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The Only Way to Give Columbus a True Identity

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  • #521868

    InnerCore
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    Walker said:
    Depending on where you live in urban Columbus, you already have grocery stores within walking distance. You’re pointing only at Downtown, which is the Central Business District of our city, and possibly not exactly what you’re comparing to in other cities. Our CBD lags a bit on the urban redevelopment front, but if you want the young creative professional lifestyle where you have easy access to amenities and groceries you have plenty of options between The Short North, Victorian Village, Italian Village, Weinland Park, The Arena District, Brewery District, German Village, Clintonville, etc. While you personally may not agree that living next to the Kroger in the Brewery District is optimal for your expectation of what constitutes “living the urban dream”, but other people are ok with it. The high rental rates, low vacancy rates and ongoing development in that neighborhood is tangible proof that the demand is there.

    I agree that having a streetcar or light rail would be optimal for the situation you describe. Bus is less optimal. Walking is less optimal. Driving is less optimal. Taking a cab is an option, but less optimal. But those options do all exist. So instead of looking at the scenario you describe as either working or not working, I see it as something that some people might have an issue with, while others are ok with their options. Of course, another option is that if you want to go out on a date for drinks, you go to deNOVO or Manifesto or some other choice nearby. Or, if The Short North is where you prefer to spend your time, you seek an apartment there rather than at Columbus Commons. Again, these are all options. You can say they don’t work for you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work for other people.

    I don’t disagree with anything you are saying here. I think Columbus has created options for millenials to live an urban lifestyle in Columbus. My point is that they’re just behind the curve. So I think what has been created is good from the stand point of someone who grew up there or is going to college there.

    “Hey don’t move away young millenial here are some options for you” If I was graduating college and could get a decent job these options would definitely appeal to me.

    But now look at it from a millenial who isn’t currently in Columbus. Now the argument doesn’t hold up as well. Because everything that Columbus is offering other cities are offering more. Pretty much everything on the list about what millenials want Denver is offering something better than what Columbus has. Which is why Denver had a net migration of 10,000 people while Columbus had less than 2,000.

    I think in 5 to 10 years Columbus will be able to match up well with some of these other cities. But in the meantime the bulk of young people are going to be flocking to these other cities. I think Columbus grows by being the best option in the region.

    #521869

    InnerCore
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    NEOBuckeye said:
    This is my one major concern for Columbus. Charlotte and Austin have generally been growing along with surrounding areas/metros in their states (e.g. Raleigh-Durham/RTP, Dallas-Ft. Worth, etc). Columbus has been growing while other areas around it are struggling or are barely treading water. People from Cleveland, Akron, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Detroit, Mansfield and Dayton are moving to Columbus because they cannot find the economic opportunities and lifestyle they want and need within their home cities. IMHO, Columbus will likely continue to prosper and thrive to a point, but unless the cities they are drawing from truly rebound, or Columbus doubles in population, it will likely continue to remain overcast somewhat by the enduring shadows of an economically struggling region.

    Agree. If you look at the real estate outlook report I posted you’ll see that Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte both have great prospects for both investment and development. So do Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Austin.

    But when you look at Columbus and Cincinnati they’re both fair for investment and poor for development and home building. And Cleveland is poor all the way around.

    Here are the comments for Cleveland:

    The declining population in Cleveland is causing all sectors to struggle, with only
    education and health services seeing any improvement.

    Compared to the comments about Austin:

    In 2013, Austin looks set to continue to impress individuals and attract institutional investors. “Austin will be a winner next year,” and “Austin, Texas, offers a lot more job growth and possible increase in income,” are among the comments from interviewees. In the 2013 results, Austin took a few steps back in its ranking for investment prospects, from second to seventh, and in homebuilding, from second to fifth. The rating value for development rose, but the city remained fourth in rank. “Cranes are all over the place in the city,” and “Technology remains a key driver” are comments signaling that Austin will continue to grow.

    #521870
    buckeye54
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    Ok so far columbus has been compared to nyc(largest city in the us), San Francisco(part of bay area,5 million people),denver(most populous city in a 500 mile wide radius),minneapolis(metro 1.4 mill larger) and miami(3.5 million larger). These comparisons are apples to oranges and should be treated as such.

