Why Clintonville Incorporated?
In the late 90s the city of Columbus had its Planning Division look
at some of the neighborhoods outside of downtown to assess their
strengths and weaknesses. While Clintonville has been known for
its pleasant and well-kept residential neighborhoods, it was obvious
that the business corridors both on High Street and on Indianola
needed help. The city saw what you see every day: deteriorating
sidewalks, speeding cars, minimal lighting. The city then funded
its first Clintonville study called "North High Street Corridor-Clintonville:
Market Study and Action Plan." The final recommendation was that
a grass-roots effort be put together to direct revitalization efforts.
What is Clintonville Incorporated?
Clintonville Incorporated (CI) is the group designated by the City of Columbus to plan and carry out the recommendations made in the city's urban plans. Its mission is to enrich our Clintonville neighborhoods by enhancing business districts and, thereby, the quality of life of the Clintonville community.
Who are we?
We're a group of Clintonville neighbors with professional expertise in various areas. We've joined together to plan and carry out the recommendations made by the city's urban planners. It is our dream to clean up and "revitalize" the business corridors in Clintonville so that our children can enjoy them as much as we do. It would also be great to have more retail services available to us without driving to a mall.
Who can join?
The answer is the same as that to the question: Who can volunteer? Almost all the people associated with Clintonville Incorporated (or CI) are residents of Clintonville and are volunteering their time to work on improving our business districts.
What does CI do for the community?
CI has four areas to focus on:
- The design of our commercial streetscapes, particularly in the High Street
Capital Improvement area between Arcadia and Torrence. This includes
the intersection of North High Street and East North Broadway
and specific items such as trees, benches, bike racks and curb
radius improvements. Committee members are also working with COTA
to improve the bus shelters.
- Watching out for the types of business entering and renovating
the property along High Street, and suggesting appropriate lease
holders; looking at parking solutions for various sections along
High Street are responsibilities of the Economic Restructuring
Committee. Some of the members of this committee are commercial
real estate brokers. They try to get the word out about open properties
as soon as possible to "nice" enterprises. Examples include the
Cup O' Joe's at Tulane and High, the development at Winthrop and
High that includes Caribou Coffee, Quiznos and Bank One, and the
new Chipotle's and Panera development at Weisheimer and High.
- Filing with the state for non-profit status and raising money for operations are two of the responsibilities of the Organization Committee.
- The Marketing Committee communicates the progress of our committees to the community, positions CI in the media and promotes the appeal of our commercial districts to you, our neighbors, to potential investors and to new businesses.
How is CI funded?
Right now, any funds we have have been donated by board members and volunteers. We will have a fund drive to pay for improvements to our streetscapes, such as plantings and signage. The city of Columbus paid for a presentation folder and some letterhead to be printed.
Is CI the same as the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce?
No, we're separate organizations, although some of our volunteers are members of the Chamber.
The Chamber focuses on services to its current members, including networking and promotion of their capabilities to the wider community through publications, plans and events. An example would be "Home for the Holidays," a December awareness campaign to highlight the goods available for holiday purchases from Chamber members.
CI focuses on developing new business opportunities and improving the physical condition of our business districts. We believe that a healthy business corridor will protect property values in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Don't forget: Almost everyone involved in CI lives in Clintonville, from District 1 south of Weber Road up to District 9 just south of Lincoln and the Worthington City Line. (The few who don't live in the district own businesses in Clintonville.) We would like to have a nice "doorstep" for friends visiting our homes and neighborhoods, as well as for ourselves.
How does CI relate to the Clintonville Area Commission?
The Clintonville Area Commission acts as an offshoot of Columbus City Council. Their responsibilities relate not only to issues such as traffic calming on residential streets, but to zoning and variance approvals. CI would like to function as a "technical" advisor to the CAC because of the wide variety of professions represented among our volunteers. CI works with the CAC in finding solutions to ongoing situations such as lack of parking. (This was noted as a problem by many merchants in the market study sanctioned by the city of Columbus.)
What's happening with Indianola?
The city has completed its study of the Indianola business corridor.
The report can be found at the web site for the city: www.columbusinfobase.org.
How has CI helped with the High Street Improvements that are
in progress or finished?
There are several recent initiatives in which city or state dollars have been earmarked for Clintonville.
- The High Street Capital Improvements. This is a 2 for 1 matching program for capital improvements to curbs, sidewalks, lighting and trees from Arcadia to Torrence. It was necessary to have 60% of the property owners in that area agree to be taxed an additional amount to fund one-third of the improvements. The CI Design Committee, with architects, shop owners and engineers, is working on recommendations.
- The Urban Commercial Overlay. This is city legislation that the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce worked on to encourage pedestrian-friendly qualities, i.e., have storefronts close to the street with parking behind for easy "window-shopping." You can see this in sections of High street, such as between Dunedin and Oakland Park or Orchard Lane and on the west side of High Street north of Como Avenue.
- Facade Renovation. Grants and loans are available through the city of Columbus for fašade renovation for buildings covered by the Urban Commercial Overlay. This overlay covers areas from Arcadia to Morse Road, excluding the area near the Park of Roses/Whetstone Library where the business use is of existing buildings for professions such as graphics, dentistry and design.
How can we get a copy of the "North High Street Corridor-Clintonville: Market Study and Action Plan"?
The easiest way to get a copy is to scroll over to the Web site for the city of Columbus, www.columbusinfobase.org and read the sections that you are interested in.
CI believes that Clintonville is a great neighborhood for both homes and small businesses!
Return to the Overview section.