Patrick Potyondy and his wife, Amber Camus, happened upon their house on North 21st Street by chance. They decided to move to Columbus from Boulder, Colorado, in 2009 to attend graduate school at Ohio State.
Having grown up in suburban Fort Collins, Colorado, the couple was interested in neighborhoods with a more urban atmosphere. They looked first in Grandview and Merion and Victorian villages, and they had high hopes for Clintonville, too. But after viewing dozens of places—to rent and to buy—they found nothing. “We were a little disheartened,” Camus says. “Clintonville was too homogenous. There wasn’t the diversity that seemed reflective of a city like Columbus.”
During a second visit, they stayed at a bed and breakfast in the King-Lincoln District, which happened to be owned by a real estate agent for Homeport, a partnership of community organizations that creates affordable housing opportunities in underdeveloped neighborhoods. They learned about the area’s revitalization and developers’ goal to create a mixed-income neighborhood, and they felt the match was apropos. “We believe in things like diversity and integration,” Potyondy says. “So we thought if we believe in those things, we should find a neighborhood that reflects those ideals.” He says they “fell in love with the area” and chose a renovated late-19th-century brick house.
While they like most things about the up-and-coming neighborhood, they admit it still has some unsightly characteristics of an area that has been historically neglected, like abandoned houses, vacant lots and trash-ridden alleys. They also miss having a neighborhood grocery store; Downtown’s Hills Market is too small—and to them, too expensive—and the closest Kroger is near Bexley. But they’re optimistic those issues will be resolved as the community invests more into the neighborhood. “We’re really happy here,” Potyondy says. “We’ve had the best experience we could have hoped for.”