slabs that would sell for $75,000.  Carol Stewart, who leads the Franklinton Area Commission, said she wants better.  "We would rather see a green space than to put up something that doesn't match the neighboring houses," she said.  Gazzara said neighborhood leaders' requirements that he build houses with garages, basements and porches would make his homes unaffordable.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2007/10/28/FRANKLINTON.ART_ART_10-28-07_B01.html?sid=101

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Franklinton nabs 600 jobs through state office consolidation

Friday, January 18, 2008

By Brian R. Ball, Business First of Columbus

 

Franklinton will gain 600 state employees as neighbors and customers this summer when the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections consolidates its Columbus offices.  The state prison system will begin relocating from three office buildings on Freeway Drive by July 1 to the building at 770 W. Broad Street.  The consolidation also will see the Ohio Adult Parole Authority moved to the neighborhood from Alum Creek Drive south of Bexley.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2008/01/21/story2.html?b=1200891600

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