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Plan Calls for “Downtown Franklinton” District, Parks on Broad Street

Brent Warren Brent Warren Plan Calls for “Downtown Franklinton” District, Parks on Broad StreetRenderings provided by The City of Columbus.
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A draft neighborhood plan for West Franklinton – which will be presented tonight at the last of three community planning meetings – calls for a “Downtown Franklinton” district, new parks along West Broad Street and a range of other suggestions for the area. The plan has been in development since the process first started in January.

“The community emphasized the need to improve the perception and appearance of the area,” said City of Columbus planner Christine Palmer Leed, adding that, “Broad Street was particularly noted due to its function as the neighborhood’s ‘front door’.”

The plan calls for office, residential and retail development just west of 315, with smaller-scale, mixed-use buildings to the west designed to mesh with the existing two- and three-story buildings along Broad.

Tedd Hardesty of Edge Group explained that rapid, large-scale development or gentrification is not the goal of the plan; the recommendations were developed with an eye toward steady growth, and with the needs of current residents in mind.


“Maintaining affordable housing opportunities for existing residents as changes occur was frequently mentioned throughout the planning process,” he said. “This plan strives to promote long-term economic diversity in West Franklinton.”

All of the proposals in the draft plan will be presented tonight from 5 to 7pm at the Gladden Community House.

More information can be found at www.westfranklinton.com and on the project’s facebook page.

For ongoing discussion and updates on Franklinton, CLICK HERE to visit our Messageboard.

Renderings provided by The City of Columbus.

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  • Stephen43215

    It’s a start but to me this looks more like a plan for downtown Dublin or downtown Westerville. Being within 1 mile of the downtown core the area should be developed into something a little more dense then what is shown in the renderings.

  • CB_downtowner

    I feel like any time there aren’t tall buildings, the density argument always comes up. I don’t see a big problem with the proposal. I like that the #1 priority is to preserve the identity of the area instead of the need to commoditize it into something else. There is a ton of opportunity in the downtown core to build for height especially when you look at the massive amount of surface lots between Gay and Nationwide. As we saw with the Columbus Commons, green space can easily be converted into development when opportunity strikes.

    I walked in OTR in Cincinnati a few weeks ago and the area is just stunning. Oozing with character. I would like for this area to be a lot more like the old Short North and OTR than an extension of downtown.

    • DET-CMH

      The Short North started out looking exactly like this (with some rough eras before its comeback), so I don’t see a problem here. This would be a fantastic start. The demand is certainly there regionally, and I think it wouldn’t be too difficult to find investors willing to back this project.

  • Jason Powell

    Looks good. Shall we begin?

  • The Sarcastic Medved

    The Bottoms will always be the Bottoms, no matter how much they gussy it up.
    Its like you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

  • channelcity

    Broad Street itself needs addressed before this plan can be successful. The street is entirely too wide to be conducive to this type of development, six lanes across! The road needs to be narrowed or at the very least redesigned to give the perception of a more pedestrian friendly environment, perhaps utilizing multimodal transport (light rail, bicycle lanes, etc) with new landscaping. Another option for Broad Street is the one suggested in the 2010 Downtown Strategic Plan.
    The area is ripe with opportunity and I’m happy they say they’re including the current residents, let’s hope it works in reality though.

  • I feel like someone needs to figure out the target density needed to support a successful walkable urban retail strip on Broad Street and/or other streets in the area. Exactly how many new housing units are needed and where? Can the new housing units be constructed entirely on existing undeveloped or underutilized land? Do we need to upzone certain areas in order to meet the housing targets?

  • I love the plan but it flawed because of the focus on price controls and affordable housing options. It truly only hurts the area and plan in the long term. Economic and social diversity is great but free market principles is the best way to go. If the market demands smaller units that cost less than thats what should be built if the market can support all luxury condos then that should be the case as well. You will get the most out of the investment and plan that way.

  • NEOBuckeye

    I agree that it’s good that they are including the existing residents of Franklinton/The Bottoms, which is far more than what Cincinnati did with the residents of Over-The-Rhine when that neighborhood was magically “re-discovered” by that city for hipsterdom and young professionals.

    Truthfully though, I wonder how long before they are gentrified out of their own homes? Community redevelopment plans on this scale are good gestures and all, but the cynic in me says it’s all just window dressing to soothe the gentrifying folks’ consciences while keeping current residents comfortable as the water in the pot warms to a boil around them. Gentrification happens eventually, everywhere. Look at the Short North now vs. 15 years ago. Look at Weinland Park now.

    In 15 years, as Franklinton hits its stride, most of the current residents will have been pushed out to Lincoln Village, the former New Rome and Galloway. I’m not complaining per se, just calling things out as I see them.

  • KaylaGal

    West side resident here. Gentrification is already in progress in this area, and has been for at least five years now. Captain obvious, I know.

  • MikeB

    Of course any development or revitalization is a good thing for Franklinton but I was thinking more along the lines of the arts district in Miami or Adams Morgan, I know those areas sort of evolved on their own but I am trying to create an image here. Franklinton should keep a bit of its grit and not look like the standard town center plan with the matching awnings, the even facades/setbacks etc. Maybe Franklinton shouldn’t even have a plan, each building or block should be free to develop on their own. I just fear that it will be another hood that takes off, rents exceed $1500 a month and doggy day cares open up. Also I am rambling.

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