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Historic Franklinton factory torn down to make way for art, living spaces

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 03:07 AM

By Robert Vitale, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

The head of the Franklinton Historical Society said she signed demolition papers for the historic factory offices at Town and Lucas streets "with joy."

 

In the 1940s, unbeknownst to employees at B&T Metals, they were doing uranium-extruding work for the government that became part of the first atomic bombs.  B&T was a rare black-owned business that employed more than 500 people in its heyday.

 

But Carol Stewart, the Franklinton historian who also leads the neighborhood's area commission, was thinking yesterday about the future of the area.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/05/17/work-begins-on-latest-hot-place.html?sid=101

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It's great to see that there is finally some momentum for this area.  10 years from now, or sooner, this could be the next hot area of the city.

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When I grew up there in the early 90s, I remember having a few friends on my street who were actually middle class lol. Their parents took great care of their property. I guess they couldn't wait any longer for the place to get better  and I think the beginning of the 90s saw a peak in the crime epidemic. A lot of my friends moved to the suburbs. Grove City, Hilliard, etc. It was kinda sad. I know there's urban pioneers moving in and rehabbing but it seems like back then there were more families taking a risk and for any inner city to really thrive, middle class families are who they really need to attract, imo.

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That's were Columbus drops the ball: they wait until invested homeowners cry uncle due to the rising crime rate and let the area fall apart before stepping up to the plate, thereby taking the two steps backward one step forward approach. It's not just Franklinton homeowners, but Linden and Near South homeowners who make up a clear majority of the neighborhoods' residents, yet are ignored and have been fleeing by the thousands as more bad renters move in and make the areas less livable by the day. I was surprised to see the number of kids I saw in North Linden, but you can guarantee that such a sight will continue to disappear as the city chooses to drive out these families.

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Franklinton hopes for rebirth

Scioto Mile could help drive new life into swath between river and Rt. 315

Sunday, July 3, 2011 

By Mark Ferenchik and Doug Caruso

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Across the river from the Scioto Mile, Franklinton is hoping that it too will benefit from the $44 million Downtown park.

 

Mayor Michael B. Coleman says the Scioto Mile could be a catalyst for Franklinton, which has long been a symbol of urban decay but is showing tentative signs of rebirth.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/07/03/franklinton-hopes-for-rebirth.html

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Columbus City Council Meeting Highlights - July 25, 2011

From Columbus Underground:

 

HELPING REVITALIZE EAST FRANKLINTON: Development Committee Chair Zachary M. Klein is sponsoring ordinance 0962-2011, to authorize the expenditure of $260,000 for the preparation of the East Franklinton Creative Community District Plan.  The Creative Community Initiative for East Franklinton was announced during the Mayor’s 2011 State of the City address.  This planning process will produce a plan to guide revitalization of East Franklinton as a place for the creative class to live and maintain their businesses.  It builds upon city initiatives that are already underway or that have been completed in the neighborhood.  It is also intended to harness current proposed projects, as well as future investments.

 

http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/city-council-meeting-highlights-july-25-2011

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From Columbus Underground:

 

400 West Rich Brings Art Studios to Franklinton

By Walker | February 10, 2011 - 8:00am

 

Over the past few years, Franklinton has frequently been pitched as a neighborhood that could become “the next Short North” through focused efforts on attracting artists and creatives to relocate into affordable spaces to live and work.  That process has mostly been slow-going, but is about to take a giant leap forward with the official unveiling of the new 400 West Rich Street project.

 

Franklinton resident and freelance contractor Chris Sherman serves as the project manager at 400 West Rich Street and has spearheaded the effort to convert the old warehouse building into new work spaces for local artists.

 

READ MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/400-west-rich-brings-art-studios-to-franklinton

In addition to the above article from Columbus Underground, more information on this development can be found in TheMetropreneur.com article: “New Creative, Collaborative Space Forms in Franklinton“

 

The project also has a website at 400WestRich.com.

 

Here are some photos of 400 West Rich Street from their website.  This is only a sample of the project's phototour.  These are smaller versions of the photos available at the website.  Please go to http://400westrich.com/ for larger versions of these photos:

 

100_2960-300x225.jpg  100_2959-300x225.jpg  ChrisSherman1-300x199.jpg

 

Here is a Google Map of project:

400 West Rich Street

It looks like the 400 West Rich Street arts complex in Franklinton is moving right along.  They've attracted some initial tenants and are seeking more.  Below is a report from the weekly paper Columbus Alive about an open house they held at 400 West Rich earlier this month:

 

COLUMBUS ALIVE:  Franklinton arts complex on view Thursday

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Children’s Zone Project would go beyond school

By Jennifer Smith Richards

The Columbus Dispatch

Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 7:47 AM

 

A plan is in the works to create a “children’s zone” in Columbus that would include a high-performing middle school, after-school services that last through the evening and maybe even health clinics.

