PACT Plans $165 Million Strategic Redevelopment for Near East Side
An updated neighborhood plan for the Near East Side was discussed last night at a community meeting held at the King Arts Complex. There, the latest draft of the master plan from PACT (Partners Achieving Community Transformation) was presented for review and feedback. The nearly completed plan is the result of two years of public input meetings and consultations with strategic partners to create a more vibrant and healthy environment in the King-Lincoln District, the Mount Vernon Area, and other Near East neighborhoods.
“Physical development is a major portion of the Blueprint for Community Investment, but the plan is also about changing people’s lives through the development of opportunities,” said PACT Project Manager Autumn Williams. “The Blueprint calls for the development of health and wellness initiatives, improved education opportunities in the local community, adult education and workforce preparation for job opportunities. The Blueprint, unlike other plans, has an emphasis on human services strategies as a priority, with physical plans to support them.”
The 800 acre area of study that PACT encompasses was broken down last night into five targeted areas that have the potential for up to $165 million in community investment for redevelopment: Taylor Avenue, Poindexter Village, Mount Vernon Avenue, Long Street, and the Broad Street Grocery.
Taylor Avenue is being referred to as a Health Science Corridor with existing facilities at Carepoint East and OSU University Hospital East. The development of additional medical facilities in the area will add new jobs to the neighborhood and boost health provisions for existing residents. Multifamily rentals are also planned for development, as well as new retail positioned adjacent to the hospital.
The site plan for Poindexter Village is drafted to include denser housing developments with a two acre park known as Blackberry Commons which will serve as a memorial for the history of Poindexter Village.
Both Long Street and Mount Vernon Avenue are planned to be restored as strong commercial corridors serving the neighborhoods as business districts. Plans call for the development of multi-story mixed-use buildings where vacant lots currently sit along these thoroughfares.
“The focus on primary locations within the planning area is deliberate,” said Williams. “These are all areas that the residents and stakeholders together identified as important areas for revitalization. They are also areas that can support the types of developments — housing, retail, institutional uses — being requested.”
Additional infrastructure is planned throughout all the neighborhood, which would include modern features such as sidewalk rain gardens, underground power lines, and an improved bike network system. Privately funded infill housing is expected to be developed throughout the entire area as well, incentivized by the new amenities developed in the targeted areas.
The new neighborhood plan has a quick ten-year timeline for implementation, which if fully actualized would add 950 residential units, 78,000 square feet of retail space, an adult education center and new green space over the course of the next decade.
“The supporting elements for implementation are or can readily be put into place,” said Stephen Kearney, senior planner with Goody Clancy, the firm hired to complete the plan. “For example, the framework of our housing strategy calls for an increase of households by 20% over ten years. All Phase 1 residential initiatives are located on either partner-owned or tax delinquent properties and so development can occur within the next one to three years.”
Some of the funding has already been secured for Phase 1 development efforts, and the PACT partners (OSU, City of Columbus and CMHA) are in full support of these initiatives. Kearney adds that other phases of development have been identified as “opportunity sites”, meaning that they are either privately owned properties or that funding has not yet been identified for future development.
PACT is currently seeking community feedback on the draft plan proposal through the end of March. Comments can be sent directly via email to [email protected].
For more ongoing news and discussion on PACT, click here to visit the CU Messageboard.
Renderings courtesy of PACT.