Columbus isn’t any cowtown, however what is going to metropolis change into?

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The latest data from the US Census Bureau confirm what anyone who pays attention has long known: Columbus is a galaxy away from the “cow town” that it was when the famous Peruna “panacea” tonic merchant Samuel Hartmann founded what was once the largest farm in the country in 1890 south of what is now I-270 along South High Street.

The problem is not what we were.

The question is whether we can fully embrace what we have become and whether we can maintain wealth and pass it on to those who do not benefit from it.

More:City council approves $ 54.3 million tax relief for data center on former Hartman property

These are the billions of dollars that the capital will have to face as it continues to grow.

And researchers predict it will grow.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, a central Ohio planning agency, predicts the 15-county area will grow 3 million inhabitants by 2050.

Right now, central Ohio – home to one of the youngest and most educated population groups in the nation – has five of Ohio’s six fastest growing counties.

Estimated census In 2020, 235,600 more people lived here than in 2010which accounts for about 90% of the total growth of the state.

The population of Columbus has skyrocketed to 905,748 – a 15% increase from 787,033 in 2010. It is the 14th largest city in the country and the giant of the 3 Cs in Ohio.

Known as the Old Hartman Hotel.  Dr.  Samuel B. Hartman built the Hartman Building on Fourth Street and Main Street in 1898.

Central Ohio is also Buckeye State’s most financially secure region, benefiting from several industries beyond state government and higher education.

While Columbus is still recovering from the effects of COVID-19, it has been a business star in the Midwest for decades.

Companies want to come here.

For example, Google has just announced that it will invest an additional $ 1 billion in its data center operations in New Albany and has bought 618 acres of land in Columbus and Lancaster for other potential centers.

This land comprises part of Samuel Hartman’s former farm property at 5076 S. High St. on the Far South Side.

March, Columbus City Council approved tax incentives of $ 54.3 million for a data center on this land.

There are great challenges ahead. and far too many do not benefit from Columbus’ relative happiness.

casing

You don’t have to be looking for an apartment to know the central Ohio housing market is on fire. The flames are not expected to go out anytime soon.

Projected growth will be a curse if demand for housing – both affordable and less affordable – is not met by supply.

More:Opinion: There is a reason for Columbus’ affordable housing issue and it needs to be reversed

We have the people, but not the places to house them.

Last year there was an 11,864 increase in new homes and apartments, but that was below the 14,000 to 21,000 homes the region would need to add each year to keep up with demand through 2050, according to a 2018 report.

Ed Vaughan works his monologue as Dr.  Samuel Hartman in the CATCO production of

More:Housing construction in the Columbus area is increasing in 2020, but not enough to meet demand

In July, homes in the Columbus, Denver, Nashville and Rochester, New York areas were the fastest selling in the country, according to Realtor.com.

The houses to be awarded are often financially out of reach.

A March research by The Dispatch found that the average home value in about 60 communities in central Ohio and Columbus rose 11.3% February 2020 and February 2021.

Some Columbus neighborhoods saw much higher climbs. The values ​​rose in the South of Main district by 32%, in Driving Park by 34%, in Milo-Grogan by 28% and in South Linden by 43%.

The largest price hike in central Ohio history occurred in 2020. Buyers paid an average price of $ 232,000 for a home in the Columbus area, 10.5% more than in 2019.

Racial justice

Racial inequality in health, education, police and other sectors has been brought into the spotlight here due to the coronavirus pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and the high profile police killings of blacks.

It is right and right to address these problems. Finding solutions will also help secure the future of the community.

The Columbus area is becoming more diverse.

Between 2010 and 2020, Franklin County’s black population grew 21.3% to just under 300,000, while the county’s white population fell 0.4% to 802,685, according to the census. The county’s Asian population rose 64.6% to more than 74,000, and the Hispanic or Latin American population grew 63.6% to 91,182

More:Where did the population of Columbus grow the most? Suburbs, black population increase in census data

According to a New American Economy report, Central Ohio’s 180,000 foreign-born residents contributed $ 15.4 billion to the region’s gross domestic product and $ 2.1 billion to their tax revenues.

Immigrants make up 8.7% of the region’s population, but make up 11.5% of the region’s gross domestic product.

More:The Central Ohio Agency continues to see rapid population growth in the coming decades

transport

How Columbus will move in the future needs to be addressed today.

Transportation and infrastructure are among the many growing problems city and citizen leaders face.

Columbus drivers lost an average of 71 hours in traffic in 2018, an increase of 6% compared to 2017 a report from Inrix Research.

According to the RIX 2020 Global Traffic Scorecard, the pandemic has “turned short and long transport trends upside down”.

As a result, drivers in the Columbus area lost an average of eight hours to traffic jams last year. That was 78% less than in 2019.

There has long been a push for light rail and other public transportation improvements, including a rapid transit bus line that connects downtown Columbus to the Northwest Side.

More:Opinion: Amtrak Plan Important to Central Ohio

The planned system is part of the LinkUS Mobility Corridors Initiative, which is partly based on the Insight 2050 Corridor Concepts study by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

The challenges are many, but the solutions are out there.

Columbus has come a long way since the days when it could rightly be called a cow town.

It is a long way.

Fortunately, we have the character and the will to do so, but it won’t be easy.

Editorials are the fact-based assessment of issues that matter to the communities we serve. These are not the opinions of our reporting employees, who strive for neutrality in their reporting.