 

The school, a second Columbus Collegiate Academy, is being planned.  And the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus is on board to offer after-school programs through 8 p.m.  Together, they’re looking at the old Franklinton Alternative Elementary building as the perfect spot.  It’s a stone’s throw from a Boys & Girls club.

 

And organizers said they have grants and donors who want to help pay to start the project.  But they worry that the plan could be waylaid by a new state law that wouldn’t let the Columbus school district choose the tenant for the Franklinton building.  Instead, the law forces school districts to hold a lottery if more than one charter school is interested in renting an unused building.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/08/14/project-would-go-beyond-school.html

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Dispatch article from last month about the 125th anniversary of the Mount Carmel hospital system in Columbus.  Since Mount Carmel was founded in Franklinton and still has its largest hospital in Franklinton - Mount Carmel West - I thought the Franklinton thread was as appropriate a place for it as anywhere else.  Especially considering the massiveness of the Mount Carmel West complex on the Franklinton neighborhood. 

 

Unfortunately, I took too long to post the article.  The Dispatch link that I had for the article now takes you to a registration page.  I don't know if this is part of the Dispatch's recent website revamp or not.  But in the meantime, this cached article from google will have to fill in.  The "read more here" link takes you to the google page with the article.

 

For 125 years, Mount Carmel has reached out to heal matters of mind, body and soul

By Kate Jacobson, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 9:43 AM

 

What started in a small, four-story brick building in 1886 has grown into an expansive network of hospitals and health clinics throughout central Ohio.

 

Despite huge changes, Mount Carmel's mission has stayed the same, said Sister Barbara Hahl, who directs community outreach for the health system. 'We have a special emphasis on women, the poor and the underserved. We offer programs for the mind, body and soul.'

 

Mount Carmel Health System is celebrating 125 years of service rooted in Catholicism and faith.  In 1886, the Sisters of the Holy Cross traveled from Notre Dame, Ind., to Columbus. 

 

They moved into an empty building that would become a new hospital.  Hawkes Hospital of Mount Carmel, as it was called, was located in present-day Franklinton, where Mount Carmel West now stands.

 

READ MORE HERE

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And now for something on Franklinton's present and future:

 

ca-a-urbanscrawl.jpg?__scale=w:590,h:393

 

Columbus Alive had a special Franklinton section in yesterday's paper on the occassion of this weekend's Urban Scrawl 5 to be held at 400 W. Rich Street.  It featured the following articles:

 

Franklinton on the Verge - A look at present and future projects in Franklinton from Mayor Michael Coleman; Jim Sweeney, executive director of the Franklinton Development Association; Bruce Warner, a Franklinton resident for 50 years and a development association board member; Chris Sherman of development company Urban Smart Growth & owner of 400 West Rich.

 

Franklinton on the Verge: Potential and Problems - An analysis of potentials and problems for the Franklinton neighborhood.

 

Franklinton on the Verge: Up from The Bottoms - A listing of historical milestones for the Franklinton neighborhood.

 

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A Columbus Underground contributer posted this neat 3 1/2 minute video of 400 West Rich Street and the Urban Scrawl event recently held there.  Enjoy . . .

 

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Public Input Sought for East Franklinton Creative Community District Plan

By: Walker Evans, Columbus Underground

Published on September 1, 2011 - 9:00 am

 

An open meeting will be held soon to gather public input on a new creative community plan for the Franklinton neighborhood.  The effort is a collaborative project being put together by The City of Columbus, the Franklinton Development Association, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, and developer Urban Smart Growth who is working on the 400 West Rich project.

(. . .)

This planning effort is working toward bringing together four main elements: public engagement to determine neighborhood needs, market studies to identify development goals, design approach to establish guidelines for development, and an implementation strategy that brings all partners together for a common vision.  The planning process is scheduled to take approximately 12 months and will be submitted for approval by the Franklinton Area Commission, the Columbus Development Commission and Columbus City Council.

(. . .)

The public meeting will be held on Thursday, September 15th from 6pm to 8pm at the Dodge Park Recreation Center located at 667 Sullivant Avenue in Franklinton.  The meeting is open to anyone and everyone who wants to share their thoughts on the future of this neighborhood.

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/public-input-sought-for-east-franklinton-creative-community-district-plan

 

Franklinton.jpg

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Columbus Underground also had a more detailed article about the upcoming community workshops for the East Franklinton Plan.  Link is below.  The article also had an intriguing before and after view of a conceptual rendering of a renovated warehouse at 435 W. State Street (where the workshops are being held) and for new residential units constructed on an adjacent vacant lot.

