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Columbus: Parsons Avenue Corridor Developments and News

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Another potential change for the southern section of Parsons Avenue.  Last month brought news that the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority board has agreed to sell its Sawyer Towers and Lincoln Park apartment complexes to Vaios Theodorakos, a public housing turnaround specialist from Massachusetts.  His company's intent is to turn the two public housing projects into private housing.  The Dispatch had a write-up about the Lincoln Park complex located east of Parsons Avenue.  Below is an excerpt of that write-up and a link to the full article:

 

Neighbors hope 'turnaround czar' can fulfill promise

 

At first glance, the Lincoln Park apartment complex on the city's South Side hardly sits in an ideal location.  The neighborhood is home to the shuttered Techneglas factory, the worn-out Federal Industrial Park and the closed Barack Recreation Center.  So for a Massachusetts man to come in and promise to clean up the crime-ridden complex of two-story brick apartment buildings and convert them from public to market-rate private housing has some wondering if it's all too much to ask. "That's truly going to be a challenge," said Rob Vogt of VWB Research.  He prepared a market study of the area for the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority.  "If he can pull it off, he'll be quite the hero," Vogt said.

 

If not, it will end up housing of last resort, he said, similar to Woodland Meadows.  That crime-plagued apartment project on the East Side was purchased by a Los Angeles developer who promised to spend millions to turn it around.  That complex was ultimately demolished.  Last month, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority board agreed to sell the 311-unit Lincoln Park complex to Theodorakos' V.T.T. Management of Framingham, Mass., for $2.2 million.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/08/16/LINCOLN_PARK.ART_ART_08-16-09_B1_UBEPICT.html?sid=101

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Also, two positive stories from the Columbus Public Schools thread about newly renovated schools.  Two of the most impressive renovations are in the Parsons Avenue area:  South High School located one block east of Parsons and Southwood Elementary located one block west of Parsons.  Below are the links to the CPS thread which contain links to the article and slideshow of the South High renovation.

 

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The new Children's Hospital building is getting taller every day. Going to look pretty impressive when it's all finished:

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/childrens1.jpg">

 

The Bobb Chevrolet located at the SW corner of Parsons & Livingston is completely gone, and it looks like they're building a CVS on part of the site. I'm guessing they're moving it across the street and out of the old Kroger complex (which is currently being used for hospital parking). At least this new CVS is up against the street (Livingston) and should be a bit more attractive. I haven't read what Childrens has planned for the rest of that SW corner lot. It's a pretty big chunk of land:

 

<img src="http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/childrens2.jpg">

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Thanks for the updates Walker.  Especially the CVS under construction at the SW corner of Parsons and Livingston opposite the Children's Hospital campus.  That up-to-the-street construction should really help out this intersection. 

 

I think that Bobb Chevrolet still owns that SW corner of Parsons and Livingston.  The Auditor's site shows JMM Real Estate LLC as the new property owner.  But JMM has the same W. Broad address as Bobb Chevrolet, which is listed as the owner of the remainder of the parcel.

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A pretty decent rundown of 2009 Parsons Avenue development news from the German Village Gazette:

 

Like most of area, change prominent in Schumacher Place in '09

AROUND THE VILLAGE

By Kerri L. Mollard

Published: Friday, January 1, 2010 - 1:24 PM EST

 

Schumacher Place saw much change in 2009 including both structural shifts in our urban landscape and leadership shifts in our extended community.  The impact of the auto industry losses was felt close to home as Bobb Automotive combined sales locations at their West Broad Street facility, leaving their location at the corner of Livingston and Parsons after 85 years.  Their property occupies more than 7 acres of land and its transformation is significant for the entire Parsons Avenue corridor.

 

The Kroger Plaza across the street from Bobb is changing, too, as Nationwide Children's Hospital construction expands west of Parsons.  The current CVS moves to the newly developed Bobb site and Family Dollar moves down the street to the corner of Kossuth and Parsons, near the library branch.

