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Be My Neighbor: 5XNW Edition

 Angie Meeker Be My Neighbor: 5XNW Edition
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Tucked between Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington, is a slice of Columbus called Fifth by Northwest. We lovingly call it 5xNW. You may never have heard of us – most people assume our neighborhood is part of Grandview. The truth is much of what you love about Grandview is technically in Fifth by Northwest (The Clay Café, Trattoria Roma, Rotolo’s, King Avenue 5, Bono Pizza, the Chocolate Café, Woodlands Tavern, Grow Yoga, Fresco Furnishings just to name a few). The rough boundaries of 5xNW are to the north: Kinnear Rd., to the South: the alley south of Third Avenue, to the west: Wyandotte Road, to the east: Olentangy River Road. If you’d like to see a map of all our nooks and crannies, here it is. We have our own City Commission and everything; you can run for office and get your start in city politics right here in Fifth by Northwest. It’s too late for this year though, elections are Nov. 1st. Better luck next year!

We moved here from Grove City in 2008. We knew we didn’t want to live in the suburbs anymore, but had a challenging housing situation. I’m epileptic and don’t drive. Needing to be in a “walkable community” isn’t simply a “nice-to-have” on our list of things we’d like. Being able to get out with our daughter during the day to a grocery store, a park, a restaurant, a library, or take the bus to other nearby destinations is a must-have.

Chocolate Café

We love living in Fifth by Northwest. We live near Chambers and Northwest in a condo community called Windgate Village. Across the street is the lovely Guitar House Workshop, where you can not only get your guitar tuned up, but where they also regularly host pay-what-you-want concerts and have an in-house artist painting throughout the week. Next to that are Kroger, Bono Pizza and Sparano’s, and Super Game Team. Within a 10 minute walk, we can be to any of the places I mentioned, but in the same 10 minutes, we can also be at the Miller Park Library in Upper Arlington, Jeni’s Ice Cream in Grandview. COTA buses #3, #5, and #84 operate throughout 5xNW in 10-20 minute increments, and run straight through Victorian Village, directly to High Street, to the Arena District or Market District Giant Eagle in UA. Biking is also common in the area, and bikers will be happy to know that bike lanes and bike shelters are being installed in 2012 on some of the most commonly used routes.

Most of the people living in Fifth by Northwest are either retired, or professionals in their late 20’s – late 30’s, making the transition from college to career and family. Many of the older residents are selling their well-kept or renovated homes and condos, usually with two bedrooms, one bathroom and a basement. Since we have lived at Windgate Village, four of the eight condos in our unit have sold at prices ranging from $124K-$162K. The new condos directly across the street sell in the mid-$200’s, while single family homes tend to sell in the high $100’s to mid $200’s. Hope to see you soon near the intersection of Fifth by Northwest!

Keep up to date by following 5xNW’s Facebook page and their website.

And now, the homes:

House #1

1632 W. 3rd Ave, C. 2 Bedrooms, 2 Full and 1 Half Bath, 1680 sq ft. $249,900

House #2

1392 Lower Green Circle, 2 Bedrooms, 2 Full and 1 Half Baths, 1580 sq ft. $228,000

House #3

1807 E Kings Court, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Full Bath, 950 sq ft. $139,000

House #4

1513 Meadow Road, 3 Bedrooms, 1 Full and 1 Half Baths, 1520 sq ft. $228,900

House #5

1875 North Star Road, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, 986 sq ft. $137,900

Be My Neighbor is a series showcasing what your money can buy in different neighborhoods in Columbus. This is not professional advice and there is no financial incentive for us if these homes are purchased. We just want to showcase our great neighborhoods and the homes that are in them. All information was accurate to the best of our knowledge at time of publishing. If you are house hunting, good luck to you!

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  • NEOBuckeye

    One of the best neighborhoods in Columbus. ;-)

  • leftovers

    It is a really nice walkable area. Property values are very stable and a ton of pizza options. We were looking at houses there but had a fixer upper in mind – unfortunately they are a rare commodity in that neighborhood.

    This is also a great neighborhood to live in if you want to be close to OSU but not so much affected by it.

    In my mind the only thing 5xNW really needs is a nice park.

