COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Franklinton is getting a facelift. Tuesday, Columbus announced the developer for a huge project that will bring thousands of people to live and work downtown.
Buckingham Companies out of Indiana will break ground next year on 1,700 apartments, 150 hotel rooms and nearly a million square feet of office and retail space behind COSI.
Phil Hartley has lived in Franklinton nearly his entire life.
“We just rode our bikes up and down the street, kids played outside,” he said.
Hartley moved back to his childhood home after his dad died in 2006. He’s watched Franklinton transform from what he says was a blue-collar neighborhood, to the most desirable location in the city.
“It’s changed a lot. There’s so much going on down here it’s like an explosion as far as the vibe, this is the arts district now, we’ve got so many people that want to move down here,” said Hartley.
“We’re taking this great, what has been just empty underutilized space, and starting down the process of turning it into another great neighborhood for the city of Columbus,” said Columbus Development Director Steve Schoeny.
New bars, restaurants and art studios are already popping up nearby. Hartley said developers know how valuable this land is becoming.
“I have postcards come, two or three a month, wanting to buy my house,” said Hartley.
Despite the offers, he said he’s not going anywhere.
“I’m doing what I want to do, living where I want to live, and I can go anywhere, but this is where I want to be,” he said.