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Revitalization of Downtown Newark

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development Revitalization of Downtown Newark

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
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  • #82471
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I’ve never spent a lot of time in Newark, but recently passed through the Downtown area and was somewhat surprised by the size of it. With a population nearing 50,000, Newark is the second-largest city in Central Ohio behind Columbus.

    Some photos of Downtown Newark can be found over at Urban Ohio with the links below:

    http://urbanohio.com/gallery/index.php?album=Central+Ohio%2FNewark

    http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,17129.0.html

    http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,12933.0.html

    Anyway, according to this NBC4 article, it sounds like they’re looking to give the revitalization efforts another go.

    New Direction Sought For Historic Downtown Newark

    By CANDICE LEE

    Published: July 07, 2010

    A Central Ohio downtown is looking for new direction and wants the input of property owners. Over the years, community members in Newark have tried to find ways to attract families downtown, but roadblocks have often spelled the downfall of the groups.

    READ MORE: http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2010/jul/07/new-direction-sought-historic-downtown-newark-ar-138189/

    #385590

    gramarye
    Participant

    I grew up outside of Newark and my family frequently went shopping in Heath. I would very much like to see Newark’s downtown gain some vitality. I have to admit that I’m skeptical though (of course, based on impressions almost a decade old). I suppose it would depend on their standards for success, though–and what those “roadblocks” mentioned were and whether they can be eliminated efficiently (or at all).

    If it’s just some policy changes at the government level, that would be great. Unfortunately, I think it’s more than that. Newark, along with pretty much all of the other county capitals around Franklin (Delaware, Marysville, London, Circleville, Lancaster) just doesn’t have the critical mass of young, energetic, creative types to do what Columbus has done. Newark also doesn’t have a very large, established (or even transient) professional class to actually provide a market for the higher-end niche items that you see in Columbus.

    That said, I definitely wish them the best, and if they come up with something that appeals to those of us outside the world of collectible baskets, I’ll even make a trip back into my demesne of old of Licking County to check it out.

    #385591

    colrex7
    Member

    I too am from central Licking County and am very familiar with the area. I always dreamed of better days for downtown Newark. There really could be a lot of potential for that area. But like gramarye said, there isn’t a progressive mindset in Newark that other larger towns posses. It can definitely improve upon itself, and I will look forward to seeing what comes from this.

    Also, I stumbled upon this a while back…looks interesting.
    http://neighborhooddesign.org/WEB%20PAGE%202009/PROJECT%20PORTFOLIO/Workshops/Project1-1Newark4thstreet.html

    #385592

    NEOBuckeye
    Participant

    IMHO, there are two things that the county capitals around Columbus/Central Ohio would benefit wonderfully from:

    1.) A multi-county regional government structure. A consolidated Columbus-Franklin County would naturally serve as the regional government’s seat, but each of the capitals of the surrounding consolidated counties (e.g. Newark-Licking County, Circleville-Pickaway County, Delaware-Delaware County, etc.) would be recognized as special economic development zones in order to encourage new investment and attract new people.

    2.) A Spoke & Hub Regional Rail System connecting all of the county capitals (e.g. “spokes”) with the central hub in Columbus.

    #385593

    gramarye
    Participant

    I think that’s asking too much, particularly in the short and medium term. You could wait until the Second Coming and never see that. Also, I don’t particularly like the undertone that there’s nothing Newark can do on its own, so it needs to bind itself to Columbus ASAP (politically and through new infrastructure).

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see a rail line from Newark to Columbus (and unlike many proposed lines, there’s at least track already in existence between the two). The problem is that trains need destination. Newark isn’t one yet.

    Grand schemes shouldn’t be necessary, and at the very least shouldn’t be an opening move. The fundamentals have to come first.

    #385594
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Yeah, I think forging a partnership between Columbus & Newark governments rather than trailblazing with regional governance would probably be the quicker route to success. It also wouldn’t hurt to get a solid private developer or two on board in Newark.

    That being said, I can’t help but compare the rail track distance between Columbus & Newark (around 35 miles) to that of the Music City Star rail line running between Nashville and Lebanon Tennessee (pop 20k, less than half of Newark).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_City_Star

    A 32 Mile commuter rail line for $41M in 2006. We should be able to do something very similar for a very affordable pricetag.