 

Community Input Sought on Next Steps for East Franklinton Plan

 

warehouse-01.jpg

 

warehouse-02.jpg

 

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The "Discovery District", "Warehouse District", and "Market Exchange District" are just so over the top. The "District" branding is just way too over reaching: one block with two real restaurants and two drive-thrus (the MED) does not constitute a "District" and I would never in a serious tone take an out-of-towner to these "Districts" and name them as such. The Warehouse District barely has enough to justify its namesake: it should just be "Downtown" since carving out sections and drafting plans that go nowhere doesn't end well with people being let down for what constitutes a "district" (nowadays the Warehouse District is supposed to have gateways and whatnot to outwardly brand the area as such, but nothing ever came from it and some business owners in the area I spoke to didn't even know the area was designated as such).

 

The moral of the story? Let East Franklinton be East Franklinton. Or just Franklinton.

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I agree on all this District stuff. The Arena District is fine, but all these other ones sound too made up. And using "District" all over town sounds kind of Iron Curtain. I think Market Exchange District may have been come up with by one guy; the guy who owns a lot of the buildings and is the son of the man who owned Jack Schmidt Oldsmobile-Peugeot. There's a Blast From the Past for you.

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Yea, the MED brand is owed to the owner(s) of a handful of buildings there, the ones that have a modern touch, not the fast food restaurants on the corner and the tire shops.

 

Branding Franklinton is just wasted time and effort. Put together a list of your favorite urban neighborhoods and I doubt you'll find many "districts" in that list. My only concern with recognizing East Franklinton is if that means we'll end up with a West Franklinton that gets left out of the picture. It's a decent sized neighborhood, but really despite any differences, mainly with East Franklinton being a mostly blank canvas with few residents, it all unquestionably feels like the same neighborhood despite the barriers between them (315 and railroad tracks), just that there are fewer homes and bars (one). Still, it's great to at least see apartment renderings being made for Franklinton, since several others are not as fortunate.

 

East Franklinton is finally going to have some commercial spaces for places that serve as destinations for residents and visitors and there really isn't competition on Broad for a scenario like the Short North where it's hard to lull customers off of High onto a handful of side streets. Hopefully, there will be some spillover onto W Broad, since it is the most traveled street in the neighborhood.

 

"Central Franklinton", specifically Broad, seems to have seen more citywide interest there with existing restaurants getting more recognition and the now the new bike co-op adding something different. An untapped asset that already exists, and it's certainly not for everyone, are the dive bars on Sullivant. Here in Mpls' Franklinton a variety of new bars has joined the old dives (including a few fancy ones, a wildly popular theme bar, and a new live music spot)  and instead of running them out of the neighborhood they're routinely visited by those visiting other bars in the neighborhood, so you get a mix of blue-collar residents, hipsters, and the odd YP, which makes for an interesting mixed crowd. I'm not sure if they were always as popular, but they're no frills (cash only too) and this google 360 shows the interior of Dusty's which actually looks comparable to Three Deuces except there's a kitchen, which I'm guessing most bars in Fton lack (my old roommate went to Mort's Place and said it was just old guys sitting around drinking beer: he thought it was too boring).  Dusty's, despite not looking like the most welcoming place garners more attention from locals citywide than all Franklinton bars combined. Notice that all of the reviews only date back a couple of years ago, so I'm guessing outsiders were all mainly just passing by until it was scoped out and made known that it's an OK place. Hell, they're even on facebook now. Basically, some Columbusites should also branch out and find that there are also old school dive bars in addition to the old school restaurants here. Likewise, this part of the neighborhood has the most bars too: four on Sullivant and then Colombini Bar on Town, which is easily the nicest looking of the bunch along with Three Deuces over in East Franklinton. With people outside of the neighborhood actually heading out to the bars that alone would about double the number of destinations being visited, but I'd bet that the restaurants would continue to draw a wider audience. It would help bridge the gap between Franklinton and High St and doesn't require a new building or renovations to occur at a later date.

 

"West Franklinton", west of Glenwood past the railroad bridge, is easily the forgotten corner of the neighborhood and that's understandable since there's only one bar on Sullivant and Brook's Pastries on Broad, the only decent retail spot on the densest most walkable three blocks of Franklinton, has been closed for years and no one has moved into their space or any of the other dozen available. It's a blank canvas in its own way, since there are a good number of empty homes and a very empty main street whose current identity is "barren". It'll probably remain as such until the other 2/3 of the neighborhood sees a decent amount of highly visible improvements.

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I agree on all this District stuff. The Arena District is fine, but all these other ones sound too made up.

 

I thought it was the FTON logo you disliked.

