By Carrie Ghose, Columbus Business First
More than $250 million has poured into Weinland Park over two decades from Ohio State University, the City of Columbus and other public and private entities – almost $10 million per square block in the long-distressed neighborhood north of Italian Village. In the past six years the investments have finally started to pay off by attracting new developers and businesses.
“It is worlds apart from the neighborhood I first saw in 1988," said Michael Wilkos, director of community research for the Columbus Foundation. Wilkos moved to the neighborhood seven years ago, just over a half mile from his first off-campus apartment.
“There are two paths of neighborhood revitalization,” Wilkos said Wednesday at a Columbus Metropolitan Club forum on Weinland Park's redevelopment. If the focus is solely on increasing the value of real estate, low-income residents get displaced.
If the focus is solely on helping people out of poverty, they move away when they succeed.
“Weinland Park represents a blend of both place and people approaches," he said.