Sometimes you can see it coming
The changes sometimes surprise. A long derelict building is suddenly sporting a new roof and windows, a fresh coat of paint and is finally, and again, home to people who couldn't be more thrilled to call the Short North home. Other times the change shudders and halts, as a freshly vacant lot stays vacant longer than is seemly and seasons of weeds and litter make a conceptual art piece about decay and growth.
Lately, though, the change is obvious, swift and measured. An old gas station, once an art gallery and design studio, has been very quickly demolished. Another old gas station, not nearly as attractive, is also ready to come down not too far from the first. Both will feature housing and underground parking. The former's parking, however, will be specifically for small cars and bikes. The units above will also be small and affordable. The retail space is also envisioned to be affordable, with short leases. They are looking for the different, arts oriented, high concept starters. I say "yay!". This is forward and sustainable thinking. Better than having overly expensive real estate sit empty. They will use that space to fill a void and pull people to cross the gap.
The latter development will also be mixed use, but whether that is retail or dining has not been announced. It does look as though the units will be far less expensive than a similar project at Summit and First (also on the lot of a former gas station).
That sums up the current construction projects. Others are still in the "on the horizon" stage, but could go active at any time.
More subtle are the papered up storefront projects. It is hard to tell what is going on behind the paper, but there are three of them right across the street from us. One makes it easy to see the changes. They blew the storefront off and if the construction team - and it is a TEAM - are in there working the plywood "door" is down. The giant pizza oven was moved in last week - one reason for taking off the storefront. It would not have fit otherwise.
The other two are more subtle. A soft drink vendor bringing in new hoses for the soda machines. Construction material being delivered. The front door propped open enough to fit a fan. My hope is that they will all be done much sooner rather than later. And I think it is a distinct possibilty. All in all it is very exciting, even though all will be restaurants and we would like more galleries/retail up at this end. The important thing is activity. People, wandering around, eating, drinking, going to the theater. Being alive on a part of N. High St. that has seen more downs than ups.
Our hope in moving up to the North Short North's Garden District was to see these changes first hand. And we are. Here's to CHANGE!
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