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New Retail Program Targets Lennox, Cleveland Avenue, West Broad

Walker Evans Walker Evans New Retail Program Targets Lennox, Cleveland Avenue, West Broad
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Franklin County and ECDI jointly launched a new retail incubation program that is targeting specific neighborhoods throughout Columbus. The “Retail Incubation Supporting Entrepreneurs” (RISE) program has a goal of giving retail a boost in places such as Cleveland Avenue, West Broad Street around the Hollywood Casino, and a new potential vision for The Lennox Town Center in Clinton Township (pictured above) as a part of the Clinton West Neighborhood Plan.

“This was the brainchild of the Franklin County Development Department and Commissioners,” says Steve Fireman, President of ECDI. “This loan fund also includes dollars for value added education and technical assistance for our loan clients.”

To read more about the RISE program, or find out how you can enroll your business, CLICK HERE to visit TheMetropreneur.com.

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  • bucki12

    Looking at that they would have to tear down the existing Lennox Plaza. Is this more of a Sim City excercise in what ifs?

  • UrbanLegend

    RISE is a retail incubation program – it does not affect any physical structures, only the businesses that occupy them.

    The image above and with the Metropreneur story shows a long-range vision for the potential redevelopment of Lennox Town Center, created as part of the Clinton West Neighborhood Plan. It has NOTHING to do with the RISE program. It is very misleading to use it for this story. In fact, this is the first place I’ve seen Lennox even mentioned as being part of the RISE program (it’s not exactly “struggling”).

    It seems that Metropreneur and CU are either very confused or found some exclusive information source that eluded other media outlets.

    From the Dispatch:

    “The institute has said that 20 businesses will receive what it calls comprehensive technical assistance. Entrepreneurs will be taught how to develop a business plan, choose and market products, hire employees, and handle the bookkeeping and state and federal reporting requirements of owning a small business.”

    “RISE is different from the organization’s other business development programs, institute President Steve Fireman said, because it focuses solely on starting or expanding a retail business.”

    “We want to enhance what’s already there while working to place stores that benefit the rest of the community.”

    “… in struggling neighborhoods, particularly along Cleveland Avenue and on the West Side, said Jim Schimmer, the county’s economic-development director.”

    From Business First:

    “The RISE proposal, which goes before Franklin County Commissioners on Tuesday, would put 20 businesses through the first round of the two-year program. In-person and online classes will teach business planning, hiring, merchandising, record-keeping and more. The primarily low- and moderate-income participants also will get assistance identifying store locations and handling lease negotiations, as well as have access to ECDI’s small-business loan program.”

    “Target areas include the west side surrounding Hollywood Casino Columbus and along Cleveland Avenue, Schimmer said.”

  • @Urban Legend – No confusion here. You’re correct on the exclusive information, as this was not in the standard press release issued to all local media outlets. We spoke with Jim Schimmer directly who said the following via email:

    “Franklin County has undertaken a number of plans for township areas over the last few year (Clinton, Clinton-West, Blendon, Pleasant, and SW Area to name a few) … RISE is a natural extension of our planning process and we hope to impact areas with start-up retail potential in areas of vestige retail already in place. Specific locations relate to Cleveland Avenue, Noe-Bixby Rd, unincorporated (west) Clinton Township around Lennox, West Broad in Prairie Township and the west side near casino.”

    While you’re correct that RISE does not touch the physical structures, it is playing a role in the economic development side of the Clinton West Neighborhood Plan, which is why we used an image of that rendering from the plan.

  • @bucki12—yes. the Clinton West Plan has two visions for Lennox: one looks at minor ways of improving the shopping plaza including adding green space, trees, and better signage, and one is a vision: what could Lennox become if there was a market for wholesale redevelopment into a more urban footprint. everything is a what-if when you first envision it.

  • bucki12

    ^ Thanks

    I was confused by the picture mixed in with the RISE info. I trying to figure out how this fit into that in my head. Because of that I was thinking RISE was more of a think tank.

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