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Question about Weinland Park/University District...

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development Question about Weinland Park/University District…

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  • #91094

    Buster Bluth
    Participant

    I’m in the City & Regional Planning program at Ohio State and we’re doing a studio project based on off-campus living, and specifically aiming to see what motivates students to live where they live (e.g. further away from campus, close to campus, on campus, etc).

    We’re doing this because Ohio State in 2015ish is going to start requiring that sophomores live on campus too. Ohio State projects to move 3,000 students from East of High Street onto campus in a two-year phase of 1,500 in 2015 and 1,500 in 2016.

    Their hope is that it’ll create some actual competition in the housing market. Occupancy rates are 98% right now, and they could pull ~20% (assuming Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, and Grads are equal in housing number…which they aren’t) of that back onto campus. They essentially hope the demand curve shifts left and the equilibrium plummets and housing is cheaper, and better now that land lords will be forced to take care of it due to competition, for the upperclassmen. Gee wants an actual college town, not some pseudo-slums.

    You can probably assume this is a money-grab too. That, in my opinion, isn’t an incorrect viewpoint of this whole idea. There is no question that living on campus is a ripoff.

    BUT, that’s not my question. My question is this:

    There’s a lot of improvements going on in Weinland Park, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a neighborhood that has improved and not caused the prices to rise and some of the poor to move somewhere else. That just comes with gentrification and whatnot. One can assume that the rent prices in the future will force some out of the neighborhood, no?

    Sooooo, will Ohio State, via its initiatives/policies/influences, significantly increase the cost of living in Weinland Park while simultaneously decreasing them in the University district so significantly that the void created by sophomores moving onto campus is filled by former-residents of Weinland Park? See what I’m asking?

    If 20% (and I think that’s a high estimate) of the houses become occupied by non-students, one could expect the crime rates to certainly become more interesting.

    I know this makes a few assumptions and maybe I’m totally off base on this, but this just popped into my head on the walk home from work and I want some opinions…

    #491034

    rory
    Participant

    I think you just got an A for the class.

    #491035

    msashlee
    Member

    Hmmmmmm, interesting thought process. You might be onto something. But if I had to guess, I’d say its more likely that students will begin living closer to campus and thin out a bit. That is, students living in clintonville, buckeye village and on up to olentangy commons will probably move a bit closer, and students piled into cramped, run down houses will spread out into smaller apartments.

    I’m interested to hear what other people’s thoughts are on the subject.

    #491036

    CMHflyer
    Participant

    ^Likewise. I think the original poster brings up a very valid point; one that should be addressed by the powers that be at the university.

    #491037

    Buster Bluth
    Participant

    msashlee said:
    Hmmmmmm, interesting thought process. You might be onto something. But if I had to guess, I’d say its more likely that students will begin living closer to campus and thin out a bit. That is, students living in clintonville, buckeye village and on up to olentangy commons will probably move a bit closer, and students piled into cramped, run down houses will spread out into smaller apartments.

    I’m interested to hear what other people’s thoughts are on the subject.

    That is certainly their hope; it’s been explicitly said to us that it is.

    I guess we’ll find out after our focus groups are done in two or three weeks. We’re bringing students in to ask them to give us reasons for why they live where they live.

    I expect that we’ll see students tell us that that they prefer living in Clintonville or areas further away because 1) it’s quieter, 2) less crime, 3) better housing quality, 4) cheaper. You cannot convince me that moving sophomores on campus will have much of an impact on numbers one and two. I’m playing devil’s advocate, of course. If the housing prices and quality were equal, would they move there? Would landlords reinvest in their properties to lure students in, or settle for renting to non-students who can’t afford better housing anyway. Interesting situation to say the least…

    #491038

    wpcc88
    Participant

    I live in the University district and have for the last 4 years. I don’t think the landlords in the area will have a problem at all filling the houses. Because you have to take into consideration the amount of students from Ohio Dominican, Columbus State & CCAD that also live in the area. I think that making sophomores live on campus is a terrible idea, it’s actually why I selected Ohio State over OU and Miami. That being said I think that you make a great point in your original post, but I don’t think the landlords or the University Area Commision will allow it to happen. I think you will see the areas south of Frambes/Woodruff will remain focused towards undergrads and north of Lane will focus more towards grad students etc.

    #491039

    Buster Bluth
    Participant

    wpcc88 said:
    I live in the University district and have for the last 4 years. I don’t think the landlords in the area will have a problem at all filling the houses. Because you have to take into consideration the amount of students from Ohio Dominican, Columbus State & CCAD that also live in the area. I think that making sophomores live on campus is a terrible idea, it’s actually why I selected Ohio State over OU and Miami. That being said I think that you make a great point in your original post, but I don’t think the landlords or the University Area Commision will allow it to happen. I think you will see the areas south of Frambes/Woodruff will remain focused towards undergrads and north of Lane will focus more towards grad students etc.

    I actually mentioned that exactly thing to one of the powerful guys at a meeting. I guess you could say that occupancy is at 98%, but demand is at 150% (if that makes sense) and a decrease in 20% of students will still leave everything full and then some.

    Personally, if I’m a freshman and I’m from Columbus, I’m flipping to birdie to Ohio State and living at home for sophomore year. I’d rather drive from Westerville or Hilliard (and save the money!) than live in a dorm again…unless it’s a suite and has AC. But even still a huge number of kids will just live at home or rent a house in their parents’ names.

