Sustainable Communities Funding Passes Senate Appropriations Committee

April 26th, 2012

Thank you GO supporters who contacted Senator Brown’s office and asked him to support funding for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities in the FY 2013 Federal Budget.  As a member of the Senate Appropriation Committee’s Senator Brown voted YES on the proposal to allocate $50 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Initiative.  The Bill passed the Appropriations Committee and will soon to the Senate floor.

We have sent a letter to Senator Brown thanking him for his committee to healthy, sustainable communities and encourage you to do the same.

New High Density Development In Columbus

April 19th, 2012

By John Gardocki, Greater Ohio Intern

The tide is turning in the Columbus metro area from low density to high density development and redevelopment.  Over the past few months developers have been announcing projects to bring mixed-use to fruition for our residents.  The concept of mixed-use development has gained popularity with American people in the past decade and is the symbol of America’s great “Main Street” downtown.  For more detailed discussion on Main Streets visit Ohio Main Streets or APA Great Streets.

High density is not only being utilized in the downtown, it is being used in the suburbs and locating around universities.  It seems that many cities are taking note of the successes developers and communities are having because they are utilizing mixed-use development. 

Downtown Development/Redevelopments:

  • LeVeque Tower Apartment- The building will renovate existing office space and add a new boutique hotel into the mix, creating a new mixed-use vibrancy to the building along with renovating floors for new apartments.  The importance of renovating this building is enormous, it is the iconic symbol of Columbus and people will want to flock to it once they see what is being done to the interior and exterior. 
  • Columbus Commons Apartments- 300 unit apartment project that will contain 23,000 square feet of new retail space located next to Columbus Commons Park.  This development is one of a kind because it is located next to an urban park and will include amenities for its residents when they are leased.  Aspirations of retail include restaurants/cafes, service retail, and a small urban grocery.  Having access to a food supply is a hot topic in Columbus right now, with the planned redevelopment of Hills Market by Columbus State.

Short North Development:

  • The Fireproof Building- Total of 58 rental units with a five story addition.  The development will also contain a total of 15,000 square feet of retail space with a mix of restaurant, retail and office tenants.  With the recent addition of high rise development in the Short North, it is going back to its once former glory of being a sustainable place for the young and the old. 

Grandview Heights Development:

  • Edwards Communities at Third Avenue- 205 new apartments located next door to a new Giant Eagle and the Grandview Yard development.  This development will bring even more family style living to an up and coming suburban neighborhood that has excellent walkable amenities and access to alternate transportation.

Lane Avenue Development:

  • Lane Avenue Apartments: New five-story building across the street from The Ohio State University.  These apartments will be targeted at students in their layout and price point and will include a covered parking garage within the structure.  The importance of adding these affordable housing to students right next to the university will be one of the first of its kind in quite a while to improve students living conditions in off-campus housing.  While this development does not have mixed-use in the plan, it is a start to the lack of new housing available on Lane Avenue, most of the housing has been on High Street.

Many more projects are taking place around Columbus that will bring a whole new community vibe.  It will be interesting to see what effect these developments have on other communities considering moving to higher density development.

Help Protect Sustainable Communities Funding!

April 16th, 2012

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Initiative has helped communities in Ohio create jobs, become more economically viable and create housing and transportation options.

Now HUD needs our help protecting the Sustainable Communities Initiative. The Senate is currently drafting a budget for fiscal year 2013, and among their decisions will be how to fund HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative. Your voice can help make sure this agency continues to help individuals and communities in the coming year.

Senator Brown sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which will make this important decision by Tuesday, April 17. By speaking out today, you can help the Senator and the Committee to understand how their funding decisions will impact your neighborhood, your town or even the country.

Speak out!

Use the text below on Senator Brown’s contact page:

Message Topic:


Email Body:

Please support funding for HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative in FY 2013

Dear Senator,

I’m writing to urge you to support the Sustainable Communities Initiative at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the FY 2013 appropriations process. Specifically, I encourage you to restore funding for the Sustainable Communities Initiative.

I strongly support the Sustainable Communities Initiative and its work as part of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Partnership helps communities in Brown develop in ways that lead to long-term prosperity, and as our state emerges from the economic recession, these investments are more important than ever.

HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative incentivizes towns and cities to develop comprehensive housing and transportation plans. These plans support economically competitive development, give people transportation options and helps communities better leverage federal and private sector investments.

Again, I strongly support the Sustainable Communities Initiative and ask you to support continued funding in FY2013.

[[First_Name]] [[Last_Name]]
[[Street_Address]] [[Street_Address2]]
[[City]], [[State]] [[Zip]]

Dublin Bridge Street Corridor Plan brings potential to Columbus Metro Area

April 13th, 2012

By John Gardocki, Greater Ohio Intern

The Dublin Bridge Street Corridor Plan is unique to the Columbus Metro region because it calls for such an expansive plan covering over 800 acres of land.  Dublin has issued vision principles and plans for each district that will encompass the plan for smart growth.