    If I were in charge of this effort, that would be the route I’d pursue. Wouldn’t be easy, but I have to imagine the economic return on investment has the potential to be a real game changer not only Downtown Newark but for that whole region.

    #385595

    Columbusite
    Member

    I went to OSU Newark for 2 years and never set foot in their downtown. Might want to connect those two places together. I would have checked it out if I knew where the hell it was in relation to OSU. I’m tellin’ ya: wayfinding signs are worth their weight in gold. Afterall, exurbs are still big and while they offer a long commute they can also offer urban amenities, such as in the case of a large, small city like Nerk.

    #385596

    colrex7
    Member

    Keeping in mind that the Newark vicinity has roughly 60,000 people, OSU Newark, COTC, and Denison University are close by, and the fact that many many folks in the region work in Columbus, there is a good possibility a passenger rail line could work well connecting Newark with Columbus.

    #385597

    joev
    Participant

    Newark needs to embrace the wonderful assets it already has, and improve them to give it more of an identity. The Newark Earthworks are America’s equivalent of The Acropolis, and yet, there’s a middling golf course on top of them. Other mound sites are sprinkled around the city. Yet nothing has been done to connect these dots.

    #385598
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Newark parking free, but stores upset
    MONDAY, JULY 12, 2010
    BY JOSH JARMAN
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    As downtown’s parking problem lingers, the union representing the city’s laid-off parking attendants questions whether a magistrate’s leniency on parking violators cost the workers their jobs.

    The city laid off its two parking-enforcement attendants March 31 as part of citywide budget cuts. As part of their duties, the attendants patrolled the public square to make sure that vehicles did not stay parked for longer than the three hours allowed by city ordinance.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/07/12/copy/newark-parking-free-but-stores-upset.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

    #385599

    manticore33
    Participant

    gramarye: I would disagree about Delaware. We have a thriving restaurant scene and our downtown keeps getting better and better each passing month.

    When I started driving in 1997 at 16, I always drove to campus and the Short North because the lack of everything in Delaware. Since that time we now have coffee shops, alfresco dining, variety of dining options, local arts group, two farmer’s markets per week, a community market, and now have a late night community event called First Fridays.

    Is it the caliber of the Short North? Not at all. But, I find the area far better than most free-standing communities in Central Ohio.

    #385600

    GeorgeFox
    Member

    1. Regional government model probably would be met with lots of resistence from the outlying counties as much of their self-governence would be lost…and there is not much love for “Columbus” in the surrounding counties…kind of a reason why many of those residents choose to live there and not, in say, The Peach District.

    2. The rail line makes perfect sense and, coupled with the new 161 freeway, would really cause Newark—along with the rest of Licking County to boom. Actually, Walker, the rail makes more sense there than the one did from downtown to Ohio State. That line was more of a tourist line and benefitted a few people living in the Short North and Victorian Village. The line to Newark would encourage growth and allieviate a congested Interstate 70 and 161.

    #385601
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    manticore33 wrote >>
    gramarye: I would disagree about Delaware. We have a thriving restaurant scene and our downtown keeps getting better and better each passing month.

    Sounds like it’s going to continue to get better and better as well:

    Entrepreneurs Turn To Delaware For Funding, Workforce Development

    #385602
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    GeorgeFox wrote >>
    Actually, Walker, the rail makes more sense there than the one did from downtown to Ohio State. That line was more of a tourist line and benefitted a few people living in the Short North and Victorian Village. The line to Newark would encourage growth and allieviate a congested Interstate 70 and 161.

    It sounds like you’re referring to the Streetcar line, which I think serves a completely different purpose than a suburban light-rail commuter line. A Newark-Downtown line would most likely be a rush-hour work commute line, while a Downtown-OSU Streetcar would service a more broad demographic that includes Downtown workers, Convention-goers, OSU Students, as well as resident commuters.

    #385603

    michaelcoyote
    Participant

    Here’s a thread I put up over the winter when I got crazy with Google maps.

    It’s been years since I’ve been to Newark, and the last time I was there, the only thing downtown was a crappy redneck bar. That said, there was plenty of potential and the downtown itself was somewhat attractive if a bit beat down.

    Rail into Newark would be a nice development engine. I could see people who don’t want to live in the “big city”, but still want a walkable community really flocking to someplace like Newark. I think that you could say the same thing about many smaller cites around Columbus.

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