When I first started reporting for D CEO’s January/February cover story about downtown’s Historic West End, one source I spoke with, who asked to remain anonymous, said something that really stuck with me.
Over the last few years, many of the properties in the West End have gone from mom-and-pop-style ownership to well-known, institutional landlords and developers. These new owners are promising neighborhood improvements—increased security, better lighting, more community events—and certainly have the deep pockets to make them happen.
Which brings me back to my source, who was formerly deeply involved in the neighborhood but has since left because of new ownership. According to this person, “What we’re going to see is a battle for the soul of the West End. Will it be given over to an anonymous corporate real estate culture, or will there be space for the ones who drive boots-on-the-ground culture? And will there even be space for them to continue to call the West End home?”
Melodrama or not, the West End certainly looks a lot different than it did three years ago, and the changes aren’t over yet. Read the full story here.