Brewery District

Cool, the Brewery District. I feel like a beer.

More West Nile virus in Columbus

From 10TV news:

Columbus Public Health officials said Friday that an area encompassing portions of German Village and the Brewery District had a pool of mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus.

The 43206 ZIP code joins ZIP codes 43211 and 43207, according to the health department.

It can kill you, but the good part is that most people won’t have any symptoms.

People move to Brewery District, complain

In the Dispatch, via Columbus RetroMetro:

Major Woody’s Bar is a major pain, say some Brewery District residents who want to see it go away.

They say they’re tired of the fights and noise, and their quality of life is being eroded.

“All I want is some peace and quiet for our residents,” said Jeannette Tannert, property manager for Liberty Place apartments, which opened earlier this year across a large parking lot from Major Woody’s.

It’s a common scene across the country, as residents in rejuvenated urban neighborhoods such as Cleveland’s Warehouse District and Seattle’s Pioneer Square have voiced concerns about activities around popular clubs and bars.

It’s kind of funny. Peace and quiet in an area known for its clubs and nightspots. Go ahead, turn the Brewery District into a quiet bedroom community. I’m sure that will attract the YPs. That and a Starbuck’s. Columbus, Ohio: the city that goes to sleep at around 9pm. 11 on weekends and holidays.

The city is aware of the concerns, said Barb Seckler, deputy public safety director. She said police, the city attorney’s office and state liquor agents are talking with residents and the bar’s owner.

Assistant City Attorney Tannisha Bell, who attended the meeting, said she will investigate residents’ complaints.

“You have people living Downtown and they pay (for) nice apartments and they’re getting the noise and some of the fights that result from having a bar (nearby),” she said.

The state can always take away the liquor license.

AEP donates to city park

AEP, or rather its foundation, has donated $1.5 million to the Scioto Audubon Metro Park (SCAMP) on Whittier Peninsula.

The donation will go toward the $12 million-plus Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Scioto Audubon Metro Park, a 160-acre area called Whittier Peninsula near the Brewery District that opens next year. Grange donated $4 million in November, which was the center’s first and largest donation.

The nature center set a fundraising goal of $11.5 million and has received about $10 million so far, but additional plans are raising cost expectations, said Heather Starck, the center’s director.

The new park is expected to open in early 2009.

70/71 highway caps under consideration

The city has six favored locations along 70 and 71 where caps are being considered:

Spring, Long and Broad streets are favored sites for caps on the eastern leg of the project, and 3rd, High and Front streets on the southern leg.

It would cost an estimated $53 million to $65 million to build the six caps, which essentially are widened overpasses. They could include trees, even buildings. The more grand, the more expensive.

About $22 million is committed to the caps: $10 million from ODOT and $12 million from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

I think these are as important as streetcars when it comes to downtown revitalization. Think of them as stitches for a really nasty laceration.

Golf on Whittier Peninsula?

From Business First:

Downtown workers and residents may be in line for a suburban amenity to sweeten life in the urban core.

City officials have had preliminary discussions about turning 80 acres in the Whittier Peninsula into a nine-hole golf course. Stalled plans for development in the old industrial area, plagued by contaminated and unsettled soils and the threat of flooding, have prompted the discussions.

Paul Bonneville at RetroMetro thinks it’s a good idea:

Honestly, in my opinion this is currently one of the highest and best uses for the peninsula given the hurdles that would be faced to develop the site. Between soil compaction issues and contamination and being in the flood plain, the costs and risks far exceed the benefits of developing the peninsula at this point in time.

Committee picks committee-like name for new park

I really had to laugh when I read this one:

After a year of soliciting ideas, the Metro Parks board finally has a name for the proposed park on the Whittier Peninsula — the Scioto Audubon Metro Park.

That name is terrible.

The Franklin County Metro Parks board unanimously approved the name yesterday. It’s the 15th park in the system.

Several people suggested “Whittier Park,” and “Scioto Skyline” even made it in the running, said Peg Hanley, Metro Parks spokeswoman.

“But once those two words (Scioto and Audubon) came together, there was no other thought on what this park could be,” she said.

Now it’s nothing against the Audubon people- they do a fine job. But really, is every interest group satisfied now? Instead of one name the park has three mashed together. Scioto. Audubon. Metro. Everybody’s happy. I hate committees.

The name is also a big FU to anyone who suggested a name in their park-naming contest. Oh, did you bother to send in an entry? Well FU, we’re going with insiders. D’oh! Ok, I’m an idiot. The contest was Cap City Savvy’s- not Metro Park’s.

But here’s more funny. From the Dispatch article about the contest back in April:

Whatever name is chosen, Hanley will check that the name’s acronym doesn’t spell out something embarrassing.

Scioto Area Metro Park (SCAMP) and Timber Ridge (TRAMP) might not work.

