Tagged: community

In Our View: Heights development, concerns a balancing act

Efforts to reinvent the Heights District in central Vancouver call to mind a proverb from ancient Greece: “Big results require big ambitions.”

As city officials move forward on plans to redevelop 205 acres anchored by the former Tower Mall site, the scope of the project can obscure the basic reasoning behind it: To reimagine a portion of the city that long has been neglected.

In so doing, officials are wise to take a holistic approach to the endeavor by including affordable housing, walking and biking paths, parks and retail spaces. But they also must be cognizant of concerns from local residents and must effectively address traffic and parking issues.

The basics of the preliminary designs are impressive. As explained by Columbian reporter Carlos Fuentes: “The project will bring hundreds of residential units and commercial spaces to the area, and the city is making sure it will create housing and economic opportunity for low-income families and small-business owners.”

The idea is to create a “20-minute community,” which the city of Vancouver website describes as an area “where residents can walk, bike or take transit to meet their daily needs.” In other words, there will be easily accessible space for pharmacies, medical offices, dry cleaners, coffee shops, parks and other amenities that help define a community.

Desires to reduce vehicle traffic have helped promote the idea of 20-minute communities in cities throughout the world. One reason is the demonstrably negative effects of gasoline-powered cars; if somebody can walk five minutes to a pharmacy rather than driving 20 minutes to one, that is better for the environment — and for their health. Another motivation is to reduce congestion in urban areas and ease the paths of travel. And still another is to enhance the feeling of community that comes with neighborhood businesses, promoting

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OneWest launches new website, showcasing achievements and momentum – Lane Report

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — OneWest, the community development nonprofit committed to elevating our entire city through commercial development growth in the West End of Louisville, announced the launch of its new website, providing a comprehensive platform to showcase the organization’s achievements and ongoing progress. The user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation will ensure a seamless experience for all users. 

OneWest has steadily expanded opportunities for minority business enterprises and raised over $10M in capital funds for commercial and economic development projects in Louisville’s West End while securing loans for major commercial projects.  The organization is also helping small business owners by providing a pathway to property ownership, acquiring 200,000 square feet of commercial real estate space, improving the built environment, increasing workforce opportunities, and fostering partnerships and relationships.  The organization is a product of the 2014 Leadership Louisville Bingham Fellows class. 

“We believe that economic development is a collaborative effort, and our new website will enable us to engage with a wider audience and foster meaningful connections,” said Evon Smith, CEO and President of OneWest. “We are excited to share the stories of entrepreneurs, highlight the impact of our programs, and inspire others to join us in our efforts at creating a vibrant and inclusive economy.” 

In May, OneWest held a grand opening celebration for the opening of the organization’s retail accelerator program for community chefs looking to grow their businesses. Mayor Greenberg joined community leaders and community members for the opening of Gore’s SmokeOut BBQ in the renovated and furnished retail space at one of two previously abandoned row houses at 516 A & B S. 18th St.  Gore’s two-year residency will allow the business owners to hone their concept while also receiving support from OneWest with marketing, business operations, table rotation, human resources, bookkeeping and planning for profit and sustainability. 

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