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Columbus city leaders share updates on plan to revitalize Linden to big crowd

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Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Department of Neighborhoods hosted an open house to discuss the implementation of the One Linden plan. (WSYX/WTTE)

Mahallia Drew has lived in Columbus's Linden neighborhood for about 60 years, seeing changes over the decades.

"Deterioration, violence," she said.

There are things Drew would like to see for her neighborhood.

"A big clean-up," she said, "I would like to see more policing where we stop the violence, the killing."

She was among the dozens and dozens that packed into Douglas Community Center to hear the latest on the city's "One Linden" plan.

It's about revitalizing the neighborhood. One of the biggest points, an overhaul of the Linden Community Center, including a new building, sports fields, art and music area, and more.

"There is half the population right now in Linden than there was in 1970," said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. "We are not going to address this overnight, but there are very real, concrete, specific things happening in this neighborhood."

There are also plans to re-imagine major thoroughfares like Cleveland Avenue, by adding safety crosswalks. There was also discussion of efforts to work with neighborhood safety committees and more.

ABC6/FOX28 asked Mayor Ginther about what he would say to people who still have safety concerns. He said this is about multiple groups coming together with neighbors to make a difference.

"It is an all of the above approach that we think we can tackle neighborhood safety, but also lift up a neighborhood with additional development as well," he said.

Neighbors could see construction start this summer on the new Linden Recreation Center.

"Having that plan provides a guide for the residents of the neighborhood frankly to advocate for the things that they need," said Executive Director of AnswerPoverty.org, Robert Caldwell.

Caldwell grew up in the area and now does work to stop and alleviate poverty, he says people should get on board.

"Just more people that believe in Linden and make the investment," he said.

These are projects where work will likely span 2019 to 2021. There are plans to re-pave roads, add street lights, build a new fire station and more.

This is not set in stone. To share your opinion or learn more about the complete plan, contact the city, visit the One Linden website, or what a complete presentation about the plan.

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