Roadwork is scheduled to begin this fall at the Columbus Coated Fabrics site. “While the economy has taken its toll on developers all over, the project continues to progress,” reported Mark Wagenbrenner at the Urban Land Institute meeting yesterday. The meeting covered the city plans for both Weinland Park and the upcoming Campus Partners development. The presentation included a projected expansion of the South Campus Gateway between 8th and 9th Avenues along High Street. The plan also includes a proposed gateway complex on 11th Ave between North Fourth and Grant in conjunction with the Columbus Coated Fabric site.
Unfortunately, this Gateway complex would require the demolition of an entire block of the New Indianola Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the 1920s, the district stretches from 7th Avenue up the east side of North Fourth to 12th Avenue, and also contains the entire block of 11th Ave between North Fourth Street and Grant. The district was originally designed to be rental housing that catered to young professionals who took the streetcar Downtown to work. An idea that doesn’t seem so outdated or crazy today.
It was stated at the meeting that the idea of demolition is “still on the table”. Perhaps recognizing the value of historic properties to community revitalization, one of the city’s planners stated that it would be hard to imagine demolishing part of German Village today. Conversely, one seldom sees Campus Partners and historic preservation in the same sentence. An additional development concern is that the demolition along 11th Avenue could result in the delisting of the entire district from the National Register, which would deprive the rest of Weinland Park from the benefit of Federal and State historic tax credits and conservation easements. The next time you drive down 11th Avenue, imagine restored rowhouses with porches, trees, new landscaping, and hopping on the streetcar to go Downtown from your historic neighborhood. It could happen again.
Another transportation idea floated at the meeting was a question to Mark Wagenbrenner as to whether a transportation station would be welcome at the Coated Fabric site, since it is adjacent to the proposed 3-C Corridor rail line. Wagenbrenner answered with an enthusiastic yes. Next stop, Weinland Park!
The Wagenbrenner Company’s application for the Clean Ohio funding for the clean-up of the Auld site at the intersection of Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue continues to dominate the competition. It was stated that work could begin as soon as the late fall. The plan calls for ground-floor retail space with apartments located above. Woody and Joe’s Ribs will remain on the corner.
The Kroger store on High and Seventh is finally slated to break ground next spring.
Finally, the Weinland Park Little League Football team, The Dawgs are doing well in their first year. Anyone who has been through the park itself any week day night has seen the what seems to be hundreds of players and cheerleaders practicing for their weekend games at Innis Park. The Dawgs are having a series of fundraising events for the team. This week and through the foreseeable future the team is having a fish fry every Friday evening in the parking lot of the Weinland Park Elementary School. With easy access from North Fourth at 7th Avenue (turn in just before the intersection) you can get fish and fries for $4.00. This week features chicken wings too. Stop by on the way from work and support the kids! Who doesn’t like fish and wings for less than five dollars?