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More about the East Franklinton Community Plan in the below linked article from the Dispatch.  The article includes a decent rundown of some of the on-going and planned projects in the area.  Initial focus is on the 400 W. Rich Street building, which is now occupied by 60 artists.  But it also talks about the former B & T Metals site at 435 W. Town Street, the former A.D. Farrow motorcycle warehouse at 435 W. State Street and the former Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority Riverside-Bradley housing project south of Rich Street next to the Scioto River.

 

Franklinton takes bold strokes to renew neighborhood - Artists will occupy old glass factory as plans progress to resurrect area

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I agree on all this District stuff. The Arena District is fine, but all these other ones sound too made up.

 

I thought it was the FTON logo you disliked.

 

That too. ha

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ABC6 VIDEO: Franklinton Becoming a Thriving Community Despite Bad Rep

 

FRANKLINTON -- When Mike Redcay decided to buy a home for his family, he could have afforded to go almost anywhere, but he chose to move to Franklinton.  Five years later and with a 4-year-old he and his wife still live in Franklinton.  The couple fell in love with the area and say it's close to downtown.

 

The Franklinton Development Association says more couples are moving into the Franklinton area.

 

MORE: http://www.abc6onyourside.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wsyx_vid_15501.shtml

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From Columbus Underground:

 

East Franklinton Community Meeting 1/18/2012

 

There will be another public meeting concerning the East Franklinton Planning Process on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 from 6:30-8 pm at the warehouse located at 421 W. State Street.

 

The focus of this public presentation will be on the residential analysis and how it has impacted the team’s thinking and preliminary design strategies that up to this point have been based on public input, stakeholder meetings, etc.  The presentation will be followed with an open discussion with the participants.

 

MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/east-franklinton-community-meeting-1182012

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Bonds OK’d for Franklinton housing

Apartments to be for chronically homeless

By Lucas Sullivan, The Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 3:55 AM

 

The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority received the go-ahead yesterday to issue $7.9 million worth of housing bonds for the Franklin Station apartments at W. Broad and N. Mill streets.

 

The Franklin County commissioners voted unanimously yesterday in support of an arrangement in which CMHA will issue the bonds through the county to take advantage of its bond rating and lower interest rates.

 

The 100 one-bedroom apartments in Franklinton will house chronically homeless people, and the YMCA will provide social services.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/01/25/bonds-okd-for-housing.html

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^I was curious about where exactly those Franklin Station apartments would be located at the W. Broad and N. Mill in Franklinton.  So I went to the Franklin County Auditor's site to see where the CMHA property was located.  It turns out that the CMHA property is the former Byers Chevrolet truck sales lot north of Broad Street.  This property is between the historic former fire house that houses Jimmy Rea Electronics to the west and an office warehouse sales building to the east. 

 

Below is the site map from the Auditor's site:

 

6771585869_bff24ed78a_d.jpg

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Update from the Franklinton Development Association:

 

Franklinton Development Association Housing Update

 

Franklinton Development Association (FDA), your local Community Development Corporation, has and continues to work diligently to increase the quality of the housing stock in this community.  FDA’s most recent projects are listed below and are separated by rental and homeownership.  All of these homes are west of SR-315, have been built within the last 18 months, and together make up more than 100 units.

 

RENTALS:

Boulevard Homes – These 40-unit, scattered-site lease-purchase properties are fully occupied.  These properties are low-to-moderate income rentals, Section 8 qualified, and either new and/or fully rehabbed single-family homes.

 

Lucas Homes – These 7 rental units which include one new-build single-family property and three fully-rehabbed doubles are also fully occupied.  These rentals are targeted for low-income residents and are Section 8 qualified.

 

Hawthorne Village – Located near Mt. Carmel Hospital, Hawthorne Village offers one and two bedroom apartments for seniors 55 and up.  More about these 54-rental units here.

 

HOMEOWNERSHIP:

Hawkes Homes – These are the new-build, single-family homes that are located on Hawkes Avenue near Broad Street.  Each property, 33, 34 and 38 Hawkes Ave., is more than 1600 sq. ft., with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and are wheelchair accessible.

 

Edwards Homes – These are the new and rehabbed properties being completed on Martin Avenue.  While the new-build property is sold, the three rehabs at 45, 49 and 57 Martin Ave. remain available.