    Ok now for cities that are closer in size. We have austin- austin is cool but keep in mind it is the only bastion of liberalism in the most conservative and second most populous state in the country. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think college grads from all over texas and the sw are flocking there.

    Charlotte-Charlotte is the financial hub of the south with bank of america,wells fargo etc.. I know several people who have moved there and it certainly hasn’t been for the urban environment. In fact one of my friends who works at B of A is looking to get the heck out of dodge and is willing to take a paycut to do so. Not the model I would want columbus to attempt to emulate.

    Portland- Portland does alot of things really well. They have great natural beauty and are one of two large cities in a whole geographic region.

    Nashville-country music capital of the world. Huge tourist town.

    Savannah/Charleston- Possibly two of the most beautiful towns/cities in the US in certain areas.Right on the ocean. Huge tourist draw.

    These comparisons are not to say that these cities are overrated but to point out that there are many things that go into making a city a draw. Columbus should look at certain elements of success and attempt to draw from them but it cannot be discounted that a lot of these cities have either unique geographic features or are the largest or second largest cities in their region. Columbus is neither. College grads have a lot of large cities to choose from in the region. I think columbus does a lot of things better then those cities. I’ve lived in chicago,san antonio,phoenix,and raleigh and I can honestly say I like columbus the best by far with chicago in second place.

    That doesn’t mean that I don’t think there are things to improve upon. There definitely are but there are also things to improve upon in every city we just mentioned. For an example, I love portland in alot of ways but did you know they are also one of the least diverse cities in the US and have large issues with the neo-nazi movement? Again, this is not a knock on portland but sometimes it easy to see columbus’s failings and not recognize that a lot of other cities have issues as well.

    #521871
    Chris Sunami
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    This whole thread has given me deja vu. I have a friend who moved to Miami a decade ago, and every time he visits, I’m treated to a lengthy monologue about how much he prefers Miami to Columbus.

    We get it. You love Miami. That’s great. Go to the beach, have a good time.

    We also get that you don’t understand people who look at Columbus and see a vibrant, exciting place to live. It’s okay that you don’t understand that. But please spare us the assumptions that people who pro-Columbus are untraveled, provincial, unadventurous, uninformed, uncultured, delusional or in denial. It’s condescending, rude, and untrue.

    In my experience, the people who most appreciate Columbus are typically those who are best traveled. Those who feel most confined here are most often those who never left. There are a lot of special and unique things about Columbus, and you don’t necessarily see them until you have something to compare them to.

    #521872
    scorpcmh
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    Silver Bezel said:
    Walker, you make some interesting comments however some of them imply that you haven’t experienced much outside of the cbus bubble. Have you spent any quality time in cities like San Fran, Austin, NYC and Portland? What about abroad? Have you lived anywhere outside of Ohio?

    This is pretty insulting to assume that because you appreciate all Columbus offers, that you are in a bubble. I have traveled all over the U.S. and internationally. I find this whole thread to be really tiring. There are pluses and minuses everywhere. Quite frankly, I would never consider living in any of those places for various reasons. And I am old enough to realize at this point, that the shiny place is usually going to be a has been in a couple of years. Booming and crashing does not make for a pleasant environment in the long run. And please, compare Columbus to similar size cities, outside of the sunbelt. For the most part, those cities saw a lot of growth due to location, not fabulous amenities….Charlotte, really??

    #521873
    scorpcmh
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    I posted after the two points prior to mine…excellent and much better said, but same thought process.

    #521874
    buckeye54
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    I know several people have basically called columbusites closed minded in regards to light rail. I think the biggest thing hurting light rail in columbus is not that people hate rail or that everybodys in love with their cars or people aren’t foward thinking. It’s this.Best cities for commuters Guess who Kiplinger has at 2? I know its just a list ,but if people aren’t sitting in traffic all day long then you can’t expect the outcry for light rail to be nearly as plentiful. That being said I do feel its only a matter of time before light rail is going to be implemented.

    #521875

    Campbell
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    Walker said:
    I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, so I’m going to break it down just to keep things somewhat organized/readable instead of posting one giant wall of text. ;)

    Good to know it holds its own. That reaffirms what I’ve read from multiple resources that Columbus is steadily growing across all of those sectors, but not necessarily considered a “hot” market. Which in some camps is a good thing. The tortoise wins the race, no?