 Vision Principles:

1.) Enhance economic vitality

2.) Integrate the new center into community life

3.) Embrace Dublin’s natural setting and celebrate a commitment to environmental sustainability

4.) Expand the range of choices available to Dublin and the region

5.) Create places that embody Dublin’s commitment to community

 Dublin identified eight districts for implementation that will include mixed-use development, greenways, improved transportation and connectivity, and strong connections to existing neighborhoods.  Three districts stand out in the vision that will enable these priorities to be achieved.

The importance of the Historic Dublin District is to be a guiding point for the rest of the project.  Currently, the Historic Dublin area is acting as a model for the plan with a large amount of walkability and development already in place.  Most Dublin residents see it as being the core, so if the core falters then the rest of the project most likely will cease to exist or grow.  Redevelopment is the key to this district to become a livable, walkable community area that Dublin residents will be proud of. 

Riverside District utilizes the connection of the Scioto River.  The plan calls for a park initiative to strengthen the greenways of Dublin and its transportation opportunities as a walkable and sustainable community.  Residential buildings will be located on the river to access the new park land, while new office development will be located behind for easy access to work.  The importance of this is to make residents daily commute be as little as possible; while having access to recreation and retail at the same time.

The Sawmill District is set to alter the suburban mantra that is low-density.  The goal of this district is to provide high density housing, office, recreational, and entertainment for Dublin residents to enjoy.  Concentrations of these activities will be an important connective aspect of the district.  A landmark is currently in the plan to act as a gateway between Dublin and Columbus.  Branding is important for a community because it brings a sense of pride.

 The Columbus metro area will see large benefits from this project.  Development could bring employment to the area as well as new products.  Smart growth initiatives will also start to become more prevalent in Central Ohio with Dublin leading the way.  Continued growth of Columbus’ population will enhance the building potential of other local communities and of the amenities Downtown could offer to its residents.  Linkage between Columbus and Dublin could be put on the list of to-do projects, possibly utilizing public transit opportunities that are currently not available for the Columbus area. 

To check out the plan with more detail visit:

Media Advisory for Properties Institute

April 3rd, 2012



Alison D. Goebel
399 E. Main Street, Ste.140
Columbus, OH 43215
April 3, 2012

Greater Ohio Policy Center to Hold Ohio Properties Redevelopment Institute

 Two day event will provide hands-on strategies to private and public sector leaders to generate redevelopment opportunities for Ohio’s vacant and abandoned properties.

COLUMBUS – Representatives from over 35 cities and towns in Ohio will gather here this week to examine cutting edge solutions to address problem property development challenges and generate redevelopment opportunities. The Ohio Properties Redevelopment Institute is a critical component of Greater Ohio Policy Center’s broader statewide initiative, “Healthy Properties, Rebuilding Communities,” which is shaping property redevelopment policy solutions and practices for comprehensive community revitalization in Ohio.

WHO: The Greater Ohio Policy will host more than 175 state and local leaders from Ohio’s legal, banking, property development, nonprofit, community development, and academic, communities in a two-day discussion on the challenges and opportunities to Ohio’s vacant and abandoned property crisis. 

Local practitioners, financial institutions, and state and national level redevelopment experts will offer panel discussions on strategies for redevelopment.  Professor Frank Alexander, a leading national expert on real estate finance and community redevelopment law will keynote Wednesday’s lunch.

WHAT: The two day event will arm local leaders with new property reutilization tools, showcase best practices from the private and non-profit sectors and provide opportunities for input into policy reforms that align with local community development needs.

WHEN:  Wednesday April 4, 2012 8:30am-5:30 pm and Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:30am-3:30pm.  Frank Alexander keynote is Wednesday April 4, 2012 from 11:30am-1:00pm.  A Bank Panel on strategies to keep borrowers in their homes and discussion on neighborhood stabilization will take place on Thursday April 5th from 1:30pm-3:00pm.  

WHERE:  Columbus Hyatt Regency (McKinley and Hayes Rooms)
350 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

 There is a Self-Park Parking lot at the Chestnut Street Parking Garage for $12. It is located 1 block south of the hotel on Chestnut Street. When entering the garage, please take a ticket and park as normal. The garage connects to the Hyatt Regency Columbus via a covered skywalk and can be accessed on the 3rd floor of the garage.

Journalists attending the Ohio Properties Redevelopment Institute should check in with the Event Registration desk, located outside the McKinley Room. 

WHY: Vacant and abandoned properties have been on the rise in Ohio’s cities and towns for over two decades — long before the national economic downturn hit in 2008  This Institute comes at a critical time as Ohio’s communities struggle to stem the tide of vacant and  abandoned properties.  The Institute’s goals of training and education, coalition-building and policy advancement are vital economic development interventions that will productively reshape Ohio’s communities. 

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: This Institute is part of Greater Ohio Policy Center’s “Healthy Properties, Rebuilding Communities Initiative,” which aims to equip local leaders with information, policy ideas and practices necessary to make progress against this crisis and to advance state policy reforms that are aligned with local action.  Addressing the physical deterioration of our cities and town is a critical economic development strategy that will help restore our state’s prosperity as a whole. 

For additional information please visit, or contact Samantha Spergel at 614-224-0187 or via email at