Columbus was beefing up its biotechnological presence, sharing its story and rehabbing different areas around Downtown from 2010-2012.
Columbus was vying for national recognition in 2010 for biotechnological advances, with institutions like Battelle, BioOhio, OhioHealth, Ohio State University and TechColumbus, a startup incubator that has since become Rev1 Ventures and has expanded its reach, contributing to the effort.
Additionally, the Ohio Third Frontier, a state economic development program funded by voter-approved bond sales, had bioscience as one of its investment focuses, though it has expanded to the opioid epidemic.
The bioscience push seems to have yielded good results, however, as evidenced by the fact that in December 2008, there were about 1,100 bioscience-related entities operating in central Ohio and now there are more than 3,000.
The first public housing complex in the nation was exactly what the Near East Side of Columbus needed in 1940.
But in 2011, Poindexter Village had become outdated. So the city, Ohio State University and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority pooled resources for planning, and OSU committed an additional $10 million and 10 years of investment. In 2013, old buildings were demolished.
Now, 449 mixed-income units have been built, and displaced residents were given first priority to move back. Two remaining buildings will become a museum honoring area history.
American Electric Power
Six years ago, AEP leadership transferred from Michael Morris to Nick Akins.
Morris' legacy was set with the Scioto Mile, a collaboration between city government and AEP, which threw in $10 million and evangelized to other private funders to pick up the rest of the $44 million tab.
When Akins came in, he focused on becoming greener. AEP closed seven coal-burning power plants in 2015.
Selling the City
The year 2012—Columbus' 200th birthday—was the perfect time to tell the city's story, according to Experience Columbus.
To market the city the way the convention and visitors bureau had in mind was costly, but so was not doing so. Experience Columbus asked for a reallocation of money from a city tax on hotel-room rentals to fund the effort.
In March 2014, it was approved by the City Council. In January 2017, Experience Columbus reported a record collection as 2016 bed tax revenue was up 4.3 percent from 2015.
Today, Downtown is home to the Scioto Mile, Columbus Commons and a revamped Lazarus building. Guy Worley, CEO of the CDDC/Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corp., spearheaded much of the revitalization east of the river.
In 2012, Worley was given new projects, including redevelopment of the Scioto Peninsula, which is happening now. This will extend Downtown west of the river and is scheduled to be completed within a decade.