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East Main Street Business Owners Seek Neighborhood Improvements

Walker Evans Walker Evans East Main Street Business Owners Seek Neighborhood ImprovementsPhoto via Google Streetview.
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There’s a one mile stretch of East Main Street between the cities of Bexley and Whitehall that some know as being a part of the Eastmoor neighborhood, but most people simply confuse it as being a part of one of those two separate municipalities. The City of Columbus could soon be changing that with the creation of a new Special Improvement District on East Main Street.

The initiative, spearheaded by former Eastmoor Civic Association president Herb Talabere, would place a self-appointed assessment on area businesses within the boundaries drawn for the new district, which would allow for streetscape improvements, beautification, safety enhancements, signage and other related projects.

“The entire time I’ve lived in Eastmoor, there have always been complains about the business district on Main Street,” explained Talabere. “So we took a survey of property owners to see what they thought was needed in the area, and got their approval of the concept of a Special Improvement District. This whole process has taken about two and a half years, but we’ve gotten an amazing amount of support.”

The creation of any Special Improvement District requires signatures from at least 60 percent of businesses that will be assessed before the City of Columbus will formally move forward with the process of creating the designation.

“Herb brought this to my attention when I first came onto Council, but I hadn’t checked back in with him for awhile,” explained City Councilmember Shannon Hardin, who is hosting a public hearing on the proposal on Monday. “I got the call that Herb had reached his numbers, which took a lot of community conversation on his part. I’m really excited to go out there on Monday and hear from some folks.”

Businesses located within the Eastmoor neighborhood include The Top Steakhouse, Wing’s Restaurant, Grain+Grape, Grill & Skillet Diner and many other independent and chain businesses. This stretch of Main Street in the City of Columbus is noteworthy for its barebones appearance, which stands out when contrasted with streetscape improvements, signage and trees that have been added in recent years to both Bexley and Whitehall.

“That one-mile stretch just isn’t quite where it needs to be,” added Hardin. “This is all about making sure these small businesses are in an environment where they can thrive — lifting that area up as a business corridor.”

While Eastmoor may not have the same level of name recognition of other neighborhoods, the area has remained a stable middle-class residential community ever since it was first plotted out nearly 100 years ago after the end of World War I. Most of the modest homes in the area currently range between $50,000 and $250,000, making it an attractive option for home buyers who are looking for a centralized location.

The public hearing will take place on Monday, March 20 starting at 6 p.m., at the Epstein Chapel, located at 3232 E. Main St. Citizens are invited to attend and offer public testimony.

Hardin stated that if the public is receptive to the idea, then he’ll continue to work with his fellow City Council Members for support and would likely place the proposal on the Council agenda sometime in the next month or two for a vote.

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