East Franklinton- Columbus’s oldest Neighborhood and Now Home to a Burgeoning Art Scene and Major Redevelopment Efforts

Settled in 1797, Franklinton is the first American settlement in Franklin County, and was the county seat until 1824. As the city of Columbus grew to the east, Franklinton was annexed and incorporated by Columbus in 1859. Franklinton still hosts some of the City’s oldest surviving building, but unfortunately due to serious disinvestment, much of this has been lost. The eastern portion of Franklinton is sometimes referred to as “The Bottoms”  because much of the land flooded historically. But this threat has been eliminated thanks to the construction of a floodwall in 2004. Franklinton industrialized during the second half of the 19th century as four railroads were built here. This also led to a significant influx of families from SW Ohio and West Virginia   The fabric of the neighborhood was well maintained until the 1960s with the construction of the innerbelt. This resulted in significant lowering of property values and ultimately blight and disinvestment. Thanks to the construction of the damn and significant political will, there are major redevelopment plans in the works for East Franklinton. The neighborhood has already seen some renovations, large infill projects, new breweries & restaurants, and a bourgeoning arts scene. This will be well augmented by the Scioto Peninsula project projected to bring 1800 new residences, a couple hotels, 2M Sq. Ft. of office and 200K sq ft of new restaurant and retail space to the community. The Scioto Peninsula is the portion of the neighborhood sticking out into the Scioto River where Cosi and the Natural History Museum are currently located directly across from Dwtn.

East Franklinton also excels at hosting wondering recreational amenities, several museums, and some of the best examples of cutting edge in-fill architecture in Columbus. From an urban deficiency standpoint, East Franklinton has limited retail amenities, limited housing options, a lack of tree canopy, low density, and many dead spaces. These issues however will hopefully be resolved soon as the neighborhood continues to fill in. Many current residents and housing advocates are rightfully concerned with potential gentrification and displacement, which hopefully will motivate City leaders to aggressively develop new affordable housing.

Click here to view my East Franklinton Album on my Flickr Page.

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Excellent access to Dwtn sitting literally across the Scioto River front it. Also solid public transit as well.
* Several dedicated bike lanes including the Scioto River trail that wraps around the district and a couple road based lanes. Also several bike rental stations in the neighborhood. Scotter rentals are also very plentiful in the neighborhood.
* More and more rentals coming to the neighborhood as it is under a construction boom. 1-bedrooms generally lease in the low-mid $1,000s. 2-beds in the mid $1,000s.
* Some very nice Park and Recreational amenities with the Dodge Park Community Center & Pool, the Lower Scioto Recreation Trail, wrapping around 2/3rds of the neighborhood, West Bank Park, and Genoa Park.
* Culturally the neighborhood excels at Breweries, bars, and art galleries. Also a good number of restaurants & cafes. Franklinton also hosts COSI, the Natural History Museum, and Veterans Memorial & Museum. The neighborhood also has good access to the cultural amenities Dwtn.
* Some really wonderful historic buildings but not much of it left in the neighborhood. Franklinton is becoming a skinning example of cutting edge in-fill architecture for the City.
* Lots of recent buzz about the district helping to counter act decades of negative perception.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Sidewalks are generally in place but sometimes missing due to the blighted and industrial legacy of Franklinton. About 50% of intersections have current ADA ramps.
* Only a handful of schools within East Franklinton but of mixed ratings. Several in the wider Franklinton community also with mixing rating but covering K-12 well.
* For sale housing is pretty limited but generally moderately priced. Really not 1-bedroom product. 2-beds btwn mid 100Ks to 300K. New or renovated 3 & 4 beds seem to be selling in the 300Ks & 400Ks but not a lot of comps to go on.
* Retail amenities are still very limited. There are a couple boutiques, a florist, a salon, a couple churches, and convenient access to a major hospital.
* Safety in East Franklinton is more perceived than real. Most crime seems to occur west of I-315 but East Franklinton still hosts a lot of blight and vacancy.
* Lots of missing teeth leading to bad urban form. This will improve, however, as the neighborhood fills in. New develop has been quality urban form and good streetscaping.
* Tree canopy is so .
* Density is very low but this will improve quickly and tons of development is planned for East Franklinton.

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