The Food District @ Weinland Park will be located at 5th Avenue and 4th Street in Columbus’ Weinland Park neighborhood, and will feature a local-food processing plant that will generate revenue to support a job-training and -placement center for unemployed residents in the area.
Weinland Park is a low-income neighborhood located between the campus of The Ohio State University and downtown Columbus. In 2006, the City of Columbus adopted the Weinland Park Neighborhood Plan, supported by an influential partnership that has already taken major steps toward implementation. Over the past couple years, MORPC has collaborated with several partners to supplement that effort with the creation of the Food District plan, made possible through an $865,000 Community Challenge Grant awarded to MORPC by US HUD.
The plan lays out designs for facilities, street improvements and educational programs, as well as long-term strategies for sustaining the entire operation. The goal of the plan is to help the community transition from low-income to mixed income, with minimal gentrification, while providing greater housing affordability, education and employment opportunities for low-income residents.
CEDCO is a non-profit subsidiary of the Godman Guild Association that emerged during the planning process to implement the project. CEDCO will manage the capital campaign and the development of the site, which will also include a co-op market, café, wholesale cash-and-carry food market, education programs and office space and businesses services for food entrepreneurs. A planned aquaponics system, combining the production of fish and salad greens, will be incorporated into the Food District.
Partners include Godman Guild Association, Local Matters, The Ohio State University, City of Columbus, and Wagenbrenner Development, which owns the land to be used for the Food District, at 5th Avenue and 4th Street, and remediated the soil with help from the Clean Ohio Brownfield Revitalization Program. Other collaborators were Keida & Associates, Design Group, MKSK Studios, and McMahon DeGullis LLP.