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. That’s largely what that demographic wants. But keep in mind that everyone has different priorities and different expectations as to how those needs are fulfilled. Some might want to live in an apartment above a nightclub. Some want to keep it accessible, but at bay by living within a five minute walk. Some care more about access to bike trails, others not so much. Some are ok with a five minute walk to the grocery store, some are ok with a five minute drive because they don’t like shopping by what they can carry. There’s a whole lot of fuzzy gray area and no universal checklist that is applicable to an entire generation of individuals.

    That being said…

    Depending on where you live in urban Columbus, you already have grocery stores within walking distance. You’re pointing only at Downtown, which is the Central Business District of our city, and possibly not exactly what you’re comparing to in other cities. Our CBD lags a bit on the urban redevelopment front, but if you want the young creative professional lifestyle where you have easy access to amenities and groceries you have plenty of options between The Short North, Victorian Village, Italian Village, Weinland Park, The Arena District, Brewery District, German Village, Clintonville, etc. While you personally may not agree that living next to the Kroger in the Brewery District is optimal for your expectation of what constitutes “living the urban dream”, but other people are ok with it. The high rental rates, low vacancy rates and ongoing development in that neighborhood is tangible proof that the demand is there.

    I agree that having a streetcar or light rail would be optimal for the situation you describe. Bus is less optimal. Walking is less optimal. Driving is less optimal. Taking a cab is an option, but less optimal. But those options do all exist. So instead of looking at the scenario you describe as either working or not working, I see it as something that some people might have an issue with, while others are ok with their options. Of course, another option is that if you want to go out on a date for drinks, you go to deNOVO or Manifesto or some other choice nearby. Or, if The Short North is where you prefer to spend your time, you seek an apartment there rather than at Columbus Commons. Again, these are all options. You can say they don’t work for you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work for other people.

    For some people, Columbus will never be a good fit. Even with the addition of more amenities and transit options, there will always be a group with a higher set of expectations. I think a lot has been done to provide accommodations for the Millennial demographic just in the past five years, with plenty more on the way in the next two to three years. I’d love to hear your assessment of these changes once you move here and get settled in.

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    #521876

    InnerCore
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    buckeye54 said:
    I know several people have basically called columbusites closed minded in regards to light rail. I think the biggest thing hurting light rail in columbus is not that people hate rail or that everybodys in love with their cars or people aren’t foward thinking. It’s this.Best cities for commuters Guess who Kiplinger has at 2? I know its just a list ,but if people aren’t sitting in traffic all day long then you can’t expect the outcry for light rail to be nearly as plentiful. That being said I do feel its only a matter of time before light rail is going to be implemented.

    This is definitely a positive for Columbus. We usually stay with family in Dublin and spend most of our leisure time in the Short North or Easton. Every time we drive downtown were amazed at how easy and stress free it is.

    I don’t even think Columbus needs any sort of light rail out to the suburbs. It be extremely hard to make it easier to use than driving. A simple line along High St. is all that’s needed in my opinion.

    #521877
    melikecheese
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    My two cents on this, it’s not a bad thing we don’t have an “identity”, and I don’t think we need one.

    We do so many things we can’t figure out which one we should get behind I think. We do food well, the high tech industry and fashion industry are great here, living is cheap, the arts scene seems OK and underground.

    #521878

    JonMyers
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    This whole identity thing and the passion it sparks is fascinating.

    I can’t think of that many cities that truly have an “identity” that is sustainable. Maybe Las Vegas (gambling), maybe LA (film industry), but even that is loose.

    New York City doesn’t have an “identity”. It’s a city that might have iconic architecture, iconic artwork, a destination district, or even a slogan (I Love NY), but that isn’t an identity.

    It’s a city that has countless personalities that mean different things to different people. For a struggling actor New York is Broadway. For those in finance it’s Wall Street, and for hipsters and struggling musicians maybe it’s Williamsburg.

    Most big cities I’ve lived in here in the US, and in South America, East Asia and Southeast Asia operate this way. They mean different things to different people. Great cities are too dynamic to have some bureaucrats try and stamp some convoluted identity on them. Again, that’s the natural by-product of makers. Those actually doing something in the city.

    In most cases, cities having an identity, “being known for something” is a terrible idea because identities become stagnant and outdated. Being constantly dynamic, constantly reinventing, and evolving is a better bet for the future.

