Friday, March 28, 2008

Courts give City Link Go ahead

The Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear a city appeal of the proposed city link services center at Bank Street, essentially giving the project the go ahead. the project was extensively opposed by a vast majority of residents , neighborhood and business groups as dumping social service in the west end. Work is expected to begin on the project by the end of this year.

My take on this is that a 'social service mall' is short sighted. Years ago Eastside Community Investments proposed a One-stop-shop in the Holy Cross Neighborhood of Indianapolis. Claiming the area was "blighted and needed their services". The neighborhood, myself included, sucessfully fought the development and ECI essentially went bankrupt years later. Today the neighborhood that ECI wanted to servce has an average property value in excess of 200,000.00 and rents in the 1000-1500.00 range. At the time they held several low income slum properties in the neighborhood. Today those are all restored back to single family homes. My Point?

Well meaning social service agencies are the LAST to recongize economic trending. The restorations in Over-the-Rhine, The new Cliffside condo project and several others in the pipeline point to the economic reality that downtown and west end is changing. The very people that they propose "helping" will not even be living in the area in another 5 years. Most "low income', I mean real "low income" housing is empty and likely will be condo conversions over the next 5-10 years.City Link is behind the learning curve on neighorhood dynamics. They will build a social services mall that will not be located where there is a real need. They should take the time to look where the "real need" will be in several years because the west end will not be the place to for them to serve their community.

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