 

More information about the above projects:

http://www.franklinton.org/franklinton-development-association-housing-update/

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Podcast from yesterday's WOSU All Sides with Ann Fisher about development in Franklinton:

 

Challenges of Franklinton: Columbus’ Historic Urban Neighborhood

 

Guests

- Kevin Ballard (Vice President, Gladden Community House and Editor, Franklinton News)

- Rebecca Hunley (community activist and Safety Task Force Chair, Franklinton Area Commission)

- Jim Sweeney (Executive Director, Franklinton Development Association)

- Patrick Kaufman (Co-Director, Franklinton Gardens)

 

PODCAST: http://beta.wosu.org/allsides/challenges-of-franklinton-columbus%e2%80%99-historic-urban-neighborhood/

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^I was curious about where exactly those Franklin Station apartments would be located at the W. Broad and N. Mill in Franklinton.  So I went to the Franklin County Auditor's site to see where the CMHA property was located.  It turns out that the CMHA property is the former Byers Chevrolet truck sales lot north of Broad Street.  This property is between the historic former fire house that houses Jimmy Rea Electronics to the west and an office warehouse sales building to the east. 

 

Below is the site map from the Auditor's site:

 

6771585869_bff24ed78a_d.jpg

More about the 100-unit Franklin Station apartments planned for 524 W. Broad Street in Franklinton.  Business First had some more information about the project in the article posted below.  The construction company - R.W. Setterlin Building Co. - posted pdf's of the construction plans at its website.  Below the article excerpt are links to Franklin Station construction plans.  I wish a rendering was available because this looks like an outstanding urban infill project for Franklinton. 

 

The building is T-shaped - with the short side of the T along the Broad Street sidewalk and the longer T extending north into the rest of the site.  Both parts of the building are three-stories.  The ground floor facing Broad Street is a mostly glass storefront dedicated to common space and office space for the building, as well as some leaseable retail space at the corner of May Avenue.  The remainer of the building facades facing the surrounding public streets are brick clad with punched window fenestration.

 

According to the Business First article, construction is scheduled begin sometime this month, with construction scheduled to take 15 months.  The project is designed by Berardi & Partners and is a LEED project.

 


Setterlin lands contract to build Franklin Station housing project

By Brian R. Ball, Business First staff reporter

Date: Friday, February 24, 2012, 6:00am EST

 

The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority has awarded R.W. Setterlin Building Co. a $10.4 million construction contract to build the 100-unit Franklin Station senior housing project at 524 W. Broad Street.

 

MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/print-edition/2012/02/24/setterlin-lands-contract-to-build.html

 


Setterlin's CMHA Franklin Station project page

 

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Published on March 13, 2012 1:00 pm Edit this post

<b>Dinin’ Hall Brings Food Truck Food Court to Franklinton in May</b>

By: Walker

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/dinin-hall-01.jpg">

 

Beloved are our Columbus food trucks. They’ve had an interesting and evolving impact on the local dining scene in just a few short years, and 2012 promises a new round of innovation with the official launch of Dinin’ Hall in May.

 

Dinin’ Hall will be the first “street food pod” in Columbus (San Francisco is also getting their first one this Spring) which provides additional amenities to food truck dining, including indoor seating, a centralized checkout system, and a built environment more welcoming to newcomers who have previously been on the fence about eating out of mobile vehicles.

 

READ MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/dinin-hall-brings-food-truck-food-court-to-franklinton-in-may

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Business First ran a story today about a potentially fascinating office development project being proposed in Franklinton: "Orange Barrel Media has designs on Franklinton headquarters site"  Orange Barrel Media (that's the company behind those downtown wallscapes) is planning a move from its current location in Grove City to a location along Souder Avenue between the Scioto River and McKinley Avenue.  According to the article, the new Orange Barrel Media offices would be located on 3½ acres of a 5-acre site that was the former production center for Arrow Concrete.  From the descriptions in the article and the property descriptions at the County Auditor's website, it appears this is the aerial view and GIS view of the Souder Avenue project site:

 

7096873749_25fe9ea949_d.jpg7096873247_b6680c90ca_d.jpg

 

The Souder Avenue project site for Orange Barrel Media (OBM) is located north of Broad Street, north of the railroad tracks in Franklinton, and north of McKinley Avenue in a very industrial section.  The prospective new OBM location does have a Scioto riverbank location and is located between where I-670 and SR-315 come together at the Spring-Sanducky Interchange.  Below is a wider GIS map view of property.  Below that map is a photo of the property from the County Auditor's GIS website:

 

6950802320_52f1f9d4ae_z_d.jpg

 

6950802642_b1b2586c9b_n_d.jpg

 

According to the Business First article, Orange Barrel Media is proposing a $6-million, two-story, 10,000-square-foot office building at this location.  OBM is also proposing to top the office building with a triangular framework that would hold two vinyl canvas murals stretching 100 feet by 75 feet facing I-670 & SR-315 and a third panel facing south that would contain a solar array to produce electricity for the business.  Below is a rendering of the proposal:

 

ROP-Orange-Barrel-Media-I*280.jpg?v=1

 

In addition to the office building, the project calls for renovating an existing mechanics shop into the ad agency’s production plant and for reusing existing concrete storage silos on the property.  Based on this and the solar array, the project architect (Acock Associates Architects) estimates a top level Platinum LEED certification might be obtained with this project.  Below is a link to the Business First article:

 

Business First: Orange Barrel Media has designs on Franklinton headquarters site

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A similar recap of Orange Barrel Media's proposed Franklinton office building from Columbus Underground.  CU's recap outlines OBM's business model and its employees.  It also includes a better photo of the existing site and better version of the artist's rendering of the proposed office building.

