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Videos

Gentrification 'Without the Negative' in Columbus, Ohio

A local arts group moved into an abandoned factory. What does it mean for the surrounding neighborhood?

Nearly a quarter of the homes in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio are vacant. In 2011, an arts group moved into an abandoned factory in the area to create 400 West Rich Street, a community that now leases space to woodworkers, performance artists, a coffee shop, painters, sculptors, and others.

This short documentary considers the artists who work in 400 West Rich Street, why the space attracted them, and what it means for revitalization of the neighborhood. "We have the opportunity to do what people would call gentrification, only without the negative component of it … the displacement of an existing population," says Jim Sweeney, director of the Franklinton Development Asssociation. "The existing population is gone already. They went decades ago."

This documentary is the first of three produced for American Futures, an ongoing reporting project from James and Deborah Fallows.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

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