Public Meetings Under Way for Southern Gateway Revitalization Effort
Southern Gateway, the public-private partnership first announced by the Mayor in the 2012 State of the City address and officially launched last summer, has started its engagement with the neighborhood. Four public meetings have been held so far, and another two are scheduled: March 28 at the Parsons Avenue Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library from 5-6:30pm; and April 9 at the Reeb Hosack Baptist Church, 258 Hosack Street, from 7-8:30pm.
The goal of the meetings is to gather ideas and feedback from residents of the area bounded by East Moler and Frebis Avenue on the north, South High Street on the west, State Route 104 on the south, and South Champion Avenue on the east (a larger area than what was originally announced, when Parsons Avenue was the eastern boundary).
About 75 residents have attended the meetings so far; they have filled out surveys, signed up for committees and broken into groups to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the neighborhood.
The feedback so far, according to facilitators, has been a mix of excitement about certain projects – like the John Maloney Health and Wellness Center going into the former Schottenstein space on Parsons and the 40 new rent-to-own houses that are part of the Southern Gateway Homes project – and concern about the general appearance of the neighborhood, safety, a lack of jobs, and the need for more restaurants and retail.
The committees, which cover a wide range of topics such as safety, housing, arts, education and economic development, will be meeting regularly to gather information and opinions about existing conditions in the neighborhood and to brainstorm about solutions.
More information about Southern Gateway can be found on their website.
Photo by Walker Evans.