    #491040

    cbus11
    Member

    This may just be historical minutia, and you may be aware of it, but the requirement that sophomores live on campus technically went into effect in 1965. It has just been unenforceable due to lack of dormitory space on campus.

    Personally, I think the campus area will always be a draw for the ‘student’ demographic, regardless of whether they are actually attending classes at any college or university. That is a very large pool to draw from. A lot of that has to do with the atmosphere of the area, both the good and the really bad. The university area landlords know this and I would imagine are fairly protective of their ability to maintain a student slum. It is a very lucrative business which I believe has both its own version of Tammany Hall and a large public perception that what happens in the campus area is relatively okay as long as it stays in the campus area.

    I am sure there are many an aging alumn who sits on a deck in Upper Arlington drinking a craft beer and telling misty-eyed stories of apartment parties and drunken campus sorties in their college days.

    As far as Weinland Park, the South Campus Gateway will be expanding southward. I think this will just encourage further college related expansion in the surrounding NW quarter of Weinland Park. It might actually make it more appealing to students than areas in the further eastward sections of traditional ‘South Campus’ which are more distant from the action.

    #491041

    mrpoppinzs
    Member

    It would be interesting to see what the mix is in close proximity off campus student housing in a percentage breakdown. I think there are students from OSU, then every other college or trade school in the area, low income people, hangers on, etc, etc. One of my friends still lives by campus because individual rents are dirt cheap (but they add up to a lot per house), a guy who lives in the same house is a truck driver they only see about 4 times a month for a couple of days at a time.

    The next phase of the South Campus Gateway might be interesting as I would imagine it will contain a lot of student aimed housing. The student housing in the initial Gateway is by far its biggest success. A developer is also building new apartments at 7th and High where the laundry mat is. So I think there will be a greater concentration of students in this area with the new Kroger a big plus for the students. I doubt the campus slumlords will try and compete at this level, opting more to stay the course on high volume prices.

    I have also heard talk that there is another new student tower going up by where the original Long’s bookstore is located.

    #491042
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Buster Bluth said:
    I expect that we’ll see students tell us that that they prefer living in Clintonville or areas further away because 1) it’s quieter, 2) less crime, 3) better housing quality, 4) cheaper. You cannot convince me that moving sophomores on campus will have much of an impact on numbers one and two.

    Agreed. It’s been awhile since I lived in the University District, but it seemed to be a pretty natural progression for a lot of people to move further and further north with age as they grew less fond of having the party-zone in their own backyard and wanted to be removed from it at least by a few blocks at a time.

    I don’t see cheaper options closer to campus being a draw for that crowd again, though perhaps an improvement to housing stock could change that a bit?

    Interesting situation nonetheless. You’re raise some very good questions. Keep us posted with what you find out.

    #491043

    ExileOn6thSt
    Participant

    Regarding the initial question posted by Buster Bluth, a number of lower income families have already been pushed out of Weinland Park in the last year as a result of landlords making superficial improvements and raising the rent significantly trying to attract the student market ($400-500 per room can work for individual students, but families can’t afford to pay that). I know many of these families, and they almost always fall in the gap – their income is too high for CPO housing but definitely not high enough to be able to afford much else of what’s currently available in Weinland Park. The families I know have been moving to either Milo Grogan or Linden, not into the campus area. If the campus area thinned out as you suggested, I still doubt that the slumlords would lower the rent enough to make it a viable option for peole leaving WP.

    #491044
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    wpcc88 said:
    Because you have to take into consideration the amount of students from Ohio Dominican, Columbus State & CCAD that also live in the area.

    Good point. I’d be curious to know what percentage of the population in the area is made up of non-OSU college-age people.

    Just speaking from personal experience, I only attended OSU for 2 quarters, left to start working full time, and started at CSCC a year later. I continued to live in the University District for maybe 3-4 years as a non-OSU student just because it was an area I was familiar with and a lot of my friends lived there.

    #491045

    ExileOn6thSt
    Participant

    Regarding the initial question posted by Buster Bluth, a number of lower income families have already been pushed out of Weinland Park in the last year as a result of landlords making superficial improvements and raising the rent significantly trying to attract the student market ($400-500 per room can work for individual students, but families can’t afford to pay that). I know many of these families, and they almost always fall in the gap – their income is too high for CPO housing but definitely not high enough to be able to afford much else of what’s currently available in Weinland Park. The families I know have been moving to either Milo Grogan or Linden, not into the campus area. If the campus area thinned out as you suggested, I still doubt that the slumlords would lower the rent enough to make it a viable option for people leaving WP.

    #491046

    ExileOn6thSt
    Participant

    Sorry for the double post.

    #491047

    labi
    Participant

    Buster Bluth said:
    Sooooo, will Ohio State, via its initiatives/policies/influences, significantly increase the cost of living in Weinland Park while simultaneously decreasing them in the University district so significantly that the void created by sophomores moving onto campus is filled by former-residents of Weinland Park?

    I know this makes a few assumptions…

    I think to answer this question you’d have to focus-group current low-income residents of Weinland Park, not just current students at OSU.

    There is a huge gap between rents in WP and rents in the closer-in campus area. There would have to be really significant reductions in the closer-campus rents to make them workable for low-income WP residents. I’m not sure the campus landlords’ business models would work for that.

    My informal impressions are that, at least right now, there are several other Columbus neighborhoods where WP residents look first when they move looking for lower rents.

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