I guess they don’t care about that anymore, because they went with a slightly different SCAMP. I implore you to call it SCAMP whenever you can.

Ranting mode off. I’m sure the park will be a great addition to Columbus. I’m looking forward to its completion some time next year.

Lower Scioto Park reopens

From Urban In-Fill:

After a two-season closure, the Lower Scioto Park (and boat launch) has reopened. Formerly not much more than a run down parking lot, the renovated park has more green space, bike racks, an elevated pathway for pedestrians and a waters-edge platform for those wishing to do some fishing. The final grading has been completed, as well as the planting.

The park is on the very southern end of the soon-to-be-developed Whittier Peninsula. I posted about the clearing of a homeless camp in the area yesterday.

Here’s a satellite map of Lower Scioto Park.

Homeless camp to be cleared

ThisWeek has a story on the clearing of a homeless camp:

The city of Columbus, the Community Shelter Board and a number of social service agencies working in collaboration hope to break up homeless camps on the Whittier Peninsula, down the hill from the Brewery District, by the end of summer.

I imagine this has to do with the impending construction at the site, years of local residents’ complaints not being quite sufficient to act.

The process starts with social workers and city employees speaking to every person in the camps to assess their needs and find permanent “supportive” housing that links them to social services.

Then, the homeless are relocated to housing, the camps are taken down and the area is cleaned up….

“These people are so naive,” [a local resident] said. “They think (the homeless) are sitting there waiting for them to come and help them rebuild their lives. They’re not going to go for that. So where’s the heavy foot?”

Local pizza and beer

Cameron Mitchell added a new restaurant to the empire today:

Marcella’s Ristorante, Pizzeria and Wine Bar, located two blocks north of the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 615 N. High St., is modeled after a traditional Italian cafe and has a selection of 50 wines and an open kitchen, the restaurant operator said.

Marcella’s seats up to 120 with prices ranging from $10 to $19 a plate.

Speaking of Cameron Mitchell, I found a six-pack of Columbus Pale Ale at the corner convenience store. I’ve been to the Columbus Brewing Company restaurant a bunch of times, but I never noticed their beer for sale at stores before. I guess I wasn’t looking. I rate it pretty good.

Changing neighborhoods

There are some good posts around today about changes in a few Columbus neighborhoods. First, in the Dispatch, a story about the Brewery District calming down after the heady 90’s:

The Brewery District is growing up.

A decade ago, the tiny neighborhood south of I-70, between the Scioto River and German Village, was the homecoming queen of the young singles scene.

But the spotlight has moved elsewhere, and residents say they’re happy to have a quieter neighborhood of familiar, friendly faces. Now, people take their dogs to bars and softball games, and poker nights have replaced ladies’ nights.

A once-hot condominium market has cooled to the point that homes remain unsold for more than six months.

The downtown market is similarly not red-hot, according to Columbus realtor blogger Joe Peffer (via Columbus Underground):

Downtown Condos aren’t flying off the shelf like much of the mainstream media seem to have portrayed, but they are slowly selling. What’s currently active on the market? About 141 properties representing just over 50 Million in list price, not even counting the FSB builders like North Bank.

I’m always surprised at the perception of who is buying downtown vs. the reality. It’s not all young professionals like many assume. There are far more empty nesters than most people think. Much of that is a result of the high costs of buying downtown. Affordable means something different to everyone but, for the most part, the youngsters are finding the affordable too small. Maybe they aren’t buying the whole, “Downtown is my back yard” mentality.

Moving out to the ‘burbs, ThisWeek has an outstanding story on the history of Canal Winchester and Pickerington:

Back then, in 1958, little differentiated the community from the homesteaders who settled in the northwest corner of Fairfield County a century and a half earlier, according to Gary Taylor, president of the Violet Township Historical Society.

As modern residents denote neighborhoods by the name of the subdivision, Taylor said in his youth, he could walk along the dirt roads and point out each farm by the name of the family.

It’s the first of three parts. I’ll be sure to check up on the next installments.

Name that park

RetroMetro points to a Dispatch article about the problem of coming up with a name for the park planned for the peninsula behind the Brewery District Kroger’s:

The Scioto River is the single distinguishing natural feature. The Columbus skyline is another prominent element.

Residents of a homeless encampment on the grounds had called the area Miranova West, Hanley said, referring to a nearby luxury condominium high-rise.

O’Meara said the parks board probably will choose a name by the end of spring.

The park is expected to open next spring, Hanley said. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center, which will be part of the 84-acre park, also is expected to open in 2008….

Whatever name is chosen, Hanley will check that the name’s acronym doesn’t spell out something embarrassing.

Scioto Area Metro Park (SCAMP) and Timber Ridge (TRAMP) might not work.

It’s in the Brewery District, so its got to be Beer Park. Wait, keep the German influence going: Bier Park. Simple. Next?

UPDATE: Cap City Savvy is running a contest to name it.

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