    Detroit was “known for something” at one time. Pittsburgh was “known for something” at one time, and so was Akron. Those identities aren’t going so well, and have shown themselves to probably be more inhibitors than enablers.

    Industry, infrastructure or geographical features can paint a picture in people’s minds, but a “true identity” is a product of culture, sub-cultures, and multi-faceted attitudes. It’s tough to produce a “true identity” because it usually feels forced, and lacks authenticity.

    In this regard, Columbus is a dynamic evolving city.

    I’m in and out of here a lot, and am constantly surprised by the evolution of this city. The culture is evolving positively, especially around the area of risk taking.

    The risk takers in a city define it.

    There are lots and lots of small, little bets going on in Columbus that would have been unfathomable 10 or 15 years ago. I literally see it every day when I’m in Columbus.

    Those little bets take the form of small business innovation, those working on technology startups, artists actually making a living as…. artists, and you could go on, and on. The volume of risk taking at all levels from students to seniors is worth noting, and says something about Columbus.

    The synthesis of these makers, the general unique warmth of the culture and high-level of accessibility to decision-makers you find in Columbus are factors that might define it.

    There’s also an evolving level of sophistication and refinement in Columbus that you used to only find in big cities. The food and drink culture reflect this evolution.

    Lastly though, the catch to all this identity business is simple.

    Get off your ass and do something you love if you care that much, and the identity will come naturally.

    #521879
    NEOBuckeye
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    InnerCore said:
    I don’t even think Columbus needs any sort of light rail out to the suburbs. It be extremely hard to make it easier to use than driving. A simple line along High St. is all that’s needed in my opinion.

    Dublin seems to be interested, as far as suburbs go, to the point of even wanting to work with Columbus to put something into place eventually.

    I don’t think getting people to use rail would be hard at all. When you can take it from one point to another and not need a car at either end, what more do you really need?

    If nothing else, there should be a line on or parallell to High Street from German/Merion Village to Worthington. But some kind of West to East line from Grandview to Bexley/Whitehall, and another line from the Convention Center to the Airport and Easton wouldn’t be bad either.

    #521880

    lifeontwowheels
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    NEOBuckeye said:
    Dublin seems to be interested, as far as suburbs go, to the point of even wanting to work with Columbus to put something into place eventually.

    I don’t think getting people to use rail would be hard at all. When you can take it from one point to another and not need a car at either end, what more do you really need?

    If nothing else, there should be a line on or parallell to High Street from German/Merion Village to Worthington. But some kind of West to East line from Grandview to Bexley/Whitehall, and another line from the Convention Center to the Airport and Easton wouldn’t be bad either.

    No love for the west side?

    #521881
    Graybeak
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    Columbus’ new identity shall be The Chameleon!

    Now everyone can move on.

    #521882

    InnerCore
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    NEOBuckeye said:
    Dublin seems to be interested, as far as suburbs go, to the point of even wanting to work with Columbus to put something into place eventually.

    yeah, well I guess if you’re talking 40 to 50 years into the future I guess anythings is possible. But I probably won’t be around then or I’ll be to old to care.

    NEOBuckeye said:
    I don’t think getting people to use rail would be hard at all. When you can take it from one point to another and not need a car at either end, what more do you really need?

    I think it’s more than just giving people the option. People in general prefer to have the ability to come and go as they please wherever/whenever they want. It has to be more convenient than driving for it to work.

    At my first location in DC I had free parking at my job and I would have had to walk 15 min to the metro station, so I drove. I didn’t start taking the metro until I had to pay a lot for parking and consequently I moved to be only 5 min from the station.

    NEOBuckeye said:
    If nothing else, there should be a line on or parallell to High Street from German/Merion Village to Worthington. But some kind of West to East line from Grandview to Bexley/Whitehall, and another line from the Convention Center to the Airport and Easton wouldn’t be bad either.

    I don’t even think you go that far right now. I don’t think you get much ridership up in Worthington. If you live in Worthington then you alreay have a car and can park it at home for free. So if you want to go to the Short North you’re just going to have to pay to park (which isn’t much in Columbus). So you’re only talking about a few dollar difference between driving and taking the train. But with driving you have a lot more freedom to to travel between destinations.

    I think it would work if you had more midrise development along High St. But then your getting back to the 40 years in the future type stuff.

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