 

Although some neighbors disagree about the Family Dollar development, the new brick building is a welcome change from the boarded up former US Sub Shop that occupied that location for far too long.  For years, neighbors heard rumors about what was to become of the graffitied little white building including everything from a Starbucks to space for a library expansion, and for may years nothing happened, until now.

 

Full story at http://www.columbuslocalnews.com/articles/2010/01/03/german_village_gazette/news/gvaround%201_20091230_0117pm_4.txt

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And some updates about the corner of Parsons & Livingston Avenues:

 

First, at the northwest corner, Children's Hospital has released their design plans and a rendering for a six-story research building to replace the Kroger Plaza.  More about that at the Columbus: Children's Hospital Projects thread.  This is the West Campus portion of the Children's $842 million campus redevelopment, which includes a new 12-story main hospital tower addition at the northeast corner.  Both the main hospital tower and the new research building are scheduled to be finished in 2012. 

 

Second, from Rumor Mill: New Hotel at Parsons and Livingston at Columbus Underground:  "Attended the Merion Village Association meeting tonight and a Children's Hospital Representative gave an update.  The Family Dollar will be moving in the next 2 weeks and CVS will relocate this weekend and open Jan 10th.  The buildings (at the northwest corner) except the old Kroger space will be gone in a matter of weeks.  The Kroger space is used for storage and will remain for 18 months.  The site will be a 6 story research building."

 

Third, about the southwest corner also from Rumor Mill: New Hotel at Parsons and Livingston at Columbus Underground:  "BOBB Chevy still owns the site and they leased the corner (registered under a seperate LLC) to CVS for the site of their new store.  From what I heard, the original plans called for a midrise extended stay type hotel to accomadate people staying in area while family members are at Chidrens Hospital.  I have not seen the plans or any parcel splits yet but this would be a good fit for that corner as this area lacks any real hotel accomadations.  They tried to get the alley vacated to allow then some more options but that was rejected by Schumacher Place so I don't think they will get that approved.  Most likely they had to redraw plans to fit the site.  We will see here probably within the next 6 months."

 

 

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South Side aid center can help more at its new location

Friday,  April 2, 2010 - 2:50 AM

By Meredith Heagney, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

A center that has helped the needy on the South Side for 30 years now has more space and resources to do so.  The Darty S. Stowe Memorial Baptist Center, more commonly called the Stowe Center, opened its new location at 888 Parsons Avenue this week. 

 

Located in a former car dealership, the new Stowe Center is larger than its previous location across the street.  The center houses a food pantry, a soup kitchen and dental and vision clinics, and it offers educational programs for children and women looking for work.  A Laotian church meets there on Sundays.

 

Purchasing and renovating the building cost $1.3 million, which came from churches and individuals who support the nonprofit.  The Stowe Center is a ministry of the Metro Columbus Baptist Association, primarily supported by 95 Baptist churches in central Ohio.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/faith_values/stories/2010/04/02/south-side-aid-center-can-help-more-at-its-new-location.html

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From Hal and Al's located at 1297 Parsons Avenue:

 

Fundraiser: Plant Pride on Parsons

 

Join us for a weekend of Earth Day appreciation and awareness as we celebrate the planet.  Throughout the weekend we will be collecting donations for Plant Pride on Parsons and sharing with you information about recycling & conservation.

 

MORE:  http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/fundraiser-plant-pride-on-parsons and http://plantprideonparsons.eventbrite.com/

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Cleanup planned for Parsons Avenue this weekend

Organizers hope efforts will become annual event

Wednesday,  May 12, 2010 - 10:48 AM

By Mark Ferenchik, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

This Saturday's "Plant Pride on Parsons" cleanup event has a double meaning.  It's not only about the 31 planters meant to spruce up Parsons Avenue, but also about renewing a sense of ownership and worth to a corridor of Columbus that for years has seen jobs and businesses flee.

 

So on Saturday, community leaders and volunteers will scour more than 2 miles of Parsons Avenue, from Livingston Avenue near Nationwide Children's Hospital to Rt. 104 near Columbus Steel Castings, looking for litter and graffiti to remove.  They'll gather at 9:30 a.m. at South High School and go from there.  As of today, 250 volunteers have signed on.

