Let’s redo the much vaunted Weinland Park plan. Famous for many reasons, not least for being in Andres Duany’s smart growth manual, the plan has a few flaws. The most glaring error, and subject of many a “how did this get through” comments is the razing of National Register listed rowhouses between North Fourth and Grant and replacing them with a South Campus Gateway style high-density student housing and retail complex. Whenever anyone mentions the Andres Duany book inclusion I’m always reminded of the Hindenburg. Another ahead-of-its-time concept that went down in flames.  And as if one half vacant mall wasn’t enough should one be built on every corner of the neighborhood.Last, but not least,  is it too early to tear down the police substation on 11th and build something that wouldn’t be termed as “municipal lite” in architecture text books? But the plan does have some nice aspects. Promoting income diversity and redeveloping the D. L Auld site at 4th and 5th. Not to mention I see some new retail where the state liquor store is now.

So, the great idea of the day is a new park on the Campus Partner’s and CPO property on bordered by North Fourth, Eighth, and Hamlet Streets. Currently partially vacant and partially occupied by an abandoned 1950s brick apartment complex that is about to be demolished a new park would put green space within easy reach of everyone in the neighborhood. With all the hoo-ha of keeping a carryout on every corner a park every couple blocks doesn’t seem that radical. Other options that have been discussed, 8-10 Habitat for Humanity houses and a rumored community center. Concentrating 8-10 houses with residents who have a 30 percent AMI in an area that already has a concentration of subsidized housing and a legendary gang corner doesn’t seem like it would do much for income diversity. Perhaps a Columbus Commons style park that is eventually developed at market rate? Or a fishing pond!

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