 

Columbus Underground: Orange Barrel Media Plans Franklinton Headquarters

 

OBM-Franklinton-rev1-6.jpg

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Columbus Underground looks 400 West Rich Street, a little over one year after the warehouse was unveiled as a new artist studio workspace in the emerging Franklinton neighborhood.  Today around 60 tenants occupy 400 West Rich Street.  Walker Evans of Columbus Underground talked to the project manager of 400 West Rich and some of the tenants in this article linked below.

 

Columbus Underground: 400 West Rich Grows Rapidly in First Year

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There's an article in today's Dispatch about restauranteur Elizabeth Lessner working with Jim Sweeney of the Franklinton Development Association to acquire a vacant two-story building at 937 W. Broad Street.  Lessner is hoping to open a new restaurant at this location called The Franklinton Tap Room.  The building at 937 W. Broad Street is located immediately west of the longtime Franklinton restaurant, The Florentine.  It is also located across Broad Street from Milo's Deli and Tommy's Diner.

 

Below is the link to the Dispatch article and a photo of 937 W. Broad Street:

 

Dispatch: Restaurateur passionate about neighborhoods - Elizabeth Lessner’s popular Columbus restaurants also assist in urban renewal

 

lessner-art-g03h1tp1-1lessner-sll-12-jpg.jpg

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Three Deuces is no more per CU. I was the only one to review it as far as I know. Since the guy behind Harrison's on Third is putting his touches on the space I'm guessing the small town feel, country jukebox, and (not so) mysterious smokiness will be left behind. Columbusites are a buncha scurred bunny rabbits: check out the one-of-a-kind Appalachian dive bar strip on Sullivant before it's all gone (not that these places couldn't be a little more...compelling). Oh well, at least locals are finally getting out of their shells and years later are finally crossing the river to *gasp* the West Side. Although, I have to say I'm more interested in how much of an impact Lessner's joint will have on W Broad where there are other storefronts to fill. Around Three Deuces, well, there is the former crime magnet corner store that was already bought by the Franklinton Development Corporation, so maybe those will finally get someone to do something with this just a block west.

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I'm just glad to finally see some real momentum going in Franklinton.  It could easily be one of the best neighborhoods in the city, but it's going to take a ton of time and more and more people taking a chance moving and investing there.  The redevelopment of the Scioto Peninsula will be huge for the eastern half.

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Once the new bar and Franklinton Tap Room open I don't think it'll take a ton of time before more people buy into the neighborhood: Lessner was one of the trailblazers in the north end of the Short North (remember when Surly Girl Saloon was one of the only places to go on that block?) and then Gay St and south Downtown and east Downtown and now Franklinton's restaurant row, which has been in need of more restaurants for quite some time. I was wondering why no one was building off of the existing popularity of that stretch. The big difference between this and Parsons/South Side already proves my point about how crucial it is for the city to invest in a holistic approach. In the case of Franklinton the destination aspect was addressed: there's the Dinin' Hall and new commercial space not to mention an arts presence. On Parsons, there's going to be a new health center and 0 dollars for new or rehabbed commercial space and as such will attract the corresponding amount of businesses and few new residents, similar to how Mount Carmel West did nothing noticeable to improve Franklinton.

 

Keep in mind we're talking about a measly $900,000 to spur revitalization of a large urban neighborhood (not a tiny one like Old Oaks) where three new popular destinations will more than double the number of existing ones (those being Tommy's Diner and The Florentine) and make the neighborhood more attractive for additional residents and businesses. It also begs the question of why no such investment was made years before. Once the 1st Urban Scrawl had taken place years ago (2008?) the city should have made an investment the following year as a result. I mean, was anything like that happening in Linden or Driving Park or any other depressed neighborhood for that matter? No: it was only happening in Franklinton because the neighborhood was ready, but in typical Columbus fashion they love dragging their feet (unless it's to throw $182,000 on a superfluous aesthetic improvement in an already revitalized neighborhood). I'm hoping locals who aren't government officials are more savvy this time around and recognize that the neighborhood isn't nearly as risky as it has been perceived and has a decent built environment of urban storefronts to take advantage of.