 

They'll introduce the decorative, painted planters along the street by Saturday, said Sherri Palmer, the program manager at Keep Columbus Beautiful.  The Ganthers Place neighborhood east of Parsons received a $2,500 grant to maintain the planters, said Allen Carrel, who leads that neighborhood group.  Ultimately, there could be as many as 152 planters lining Parsons Avenue, Carrel said.

 

MAP OF PARSONS AVENUE CLEAN UP AREA

 

PHOTO OF THE DECORATIVE PLANTERS

 

Full article: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/05/12/Cleanup_planned_for_Parsons_Avenue.html?sid=101

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Goddammit, I signed up well over a month ago and forgot it's already mid-May . Oh well, I can still get down there and photograph the "after" look. Parsons is on the up and up, but there are still way too many paper-thin skinned residents whether it's just visiting or opening a business (as if shops in the Short North never experience crime  ::) ). Anyone who thinks Parsons is bad needs to get out of Columbus more often. Or I guess they could just go down E Livingston (what's left of it), which is without a doubt in worse shape than Parsons.

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Hospital-connected rehab draws Obama trip

President’s appearance highlights aid for expanding Children’s Hospital, renovating South Side

Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 2:54 AM

By Mark Ferenchik, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the area Friday to set in motion a stimulus-funded project to rebuild Parsons and Livingston avenues near Nationwide Children's Hospital.  That project will receive $15 million and should be finished by fall 2011, said Rick Tilton, Columbus' assistant public-service director.

 

The money will pay to widen Parsons and Livingston, replace the pavement and relocate utilities.  The project also includes new sidewalks, curbs, trees, medians, bike lanes, wheelchair ramps and traffic signals.  The project will create 325 stimulus-related construction jobs, the city said.

 

Full article: http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/06/17/copy/hospital-connected-rehab.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

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Bike lanes? There are already two bike lanes in each direction. Guess I better get over there and photograph E Livingston before I have drivers honking and yelling at me to stay in the gutter.

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Studio 1000 Art Gallery & Gift Shop at 1000 Parsons Ave up the street from live music venue/bar/vegan restaurant Hal & Al's and around the corner is Skillet, which was on a PBS breakfast special.

 

IMG_6777.jpg

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Couldn't find a pic, but this one is from Google Maps while they were installing the bold red font sign for a new bar just a block down from Hal & Al's near Frebis. It's the most brightly lit bar on the outside at night in Columbus.

 

newbarparsons.jpg

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Catching up on new development in the Parsons Avenue corridor:

 

CVS pharmacy was built last year at the southwest corner of Parsons and Livingston.  

(Photo from August 2010 of 591 E. Livingston Avenue from County Auditor's website)

5797063864_2ef78f86b8_b_d.jpg

 

 

Located on the former Bobb Chevrolet auto lot, CVS is the first building in its redevelopment.  The Children's Hospital expansion is diagonally across the intersection from the CVS Building.  The new West Campus for Children's Hospital is under construction across Livingston from this development.  The West Campus development is replacing a Kroger store and Wendy's.

(Site plan from County Auditor's website)

5796506813_67f65da77e_z_d.jpg

 

 

Moving south, the Subway Building was built in 2008 at the Parsons and Sycamore intersection.  It was built across the street from the original Plank's Cafe location in German Village.

(Photos from County Auditor's website)

5797064408_6801f6fd68_d.jpg5797064558_55e08fa476_d.jpg

 

 

Moving further south of Parsons, the new Family Dollar was completed in 2010.

(Photo from August 2010 of 867 Parsons Avenue from County Auditor's website)

5796507213_0bb0b4957e_b_d.jpg

 

 

The Family Dollar Building replaced a small sandwich shop with a large parking lot.  It is located next to a Columbus Library branch building.