  • Coathanger

    Lived there for 9 years. Good option for the twenty-something, but time to get out after that. Easy to get downtown, quite a few bars within walking distance (johnny’s by far the best), low crime.  Cons: very uninspiring architecture, general feeling of post-apocalypse, low foot-traffic, high-hillbilly-ratio for a central columbus neighborhood.

  • NEOBuckeye

    Relevant points, Coathanger. The architecture in 5XNW is inconsistent and a bit on the bland side, although it looks like there is at least an awareness of this fact and the desire to change it appears within the community plan. At the same time, for what it is, I’ve seen more people walking around at all times of the day or night than what I might have expected, even for a community that is a fairly decent blend of walkability mixed with car use.

    5XNW reminds me of an Akron-Canton area community, but with a higher concentration of interesting places distributed within a smaller radius and a much more vibrant social energy. There are certainly opportunities present for the community to further develop itself and to strengthen its culture and identity in a way that sets it apart from Grandview proper.

  • cbus11

    I think there is still part of an identity issue which may be overcome if the term Fifth by Northwest gets more usage.  A lot of the older residents in the area consider this the Tri-Village while Grandview is definitely still the most used name when attempting to give directions.

    Fifth by Northwest seems like a good working class community which manages to keep pretty nice despite its fairly large rental community. Its location between Upper Arlington, Grandview and the University area has helped a lot. I agree that it would do well to invest in some public greenspace, in my mind a nice sized dog park similar to Wheeler would be ideal.

  • In terms of infrastructure, Fifth Avenue needs a major facelift. There are too many suburban-designed commercial spaces with parking lots in the front, and parking-lot oriented stripmalls that rob the area of the type of character that it should really have. Of course, there’s no easy fix for that, as it would take decades for all of the privately owned buildings to eventually get redeveloped.

    Just something I often think about while driving through the area.

    Also, thanks to Angie for contributing to this series!

  • JMUgrad04

    Thanks for this article! I had no idea I lived in 5XNW! I really enjoy the area and appreciate the walkability and friendliness.
    1513 Meadow Road is my dream house!
    cbus11, I would also love to see a large dog park in the area!

  • There is an empty and overgrown parking lot at King and Kenny, across from the Reitter Building, that I think is a great location for a garden and park. The only time I ever see it used is for parking during football games, and even then not consistently. It’s fairly centered within Fifth by Northwest, but close still to the single and multi-family housing clusters.
    If you’re interested in helping develop Fifth by Northwest into more of the neighborhood you want it to be, here are a few ways you can jump in:
    1. The Fifth by Northwest Area Commission meets the first Tuesday of every month, 7PM at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2001 Northwest Blvd., 43212. You can learn more about them at http://www.fifthbynorthwest.org.
    2. If you’re the creative type, we’re always looking for contributors at 5xnw.com – and also for those who like to plan and organize events. Find us on Facebook for information about what’s rolling around in our heads next. https://www.facebook.com/fifthbynorthwest?sk=app_147073908647516
    3. If you’re interested in joining a still-solidifying but legally formed non-profit dedicated to Fifth by Northwest (called Friends of 43212 – forgive the poor branding, I wasn’t involved when it was created. It will likely be changed in 2012)… shoot me an email at [email protected]. They were presenting sponsors of the Grandview Ave. Farmer’s Market, and are actively working on planting dozens of trees on Fifth Ave., bike lanes, holiday events, and more. There is lots of room for involvement in this organization!
    PS. We do have a community garden, but it is located just outside of Fifth by Northwest at the Blvd Presbyterian Church (next time you pass it, look at the raised beds – those are ours!).
    -Angie Meeker
    Need a website? Book a package this week and we’ll donate $300 to Friends of 43212!

  • @walker – Totally agree. Buildings built under the newer codes have to be built closer to the street, but there are so many that were built before this UCO was in place. Do you know of any other neighborhoods (in Columbus or elsewhere) that have undergone such a complete facelift?

  • Off the top of my head, I don’t know of any neighborhood that has completely re-flipped a commercial corridor from “suburban” style back to “urban” in any sort of quick concerted effort, though I imagine a much slower multi-decade effort is generally how those types of things go. One building at a time.

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