Positioning Milo-Grogan for Success: Assessing Neighborhood Conditions and Building a Platform for Inclusive Growth

milo report cover.jpg

Over the past two years, aided by the research and insight of the Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC), The Columbus Foundation began an effort to learn more about Milo-Grogan, a historically underserved neighborhood 2 miles north of downtown Columbus.  Milo Grogan is adjacent to two neighborhoods experiencing rapid property value increases.  

Given recent and anticipated market activity in Milo, in 2017, The Columbus Foundation commissioned GOPC to analyze market and demographic conditions in the neighborhood. The report, Positioning Milo-Grogan for Success, was intended to help Milo residents and stakeholders manage future development activity so that it is inclusive and equitable.

Based on analysis of neighborhood-level data and interviews with key neighborhood stakeholders, GOPC found there are many positive trends suggesting that Milo-Grogan’s current and prospective residents can benefit from renewed public and private sector activity in Milo. However, this outcome is not inevitable; GOPC’s analysis showed that Milo is at a crossroads in terms of continuing to be a neighborhood of choice for residents earning a range of incomes.

To remain and grow as a neighborhood of choice GOPC recommended that neighborhood leaders:

  • Develop a strategic, action-oriented Roadmap for neighborhood investment

  • Establish a neutral entity to execute the Roadmap, similar to other Columbus neighborhoods

  • Continue to build capacity among residents

  • Improve and repair neighborhood housing stock

  • Encourage market-rate and affordable housing development to maintain Milo as a neighborhood of choice

  • Invest in the main roadway arteries of Milo as neighborhood gateways and byways

Since GOPC delivered its findings to The Columbus Foundation in early 2018, The Columbus Foundation has used GOPC’s assessment to further shape the philosophy that will drive grantmaking in the neighborhood, as well as the first few specific investments. Backed by the findings of Positioning Milo-Grogan for Success, initial grants in the neighborhood are supporting home repairs for current and long-time residents, as well as community engagement, distribution of resident newsletters, and efforts to align civic capacity.

In summer 2019, The Columbus Foundation formally announced its early grants in the neighborhood and released GOPC’s report, Positioning Milo-Grogan for Success.