2014: Year in Review- January

This kind of post seems obligatory at this time of year. I thought about making just one big post, but there was so much that happened this year that I decided to break it up by month. This review won’t include every single piece of news, just the highlights. First up, of course, is January.

Development
-The Columbus Zoo began to push for a permanent levy to help pay for upgrades at its existing facility, as well as for adding a new expansion attraction at the Scioto Peninsula Downtown http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/01/09/zoo-wants-vote-on-bigger-permanent-property-tax.html
-Redevelopment of the Barrett Middle School site in Merion Village began to make news. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/home_and_garden/2014/01/12/caughtmiddle.html The project should begin sometime this spring, though the exact number of residential units and layout has changed some.
-Columbus adopted Complete Streets. http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-complete-streets-thoroughfare-plan-could-have-big-impact-bw1 This set of standards guides the development of the street layout and design throughout the city. This includes including multi-use and bike paths, as well as better signaling and access for pedestrians.
-A new 40-unit apartment complex was proposed for 122 Parsons Avenue in Olde Towne East. However, very little news has been heard about this project since, as it may be waiting for work on the Parsons section of the 70/71 rebuild to move along first. http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/new-ote-apartment-complex-proposal-parsons-gustavus
-OSU announced plans to renovate several buildings in order to create a sort-of tech campus that partnered with IBM’s new analytics center in Dublin. http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/01/23/osu-in-line-for-53m-from-state.html
-And on the West Side, the huge apartment complex off Georgesville Road once known as Lincoln Park West, was announced to get a major makeover, with the demolition of a few hundred units while the rest would get a high-end renovation. This complex had long been very run down and the site of tragic arson fires, crime and high vacancy. http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2014/01/204-apartments-at-former-lincoln-park.html

Economy/Other
-Columbus was named one of the nation’s top Opportunity Cities. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/america-s-new-opportunity-cities-222209099.html
-Columbus was named one of the top 7 Intelligent Communities in the world. http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/top7-intelligent-communities-of-2014-aka-were-smart-again
-Columbus was predicted to have one of the nation’s best economic performances of 2014. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/01/22/cities-face-a-good-but-not-great-economic-outlook-for-2014/ The numbers won’t be out for a few months on how the city/metro actually performed, however.
-A study came out detailing how future growth in Columbus would radically alter where people lived and in what type of home and environment they lived. The consensus? Young and urban. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlovaas/discovering_a_new_housing_futu.html
-The unemployment rate rose to 6% in January from December 2013, as it usually rises after seasonal employees are laid off. However, this was 1.1 percentage points lower than the previous January.

Weather
January 2014 continued what December 2013 had started. Snowfall was nearly 2x above normal and temperatures were almost 7 degrees below normal. The month tied for the 15th coldest January and the 16th snowiest. The coldest low was -11 and the low hit 0 or below 7 times, the most since 1994. The biggest snow event occurred on the 25th-26th with 8.3″. This was the 10th largest January snowstorm of all time. Snow depth reached at least 1″ on 19 days.