(Site plan from County Auditor's website)

5797065176_7332c0fa6f_z_d.jpg

 

 

And finally, much further south on Parsons is Hal & Al's.  A bar that is ... well its a blue box with an orange awning.  But it has become a popular hipster hangout and a bright spot in the deep south portion of Parsons Avenue.  The owner's have started yearly clean-up and beautification efforts in the area.

(Photo from April 2010 of 1297 Parsons Avenue from County Auditor's website)

5797065266_042e97ffba_z_d.jpg

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A family Dollar and CVS just doesn't get me very excited for big developments last year and just shows that locals don't believe in Parsons as much as the chains, which is sad since it should be the other way around. With just two pages worth from 2005 this whole thread a brief summary of what few improvements have occurred since then. Much more noteworthy was the opening of Studio 1000 up from Hal & Al's. I'm not so sure about the new bar down the street, but it could be OK.

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I'm sure there are plenty of people in the area who enjoy having new places to shop for day-to-day essentials and convenience items. Of course you have little reason to be excited about those types of things if you don't live in that area. Not every type of retail is going to be a destination draw from other parts of town.

 

It would be nice if every store in every neighborhood could be a mom & pop local establishment, but it would be unrealistic to think that's going to be a realistic outcome. Are you trying to shame/insult local entrepreneurs into fulfilling your expectations? That's what it sounds like. I don't think that's going to work.

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I never said or insinuated that every new business should be local. Of course, it's a reasonable expectation to have a mix of chains and new local businesses open on Parsons in the past few years, but that is simply asking too much here in Columbus. People here think Parsons is on par with South Central or Chicago's South Side where, hell no, you would not open a such a business let alone want to go there on a regular basis. Oh well, it just means Hal & Al's will continue to have a de facto monopoly as *the* destination here.

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The urban Family Dollar is good news, though.

 

A family Dollar and CVS just doesn't get me very excited ...

 

Warning.  Logic system error.

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The South Side Settlement House has been an neighborhood institution for over a century - located a block west of Parsons Avenue on Innis Avenue.  Last week the SSSH faced a financial crisis before the City stepped in with emergency funding.  Now the SSSH is looking to rework its operations and leverage the city funds with other agency funding.  Below is a rundown of Dispatch articles chronicling last week's South Side Settlement House story:

 

South Side Settlement House in limbo

 

City, South Side Settlement House negotiating financial aid:  The 112-year-old agency is close to closing after running out of money

 

City might come to century-old agency's aid by providing short-term funding

 

South Side Settlement House gets reprieve with help from city

 

Settlement house looks to make rescue permanent:  South Side facility must promote programs to win grants

 


And one more Dispatch article from today about the South Side in general:

 

Hero needed to help save neglected South Side, say residents: 'Forgotten' South Side neighborhood residents say they need an advocate to help lift them from decay and despair

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Housing plans poorly received

South Side project will draw problem tenants, some say

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Saturday August 13, 2011 - 5:22 AM

 

Columbus’ plans to build 40 homes in an area ravaged by foreclosures, vacant homes and arson would seem to be a welcome development for residents.  But for some in the Reeb-Hosack and Hungarian Village neighborhoods on the South Side, the news is all bad.  The rent-to-own homes would be for low-income people and would be concentrated primarily along or near Innis and Woodrow avenues.  But what the neighborhood needs are more owner-occupied homes, some residents say.

(. . .)

The city plans to spend $1.2 million in federal neighborhood-stabilization money on the houses.  The developer, Cleveland-based NRP Group, would also seek other financing, including tax credits.  Because of the federal and tax-credit financing, the houses would have income restrictions: $23,350 a year for one person to $33,300 annually for a family of four, Parise said.  Residents with federal Section 8 vouchers to subsidize their rent could move into the units.

