New group to guide Short North
PHOTO BY DAVID FOSTER
The Short North Business Association will go dormant at the end of June and give way to a new organization that aims to shepherd the arts and entertainment hotspot through significant transition.
Its replacement, called the Short North Alliance, plans to hold its initial board meeting June 28. Former SNBA head John Angelo becomes the new group’s executive director on June 15.
“It’s very strategically, very intentionally creating a dynamic that is going to be better suited for the future development of the district,” Angelo said.
A main function of the Alliance, he explained, is to bring business owners and property owners to the same table.
Until recently, the SNBA spoke for owners of bars, restaurants, galleries and boutiques, while landlords were represented by the Short North Special Improvement District. (Property owners in certain neighborhoods can vote to fund local projects through a special improvement district. The one in the Short North, for example, paid for the illuminated arches over High Street.)
Many property owners wanted to renew their SID this year -- but they wanted to approach neighborhood improvement in a new way.
“One of the things that came back over and over again in almost a year and a half of dialog was a sense from the property owners and the business owners that they wanted to be at the same table,” Angelo said.
Initially, the Alliance will convene a 20-member board of directors to include business and property owners, as well as experts in tourism, accounting, marketing and other fields.
The Alliance will assume all duties of the SNBA and perform all functions of the Short North SID, though that organization will remain intact because it has legal authority to collect money from property owners.
Angelo said the new organization will be better able to guide the district through major developments including the Hilton Columbus Downtown, a boutique hotel from the Pizzuti Companies and new plans for the site of the failed Ibiza project.
Among other goals, the group hopes to smooth logistical hassles during construction, maintain a strong arts presence, study infrastructure improvements, recruit new businesses and improve the overall visitor experience.
“We had this opportunity to say, ‘How should the district now be operating?’” Angelo added. “Going forward, this is what we need as far as a mature organization, a mature district.”