PACT Newsletter | Q1 2019

Message from the Executive Director


Welcome to the 1st edition of the 2019 PACT quarterly e-newsletter. PACT is proud of the transformation efforts that are taking place in so many of our existing assets, especially our diverse and inviting housing stock. Every corner of the PACT geography is experiencing and benefitting from investment in the form of new and rehabbed housing, contributing to our community’s goal of retaining its status as a mixed-income community with safe, decent, and affordable housing options for all.

We continue to bring you articles and news about the Near East Side, that extends far beyond PACT related programming and events.  We have recently brought this same intentionality to our Events page accessible via the PACT website. If you have not recently visited the PACT website, and more specifically, the Events page, we invite you to do so. We are making a point to share information as we learn about it. Whether it be related to employment, training and education, community events (both FREE and fee-based) and arts and entertainment. As we learn about it, we are adding the information to our website. Please, make a regular point to visit the Events page and benefit from all that those in our community are doing to make the Near East Side a community rich in opportunity.

In this edition, we are also introducing a new segment. We are calling it Developer Insights, a segment devoted to learning more about real estate developers that are investing in the Near East Side and doing so in a manner consistent with the PACT philosophy of Honoring our Heritage. Building our Future. In this edition, we feature Aaron McDaniel, Principal of Blueprint Investments.  Take a few minutes to learn more about Aaron and his commitment to investing in the PACT geography in the Developer Insight section of the newsletter.

Thank you for your interest in and commitment to the work of PACT. Recently, we were reminded that nearly 1500 people receive our e-newsletter, a fact that we embrace with equal parts pride and humility. In reflection, we realized that we would like to know more about you, especially, what it is that connects you to our work. To help us in our effort to learn more about you, we invite you complete a brief survey noted later in the newsletter.  We promise, it should only take a few minutes, and upon completion, you will be promptly returned to the e-newsletter.

Lastly, we would like to take a moment to congratulate Trudy Bartley, associate vice president for community relations in the Office of Government Affairs at The Ohio State University and former Executive Director of PACT. On April 3, Trudy, joined by five other amazing Central Ohio women was recognized during the YWCA 2019 Women of Achievement event. PACT and the entire Near East Side community owes a debt of gratitude to Trudy for her leadership and vision in helping to deliver the Blueprint for Community Investment and initiating the catalytic energy that is currently transforming this community. Trudy, thank you and congratulations!


Your Voice Counts!

As PACT continues our work in the Near East Side community, we value your ongoing thoughts and opinions. As such, we ask for you to take a few minutes to share your insights about our efforts to date. Please take the brief survey below. We will share the results in our next newsletter.

Kingsley+Co & Borror …Creating Change


A project that will bring over $25 million of investment to the King Lincoln District (KLD) and pave the way for catalytic change along Long Street was given an enthusiastic unanimous approval vote by Columbus City Council on March 18, 2019. Bringing over 9000 square footage of new retail and restaurants, as well as 130 market-rate apartments to the district, this project was developed along with the community to deliver upon the KLD Master Plan and PACT’s Blueprint plan. One notable element of the plans design is the incorporation of the historic Adelphi Savings and Loan façade that was preserved and carefully disassembled nearly two years ago.  Additionally, a portion of Talmadge Street is intended to be turned into a public pedestrian plaza for events and to encourage neighborhood interaction. The project is currently on schedule to break ground in the third quarter of this year! 

The development team would like to extend its appreciation to the neighborhood groups that have been proactive in the success of this project!


Neighborhood Safety Advisory Council Charts Course for 2019


The Near East Neighborhood Safety Advisory Council continues to carry the torch in the area of resident and stakeholder led community safety efforts. First convened in the summer of 2018, the Council, comprised of Community Liaison Officer, Anthony Rogers and individuals with a live, work, worship connection to the PACT geography, is an outgrowth of both the PACT Area Safety Plan and the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy introduced by Mayor Andrew J. Ginther in November 2017. In 2018, this group championed causes that included a community-wide clean-up event and the  launch of the Safety Pledge. In late 2018, the Council identified three areas of focus for 2019:

  • Communication

  • Youth Outreach

  • Sustainable Community Infrastructure and Beautification Initiatives

Wasting no time, the Council has been hard at work implementing activities and initiatives aligned with these areas of focus. Since the start of the year and in the area of communication, the Council has launched a commitment to hosting a monthly meet-up, the first of which occurred March 29 at Creole Kitchen. These monthly meet-ups are meant to provide a fun and festive opportunity for residents to come-out, meet and development relationships with one another. 