 

Aaron Pechota, the NRP Group’s vice president of development, said the houses likely will have vinyl siding, but the cost and size haven’t been determined.  The houses would be built on vacant lots or on lots where abandoned houses would be razed.  Each house could be purchased by a tenant who lives in it for 15 years.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/08/13/housing-plans-poorly-received.html

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From This Week News:

 

Plant Pride on Parsons

 

0811ge70463-0453ac.JPG

 

Over the past year, Bruce Fussnecker (left) and Bill Doughton have installed plaques to honor those who have contributed nearly 100 flower planters along Parsons Avenue.  The two are part of the Plant Pride on Parsons neighborhood beautification program, which recently won a Keep America Beautiful Award.  Other communities along Parsons, from Livingston Avenue to Marion Road, also are involved.

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City launches push to revive South Side

By Rita Price and Mark Ferenchik

The Columbus Dispatch

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 6:57 AM

 

The city of Columbus is to announce plans today to take over the South Side Settlement House building and launch a wide-ranging effort to revitalize the impoverished neighborhood.  Accepting ownership of the 20,000-square-foot building at 310 E. Innis Ave. is among the first steps in what Mayor Michael B. Coleman is describing as the creation of a “South Side Collaborative,” similar to the public-private partnerships at work in other inner-city areas.

(. . .)

Similar partnerships have been formed elsewhere in the city, including the Weinland Park Collaborative for the neighborhood near Ohio State University.  Nationwide Children’s Hospital already has partnered with Community Development for All People and others to develop affordable housing near the hospital.

(. . .)

The board of Community Development for All People agreed on Saturday to begin running settlement-house programs beginning in September.  But the nonprofit still has to find locations for the programs.  One place being discussed, Coleman said, is the shuttered Reeb Elementary School, on Reeb Avenue.  That could be a location for the settlement house’s after-school program, said the Rev. John Edgar, the group’s executive director.  No activities will be moved to the group’s space at 946 Parsons Avenue.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/08/23/city-launches-push-to-revive-south-side.html

 

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Residents want settlement house to spur South Side revival

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 4:38 AM

 

The South Side Settlement House has been a social-services hub for the area’s neediest residents for more than 100 years, providing a food pantry, free lunches and an after-school program in recent years.  But some neighborhood residents say the new or renovated building that the city is planning needs to feature more to reinvigorate the area.

 

“If the city wants the South Side to thrive, why are we not getting mixed-income opportunities?” asked South Side resident Susan Halpern, who said the site could become a transportation hub or include a farmers market.  Robert Dickerscheid, a member of the Columbus South Side Area Commission, suggested that part of the location could be an arts center.

 

They offered their advice yesterday at the settlement house before Mayor Michael B. Coleman spoke to the community about the city’s plans to acquire the building.  He also issued a call for public-private partnerships to rejuvenate the neighborhood.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/08/24/residents-want-site-to-spur-area-revival.html

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Groups join hands to help South Side

By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 4:19 AM

 

Needy South Side residents made their way to the kitchen at St. Ladislas Catholic Church yesterday, grateful not to miss another meal.  The financial collapse of the 112-year-old South Side Settlement House last month had left many with heavy hearts, and some with empty bellies, too.

 

So they were happy to see open doors and smiling faces at Loaves and Fishes.  The new hot-lunch program at 277 Reeb Avenue operates as a partnership between St. Ladislas and Community Development for All People, the area nonprofit group that is working to assume many of the services once offered by the settlement.

 

The Rev. John Edgar, executive director of Community Development for All People, said resuming the meal offering helps lay the groundwork for other programs and conversations in the struggling community.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/09/13/groups-join-hands-to-help-south-side.html

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South Side housing plans raise concerns

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 4:29 AM

 

A 56-unit apartment complex for low-income senior citizens is being planned for a South Side neighborhood where some residents are fighting a rent-to-own housing project by the same developer.  NRP Group of Cleveland wants to build the three-story brick and vinyl-sided building on city-owned property just west of Parsons Avenue, near where the city will build a health clinic.

 

The senior housing project is part of a development that would include two retail buildings totaling 14,000 square feet on Parsons Avenue.  The Columbus City Council has to rezone the land, once owned by Schottenstein Stores, for the senior-housing and retail development to go forward.  The Columbus South Side Area Commission has yet to discuss the zoning.  The Reeb-Hosack/Steelton Village Committee approved the zoning on Tuesday night.