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Once the new bar and Franklinton Tap Room open I don't think it'll take a ton of time before more people buy into the neighborhood: Lessner was one of the trailblazers in the north end of the Short North (remember when Surly Girl Saloon was one of the only places to go on that block?) and then Gay St and south Downtown and east Downtown and now Franklinton's restaurant row, which has been in need of more restaurants for quite some time. I was wondering why no one was building off of the existing popularity of that stretch. The big difference between this and Parsons/South Side already proves my point about how crucial it is for the city to invest in a holistic approach. In the case of Franklinton the destination aspect was addressed: there's the Dinin' Hall and new commercial space not to mention an arts presence. On Parsons, there's going to be a new health center and 0 dollars for new or rehabbed commercial space and as such will attract the corresponding amount of businesses and few new residents, similar to how Mount Carmel West did nothing noticeable to improve Franklinton.

 

Keep in mind we're talking about a measly $900,000 to spur revitalization of a large urban neighborhood (not a tiny one like Old Oaks) where three new popular destinations will more than double the number of existing ones (those being Tommy's Diner and The Florentine) and make the neighborhood more attractive for additional residents and businesses. It also begs the question of why no such investment was made years before. Once the 1st Urban Scrawl had taken place years ago (2008?) the city should have made an investment the following year as a result. I mean, was anything like that happening in Linden or Driving Park or any other depressed neighborhood for that matter? No: it was only happening in Franklinton because the neighborhood was ready, but in typical Columbus fashion they love dragging their feet (unless it's to throw $182,000 on a superfluous aesthetic improvement in an already revitalized neighborhood). I'm hoping locals who aren't government officials are more savvy this time around and recognize that the neighborhood isn't nearly as risky as it has been perceived and has a decent built environment of urban storefronts to take advantage of.

 

Well, before the completion of the floodwall, it was very difficult if not impossible to get approved for renovation or new builds in Franklinton because of federal law.  And I think it just took a few more years after that for many people to start realizing the real potential of the area.  And I know you like to blame the city for everything, but if I was the city in 2008, I wouldn't necessarily want to be throwing money into a neighborhood that still had a nebulous future and no real guarantee of return, especially when we were clearly heading into a deep recession at the time.  Regardless of what anyone thinks of what should've happened, the fact is that, right now, Franklinton has more momentum than it's seen in decades.  The best thing anyone can do is to continue to support it and to build on it.  The city is spending money to redevelop the area around COSI, so it's no longer ignoring the area anyway.   

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Well, yes not before the floodwall I agree 100%, but you have to keep in mind that Columbus wasn't the only city hit by the recession in 2008 and that Columbus itself along with other cities were reinvesting in their neighborhoods despite this fact and in neighborhoods with worse prospects than Franklinton. The writing was already on the wall with all that the FDA had done and is still doing and FAD putting together some fun events that drew visitors from all around the city. That was the time to recognize that hey, a lot of those young cool people aren't scared of Franklinton and are even *spending money there* while having a good time: city politicians don't need to be urban pioneers themselves, they just need to pay attention and look at where they are. Franklinton is going to be a cool place, but I'm just saying it would be pretty cool today if the city saw what I and others did just a handful of years ago.

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Franklinton-Flood-592x371.jpg

 

Here's a picture from the 1913 Flood which killed 90 people. It's so tragic that this was a flood-prone area. Can you imagine all of the nice Historic Buildings that would still be standing today?

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Franklinton-Flood-592x371.jpg

 

Here's a picture from the 1913 Flood which killed 90 people. It's so tragic that this was a flood-prone area. Can you imagine all of the nice Historic Buildings that would still be standing today?

 

The neighborhood had another bad flood in 1959, but 1913 was the worst... for the entire state, really.  It remains one of the nation's deadliest floods, at least one not associated with a hurricane.  Still, I'm not so sure all those historic homes would exist now if the floods had never happened.  Franklinton continued to grow in population through the 1940s and even into the 1950s.  I do think the 1959 flood didn't help, but by then the urban exodus had already begun anyway, and the falling population was the real reason for lost buildings.  Abandoned, left to rot, many of them were simply torn down. 

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Rendering of a restored Deardurff House and surrounding Franklinton neighorhood

5248867237_7c11ffa02c_z_d.jpg

 

The above project - also know as the Deardurff House - received an Historic Preservation Tax Credit Award from the state.  Below is the press release from the Ohio Department of Development:

 

From the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Awards press release:

 

Franklinton Post Office (Columbus, Franklin County)

· Total Project Cost: $640,000

· Total Tax Credit: $125,000

· Address: 72 South Gift Street, 43215

Constructed from logs in 1807, the Franklinton Post Office was one of the first public buildings constructed in present-day Columbus.  Later expanded and covered in clapboards, the property functioned as a private residence until the 1950's.  The vacant building will be rehabilitated in celebration of the City of Columbus' bicentennial celebration as a local history museum.  Construction activities are expected to create 10 jobs.

