Letter from the editor: Port Columbus area ripe for growth

Mary Yost

My childhood home was in close proximity to Port Columbus. My brother, three sisters and I had plenty of room to run and play ball on our two acres, but sometimes we would venture onto undeveloped airport property that abutted our land to climb its trees and hunt morel mushrooms.

Then progress happened. Trees were cleared for runway expansion and a big chain link fence was erected. It gave us a more official left field boundary for our homemade baseball diamond, but I won't reveal how we retrieved homerun balls in case the statute of limitations hasn't expired.

Now progress continues all around the airport. In a special commercial real estate feature this month, contributing writer Mike Mahoney updates recent construction in the vicinity of Port Columbus and looks ahead to development prospects identified by the Jobs Expansion and Transportation Task Force appointed last year by Mayor Mike Coleman.

This area is ripe for growth as more attention is focused on the important corridor from the airport to Downtown. Keep an eye especially on about 300 acres northeast of the airport in Gahanna, where the development mix already includes a golf course and restaurants and future prospects include more entertainment and commercial options.

Speaking of golf, are you getting to play as often as you'd like this summer?

If you can break away from the office and pony up a little cash for a good cause, you can find a charity golf outing and play some pretty nice courses on just about any Monday in central Ohio. The big business of charity golf scrambles is making a comeback in Columbus after the recession sent it into the rough. Contributing writer Steph Greegor provides a look at how lucrative a business it is and what it takes to make it work.

For most events, the charitable cause is important, but so are a good location and the opportunity to mingle with celebrities and bring home some bling. Ticket prices raise money for the cause but corporate sponsorships bring in the big dollars, enabling some of these events to be six-figure fundraisers.

Here's something else that commands a bigger payday than you might expect: rebuilt Ford Broncos. Not the 1990s version made famous by O.J.'s notorious slo-mo police chase, but even older Broncos are coveted by professional athletes and others willing to pay as much as $125,000 for totally rebuilt muscle trucks. Classic Ford Broncos of Powell can sell as many of these vintage vehicles as it can find and restore. New contributing writer Jeb Phillips has the story in this month's spotlight on small business.

Finally, if you've lived in central Ohio all your life as I have, you may think you know Grove City, but think again. Our Discover Grove City supplement this month is guaranteed to offer some nuggets you didn't know about the largest suburb in Franklin County. Learn why the Southwest gateway to central Ohio is increasingly attractive to commercial ventures as well as families seeking a "complete, livable community."