Thanks to Council member Emily Buster and her work with the Columbus CARE Coalition, the Council is also responsible for offering a free Trauma Informed Care training, which was held on March 16. The event was hosted by Emily’s employer, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, located on the lower level of the Mt. Vernon Plaza Shopping Center.  

In the area of Youth Outreach, members of the Council are working hard to identify adults in the community interested in spending a full- or half-day in one of our Health Sciences Academies’ elementary schools in support of COSI on Wheels. Those interested in learning more are encouraged to contact the PACT office at

In the area of Sustainable Community Infrastructure and Beautification Initiatives the Neighborhood Safety Advisory Council asks that you mark your calendars and plan to participate in the Spring 2019 PACT community-wide clean-up event planned for May 18. This event, which coincides with the kick-off of the Columbus Litter League, a new initiative of Keep Columbus Beautiful, will also serve as the first of three community-wide clean-up days planned for 2019; the other two: July 13 and September 14.  To learn more about the May 18 community clean-up event and to sign-up as a block captain, providing leadership within your immediate block or neighborhood contact the PACT office at

Film Series Ends Wakanda Strong

The PACT “free” film series at the Lincoln Theatre wrapped up its 2018-2019 season in March with our final film Marshall. During this year’s film series a number of powerful and historic films were showcased. In addition to Marshall, films included Akeelah and the Bee, I Am Not Your Negro, and The Black Panther. During the showing of The Black Panther, participants came in themed costumes and were able to take home their photos taken in the photo booth as part of PACT’s activities during the film. In total,  over 250 people attended the film series this season, with the greatest participation being The Black Panther at which 105 film goers attended.

PACT Film Series Flyer_Marshall_3.jpg

Developer Insights

A Moment with Aaron McDaniel, Principal, Blueprint Investments


What do you want our readers to know about you?

I am the principal of Blueprint Investments, a real estate investment company that focuses on Near East Side neighborhoods. Our company portfolio includes buy and holds, short term rentals and property flips. I was recently honored as a Future History Maker in the Community, and I’m proud to be a part of a group of people who represent change in the community. I have the opportunity to live and work in my passion every day and bring my dreams to life all while adding value back to an area that’s given so much to me.

Why the Near East Side?

Growing up in Eastgate, playing basketball and running track at East High School, I consider this neighborhood to be home. My mother grew up on 18th right off Long Street and graduated with the 1968-69’ class at East High School the same year East won the state championship in basketball and baseball. In our home we had photos of Mt. Vernon parades and celebrated Columbus art and music. I saw the opportunity to, not only live in my passion, but also be a driving force in the renaissance of the Near East Side and have some fun at the same time.   

Why have you chosen the PACT geography to invest in?

Having the opportunity to invest back into the neighborhood where I grew up in is a blessing. As I’ve grown up, I’ve had so many people listen to, encourage and support my vision that it feels like giving back. I dream about supporting the neighborhood and some of the most important gaps we see on the Near East and throughout the city – grocery stores, commercial development and affordable housing.  

Please tell us about past, current and future projects you've been involved with in the PACT geography.

Over the past two- and a-half years I’ve exclusively invested in real estate in the Near East Side of Columbus. Most of these projects are complete interior demolition projects; creating open concepts, adding modern conveniences and updating mechanical systems. Some of the homes we have renovated are on Long Street, Granville, Woodland and 20th. We are currently working on three projects, which include a two-family home on Woodland, a single-family home on 17th and a two-family home in Old Oaks. Many of those projects can be viewed on our website

Relative to the PACT geography, what does Honoring our Heritage…Building our Future mean to you and why is it so important?

It means recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of those that came before us as well as continuing to advance the ball for those who are coming behind us. We all have a responsibility to leave the world in a little bit better place than how we found it. Our legacy is honoring those who have done that for us and pushing forward to create more opportunities for those in the next generation.

When friends, family and/or others in the development community ask you about the PACT geography, what do you tell them?

The area has so much rich and unique history to offer. The direct

connection to downtown while maintaining that community fabric is unlike any other neighborhood in the city. It’s one of the best neighborhoods in Columbus! I would highly encourage anyone to take some time and explore the history of the near east side.


