As 26-year-old Wes Meermans enjoyed a beer after work at a watering hole in downtown’s Historic North Market District, he ruminated on the city he adopted as home four years ago.
“It’s almost like the San Francisco of the Midwest,” said the Internet marketing executive. “It’s the most young, progressive city in Ohio, with a lot of professional opportunities.”
Such sentiments are commonplace in the young, hip neighborhoods like Short North and German Village that surround downtown Columbus.
A 9-to-5 downtown is commonplace. Pittsburgh is trying to address the same issue. I think Pittsburgh's Cultural District indicates that the business core can offer a viable nightlife. Columbus should be able to figure out how to spark some after-hours activity. My guess is that the setback is temporary.
I see Columbus as the third leg of an innovation triangle that also includes Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Transportation between the three cities should be improved and the inter-urban migration of talent is a strength. High gas prices will help each city's downtown and could portend a revival that grabs global attention.