 

Carrie Garnes, a committee member who voted for it, said many seniors in the neighborhood can’t take care of their properties and need an alternative.  The senior-housing project is part of a city plan to rebuild the struggling neighborhood hit hard by foreclosures, vacant homes and crime.

 

READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/09/15/south-side-housing-plans-raise-concerns.html

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The Dispatch has another neighborhood profile in its on-going "Where We Live" series.  Today's is Schumacher Place.  Schumacher Place borders Parsons Avenue on the east, Livingston Avenue on the north, Whittier Street on the south and more-or-less seemlessly blends into the more well-known German Village to the west.  A map of Schumacher Place and its neighborhood stats are included at the article link below:

 

Schumacher Place residents enjoy German Village lifestyle

Neighborhood has similar look, nightlife while offering lower-priced homes, fewer restrictions

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Leighty is new leader of Parsons merchant association

By Gary Seman Jr., ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 7:45 PM

 

Bob Leighty just added Parsons Avenue to his to-do list.  Leighty, president of the Merion Village Association, has taken the reins of the Parsons Avenue Merchants Association (PAMA), a business group with roughly 35 dues-paying members.  He replaces Jeff Knoll, the owner of Graphic Touch, who wanted to spend more time on his business.

 

“With my involvement for over 20 years in Merion Village, I’ve long been interested in Parsons Avenue and look for ways to help merchants there, bring new merchants in and help revitalize the avenue,” Leighty said.  He said his current goals as executive director are modest. “One of the very first things that I’m doing is meeting with all the individual merchants, because anything we can do to help those folks be more successful is a good thing,” he said.

 

PAMA covers a two-mile stretch of roadway from East Livingston Avenue to state Route 104.

 

MORE: http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/germanvillage/news/2012/02/14/leighty-is-new-leader-of-parsons-merchant-association.html

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Mayor lays out plans to help South Side, urban kids

By Doug Caruso, The Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 10:29 PM

 

Mayor Coleman called for a renaissance on the South Side around Parsons Avenue, where he noted that “one in five houses is vacant and abandoned. High teen pregnancy, infant mortality and death rates for chronic diseases plague the neighborhood.”

 

A group of donors, led by Donatos Pizza founder and Chairman Jim Grote and his family, will pitch in to help with donations of $3.2 million toward a new neighborhood center, Coleman said.  The Grote family will put up $1 million toward the center, which will offer job-training; child-care; and housing and human-services help for South Side residents, the mayor said.

 

Coleman’s office had promised a big surprise in last night’s speech.  The announcement of the donations fit the bill for Mike Wiles, a lifelong South Sider who is a member of the South Side Area Commission and the Columbus school board. “Yeah, I think to me that would count as a big surprise,” Wiles said. “I applaud them. I think it’s fantastic. Mr. Grote has been a firm supporter of the South Side as far back as I can remember.”

 

Meanwhile, the $5 million John Maloney Health and Wellness Center is to break ground on Parsons Avenue this summer, and the city is seeking state help to complete 40 new homes and 56 new senior apartments in the area next year.  Coleman also announced that Columbus Galvanizing will spend $6 million on an expansion that will “help maintain a stable jobs base” on the South Side.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/02/29/Coleman-delivers-state-of-the-city.html

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As part of a land swap deal between the City of Columbus and Columbus Public Schools (more about this in the Columbus Public Schools thread) the City may get ownership of the Reeb Elementary School at 280 Reeb Avenue.  This is a 2-acre property that contains a well-preserved two-story historic school building.  The school has been vacant since 2009 when Columbus Public Schools moved the Southwood Elementary School from Reeb Avenue to another location.  Below is a photo of the Reeb Elementary School from the County Auditor's site.