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http://www.columbusunderground.com/east-franklinton-planned-as-dense-hub-of-urban-creativity

 

East Franklinton Plan finalized.  Calls for:

 

-Up to 400 new single-family homes.

-2,800-4,300 new residential units (condos and apartments)

-100,000 square feet of retail

-100,000 square feet of artist space

-150,000 square feet of business incubator space

-no suburban parking requirements.

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Yay!


"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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East Franklinton is doubtfully going to stay cheap very long with a riverfront view save for the Arts & Innovation section. With so much of the development being new builds and in large quantities the writing is on the wall. The renderings make it look like a generic new urbanist plan, but hopefully it'll look nice when it's done and more importantly function well as an urban neighborhood.

 

I would like the city to at least provide incentives to W Broad west of "East Franklinton" where there are commercial buildings (until the city neglects them long enough only to end up paying to demo them) that could be rehabbed and have a good deal more character that would give Franklinton as a whole a more unique feel than a bunch of ho-hum new builds that don't echo the neighborhood's past. A short revitalized strip of a new bustling Broad St east of 315 and an old, longer but rehabbed district from Hartford to N Princeton would make for an interesting juxtaposition and would ensure that the neighborhood would be a destination for locals and visitors. I'm guessing the city is holding off to see if anyone follows Lessner's lead, since she has a track record with Surly Girl (back when High between 4th and 5th was more than half empty), Gay St (opened back when it was a one-way street, remember that?), and now the tiny strip on 4th where the last(?) empty storefront has found a new occupant. However, Parsons is also a staggering example of a very popular destination not being enough in Columbus to attract more entrepreneurs to a depressed, but could be much worse kind of blue-collar commercial strip.

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Press Release from the City of Columbus about the East Franklinton Plan posted at Columbus Underground.

 

Press Release:

 

East Franklinton Plan Sets Stage for Resurgent Residential District

Goody Clancy Blueprint Envisions Diverse District West of COSI

 

The City of Columbus has released the East Franklinton Creative Community Plan envisioning a vibrant and diverse residential district west of COSI and east of State Route 315.  The plan details Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s vision for a new urban district that attracts young, creative and talented residents and businesses in the city’s first neighborhood.  Goody Clancy, a Boston-based nationally renowned urban design firm, authored the plan, working over the past 10 months with the city, community stakeholders and the public.

 

“We already are beginning to see the rebirth of East Franklinton, and this plan confirms that our vision can be realized,” Mayor Coleman said. “It is fitting that in our bicentennial year we are witnessing the neighborhood with the most history become a linchpin of our future.”

 

The plan foresees three distinct neighborhoods in the East Franklinton District:

 

- The Arts and Innovation Neighborhood immediately west of COSI, where historic factory buildings and large vacant sites could be redeveloped to attract creative businesses, workers and residents;

- The Dodge Park Neighborhood west of South Mill Street, composed of compact single-family houses to retain existing residents and attract new families and residents.

- The Broad Street Neighborhood north of Broad, where attractive older buildings and other underused properties will help create a vibrant loft neighborhood with retail, restaurants and offices.

 

“Every great transformation has to have a beginning point, and Franklinton’s evolution in becoming a great neighborhood to live and work is centered right now in East Franklinton,” said Development Committee Chair Councilmember Zach M. Klein. “City Council will do everything we can to make this community plan a success.”

 

The plan cites market studies showing sufficient demand for as many as 2,000 new residential units over the next five to 10 years, along with approximately 60,000 square feet of stores, cafes and galleries.  In addition, more than 150,000 square feet of buildings could be converted into studios and incubators for a wide range of artists and entrepreneurs.

 

“Franklinton, as a whole, is looking forward to the creative rebirth of its eastern side,” said Matt Egner, chair of the Franklinton Area Commission. “With the Downtown bridge and park projects nearing completion, it is fitting that the Downtown and greater Columbus communities now have direct access to the rapidly growing creative movement in east Franklinton and its long established businesses.  On the western half of the neighborhood our houses are being filled with families who want to be close to the development and destination that is soon to come.”

 

The Columbus Development Department will be accepting public comments on the draft plan through August 10 via an online survey.  The plan can be downloaded at http://www.development.columbus.gov/planning/efccdp.aspx.  The plan is scheduled to be submitted in late August to the Franklinton Area Commission for approval at its September 11 meeting.

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