Seth Oakley

by Seth Oakley

Director - Cincinnati Operations

Design and Community Success

  • MARCH 29, 2011
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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the program, "What's Going on in Grandview" presented by the Columbus Young Professionals group at LOTH on Grandview Avenue.  The event was both a networking opportunity and a panel discussion about the history and future of Grandview Heights in both economic and social terms.  The panel consisted of  Ray DeGraw, Mayor of the City of Grandview Heights; Michelle Wilson, Executive Director of the Grandview Area Chamber of Commerce; Jeff Wagenbrenner, Leasing Manager at Wagenbrenner Company; Dave Rigo, Owner/Distiller at Watershed Distillery; and Patrik G. Bowman, Director of Administration & Economic Development for the City of Grandview Heights.

Grandview Heights is an exciting city to live and work in with a large number of locally-owned restaurants and businesses, responsive government and healthy business climate.  It is deceivingly close to both downtown and The Ohio State University, yet distinctly its own community with an identity and culture.  The panel discussion focused on ways the city was highlighting these positive attributes and encouraging talented professionals to live and work here, but still contribute to the community as a whole.   Not surprisingly, a majority of the conversation focused on Grandview Yard, the mixed use development that we not only call home, but also contribute as design professionals.

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What was most shocking was the impact that Grandview Yard is having and will continue to have as it's developed.  Grandview Yard is a new mixed-use development on the former Big Bear Warehouse property.  Land-wise, it's 10% of the entire city and will almost double the available housing stock  as well as provide around 5,000 jobs when fully developed.  The population of Grandview Heights is around 6,500 people, so 5,000 additional jobs within the community will have an immense and lasting impact... but only if the project is successful.

By the end of the night it was clear that the efforts, talents, and thought of a group of developers, planners, city leaders and architects will drive the future of Grandview Heights and it is their responsibility to do that in the best and most responsible way possible.  Architects think they're solving problems and defining space, but here in Grandview Heights, we're striving to change an entire city.

Seth Oakley

by Seth Oakley

Director - Cincinnati Operations

Seth graduated from University of Cincinnati with a bachelor of architecture and is a great asset to M+A. His favorite animal is a pig because "bacon is awesome".