 

6865133432_5b05d3cb80_d.jpg

 

According to the information about the land swap deal, the City would renovate Reeb Elementary School into a community center for the south side.  The new community center would replace the South Side Settlement House and would serve as a new home for the South Side Learning & Development Center - both of which are located within one block of Reeb Elementary.  Below is a GIS map which shows the Reeb Elementary School property boundaries hi-lighted in blue.  The South Side Settlement House property is just north of the school and hi-lighted in red.  The South Side Learning & Development property is hi-lighted in green and is located just south of the school on Reeb Avenue:

 

6865394706_6e36640ac6_z_d.jpg

 

Below are links to two articles about the proposed City-Columbus Schools land swap with excerpts pertaining to the Reeb Avenue Elementary School property and its reuse as a south side community center:

 

From Business First: Africentric may be moved in city-school system land swap

More recently, the city has told the school district it would like to get control of the shuttered Reeb Elementary School at 280 Reeb Ave. as a home for a community services center for the south side.  In return, the district could get the 52-acre former Woodland Meadows property at Stelzer Road and Allegheny Avenue for the school.

 

Columbus Development Director Boyce Safford said the school where St. Stephen’s Community House opened a family support services facility last summer could also house the South Side Learning & Development Center child-care program and other nonprofit organizations providing community services.

 

That effort will be funded in part by the city as well as private-sector benefactors.  A recent $1 million charitable pledge by Donatos Pizzeria founder Jim Grote in support of south side community programs could go toward that transformation of Reeb school site.

 

Olshavsky said the city and school district have a history of “trading back and forth” as each looked for additional properties to meet their plans.  “With the Parsons Avenue redevelopment effort, the city was interested in Reeb Elemementary,” she said.

 

From the Columbus Dispatch: Africentric looks East

Columbus is planning to renovate Reeb Elementary into a community center for the South Side, said Boyce Safford III, the city’s development director.  It will replace the failed South Side Settlement House and will include a new home for the South Side Learning & Development Center.

 

Safford said city officials are fine with trading 52 empty acres on the East Side for a school building and a little more than 2 acres on the South Side.  “We’re in partnership with the schools to help provide good, quality education,” he said.  “What we get in return is a facility on the South Side that we can make into a good community asset. You can’t put a dollar figure on that.”

 

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Notice in the "Parsons Ave future tied to hospital" that all three pics show people hanging out on Parsons and spending money are at Hal & Al's, not the hospital. *That* is what they need to "piggyback" off of and not a hospital. The whole premise of the article is totally baseless; there are currently (according to wiki) over 6,800 hospital employees there. Why would it matter if that number doubles or triples if the current number of hospital employees that double as Parsons Ave customers is a virtual 0%? Instead, look at the current (few) successful destinations on Parsons like the one featured in the article that only have a handful of employees and attract a multitude more customers to Parsons Ave than the hospital ever will.

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Columbus Hospital Turns to Healing Its Neighborhood

Columbus | 06/28/2012 - 10:00am

Sean Andrew Chen | Next American City

 

Mounting economic pressures, rising costs and diminishing returns have forced many hospitals to begin operating as large corporations, rather than charities, or face bankruptcy and closure.  But does that mean they’re going to forget their original charitable mission?  After a nearly 786 million dollar renovation and reconstruction, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio is trying to do otherwise.

 

Nationwide Children’s Hospital, ranked as one of the top 10 pediatric hospitals in the United States, has partnered with the City of Columbus and many local groups in creating the Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families program.  The signature piece of the program is Healthy Homes, an affordable housing initiative that is taking hold of 38 blocks of Columbus’ Southside. 

 

A partnership between the city, the hospital, the United Way and the faith-based non-profit Community Development For All People, the program has aimed at improving existing housing stock in the area and making it available to lower-income households.  By providing several million dollars in seed money, the hospital has helped take the abandoned and dilapidated housing surrounding it and renovated it back to living standards. 

 

Originally, the program hoped to flip between 40 and 60 houses by 2013. ... By the end of 2012, they will have renovated nearly 100 houses.

 

READ MORE: http://americancity.org/daily/entry/can-a-hospital-heal-its-neighborhood-as-well

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