NEAC’s Urban Economic Development Update

Saturday March 2nd at 9:00 am, began the first Near East Area Commission (NEAC) District – 1 inner city Neighborhood Economic Development Tour, with over 45 participants taken their seats on two buses.

Commissioners Willis Brown and Dana Moessner guided the participants on a three-hour bus tour and walk of development projects recently completed, currently under construction and proposed. These projects were seen in Milo Grogan / Weinland Park, Franklinton, German Village / Merion Village, Schumacher (Place), Main Street, Franklin Park, Olde Towne East, Woodland Park and Bronzeville. These projects are different solutions to similar issues in inner -city neighborhoods.

Milo Grogan is receiving many in-fill houses that compliments existing structures and re-establishes the neighborhood blocks.

Weinland Park has returned to its original character as a safe, walk-able neighborhood. New streets, homes, apartments and condos are complementary to existing streets, homes, and new infill housing. Infrastructure improvements including tree-lined streets, pedestrian lighting, traffic calming ‘round-a-bouts’ and boulevards, complete the re-invigorated neighborhood.

Franklinton (East of Route 315) has existing old buildings, row houses, single family homes, large open lots with some for several blocks. This variety of assets has allowed for contemporary architectural design, including public art, which aided the efforts to establish the ‘Franklinton Arts District.’ Small existing industrial buildings and structures have become homes, restaurants, and art studios.

Merion Village/German Village both have old historic and renovated single family homes on small lots, with a sprinkling of multi-family housing. The old Barrett school with its renovations was converted it into apartments. The layout of the parking lot and external presence is well done and very pleasing to the eye. This development and the traditional looking homes are pleasant additions to the existing historic fabric, which facilitates density and walk-ability in the neighborhood.

Schumacher Place at Parsons Avenue and Beck Street has a small scale development that includes two existing two-story renovated buildings, with new common courtyards that include commercial and retail space. The project maintains the density, walk-ability and small local business quality that address the needs of the neighborhood. This creative development project supports the direction and efforts to re-invigorate the Parsons Avenue corridor. Main Street Corridor is home to the growing and ever changing Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a new development for the elderly. Nationwide Children’s Hospital has demonstrated its sensitivity to the neighborhood in its building design along 18th Street. The building for the elderly is colorful, pleasant, and makes an effort to reinforce urban design by putting the large building close to the sidewalk.

Franklin Park/Olde Town East neighborhood houses the ruins of the old ‘Trolley Barn’ and a large vacant lot on the South side of Oak Street (across from the Trolley Barn). The Trolley Barn development will convert these ruins into usable space for retail, restaurants, a brewery and home for the historic ‘East Market’. The large lot across from the Trolley Barn will be developed into residential apartments targeting millennials.

Woodland Park has a major development on Broad Street across from Franklin Park. This residential project is targeting the high end market. It has multi-colored brick on all four sides and is leading more towards the traditional look to complement the over 100 year old homes adjacent to the project.

Bronzeville is fortunate to a part of several major developments, which is “knitting back the fabric of this historic neighborhood.” To list a few: 1) The West expansion of OSU East Hospital, 2) The building of a 88 unit, multi-story residential structure on Atcheson Avenue and 3) the BORROR Project on Long Street with 130 residential units and some retail. 


The bus tour visited all four NEAC districts, viewing development projects that are proposed, currently in construction and recently completed. It concluded at Second Baptist Church hosting a lunch sponsored by PACT. During the lunch, Mr. Boyce Safford, executive director, Next Generation Development Corporation,  gave a presentation of the BORROR project coming to Long Street this summer. The presentation and follow up discussion continued for one-and-a-half hours. The discussion covered topics of, but not limited to, types of retailers, parking, housing, impact of schools, and neighborhood infrastructure improvements. A questionnaire was given to all participants to be completed and returned to us. The summary of the questionnaire will be presented at NEAC’s general meeting in April.

Submitted by District 1 - Commissioners:

Dana Moessner, John Alexander and Willis Brown

Mark Your Calendar for our 2019 Annual Meeting 

Mark your calendar for July 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. for our annual update on the work PACT is doing on the Near East Side.  You will hear from several of our community partners, learn about your neighbors, and get an understanding of projects and initiatives happening in our community. SAVE THE DATE - July 23 - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Neighbors of the Near East Side - Sherome and Eryn

Marshall Shorts