When Kish and I first made the decision to sell our home in New Albany and move somewhere downtown, I joked that we were “cutting edge, baby!” She scoffed at that notion. According to the Wall Street Journal, we’re both right, in a way.
Last week the Journal published an article about how Columbusites are increasingly moving from the ‘burbs to German Village, the Short North, Italian Village, and downtown housing. So, we may not be cutting edge, exactly, but we’re part of a growing trend that is establishing a significant shift in Columbus’ population — and Kish is right, as always, because as the Journal article acknowledges that our ultimate destination here in German Village has been an attractive, thriving area for decades.
The Journal article captures the upsides (like parks, restaurants, and interesting places that are all within walking distance), and the downsides (like the cost of renovating century-old homes), of this trend. (I’d add that another upside/downside of German Village is the brick sidewalks, which are beautiful to admire but are requiring me to adjust my normal shuffling gait to avoid stumbles on bricks shoved up by tree roots.) For many people, obviously, the attraction of these kinds of moves outweigh the risks, and since we’ve made the move many of our friends have indicated that they, too, are considering this course.
This is a good thing for the city of Columbus, clearly. More residents means more tax revenues for city services, renovated historic neighborhoods are safer, more energetic, and more attractive when Columbus pitches itself to businesses that are considering relocating, and the influx of homeowners, condoites, and apartment dwellers is bound to bring more business downtown, too. It will be interesting to watch how this big this wavelet turns out to be, and what Columbus looks like in its wake. There are still a lot of downtown surface parking lots that I’d like to see filled with condos, apartments, pubs, and shops instead.