If you drive down the Morse Road corridor with someone who lived in Northland during the 1960s through the 1990s, you will envision what Northland used to be through their storytelling and reminiscing.
Most likely, their memories of a bustling neighborhood are fond and vibrant.
Surely, they will mention Northland Mall or the Continent — some of the most popular and upscale shopping centers in the city — that made Northland a destination and served as an anchor for the community. Families of all ages came together to experience the abundance of dining, entertainment, and shopping options the centers had to offer.
But as competition rose with the opening of newer malls in the 1990s, Northland Mall and the Continent were shuttered, and the local economy eventually fell into decline.
Many people thought that was the end of Northland’s story, but with every end, there is also a new beginning. Immigrants and refugees seized the opportunity to buy quality, affordable homes and open shops and restaurants in the commercial corridors.
The New American neighbors provided an economic lifeline during Northland’s most uncertain days. Their entrepreneurial energy created vibrancy and a source of hope for the community.
Today, Northland is a multiethnic haven and home to the nation’s largest Bhutanese-Nepali population and second largest Somali population, all living side by side with legacy residents and young couples. As you drive down Morse Road now, you notice the plethora of locally owned, immigrant businesses that have come to thrive in a diverse and self-supporting community.
New Americans are reinvigorating Northland, all while enriching the cultural fabric of Columbus. They are establishing their roots and adding to the prosperity and desirability of the community.
In its next chapter, Northland will become a more prosperous and connected community.
Elevate Northland was founded to ensure that dream becomes reality by lifting up diverse people and creating opportunities for those who call Northland home.
Read the full Positioning Paper
Why I Believe in Northland
— Chuck Lynd, Simply Living: Advisory Council Member