One student's mission over the next several months will be to pinpoint exactly who lives in German Village and how to better promote the neighborhood through a smartphone application.

One student's mission over the next several months will be to pinpoint exactly who lives in German Village and how to better promote the neighborhood through a smartphone application.

Nick Gurich, a graduate student in city and regional planning at Ohio State University, said he will piggyback on the work his fellow students did last year. The group spent a quarter reviewing the residential and retail mix in the neighborhood.

The report, however, included data from Schumacher Place and the Brewery District, and some officials were concerned that the figures might throw off the overall picture of the historic district.

In addition, Gurich said, he will recommend ways to improve on the German Village Society's new mobile application, which now offers information on landmarks, retail stores and restaurants. He said his full report should be available by mid-March.

At a meeting Jan. 25, the society's long-range planning committee and members of the business community rehashed some of the data, which showed that German Village has well-educated, affluent residents who live in comparatively expensive houses.

Improving on the retail and residential mix was one of the goals, Gurich said. But there's a stark reality: Few properties are available in the historic district for commercial opportunities and few businesses are being created in what are now residential properties, participants of the roundtable discussion said.

"We need to clearly understand what we are," said Jeff Ruff, a real estate agent in the area.

The graduate students, through a visual inventory, identified 10 vacant parcels in the entire neighborhood. That brought about a greater discussion about the business community helping guide development. But with so little available square footage and the abstract notion of what constitutes the "right fit," it appeared little energy would be dedicated to it.

Shiloh Todorov, director of the German Village Society, suggested that the community capitalize on the relationship between the neighborhood and Nationwide Children's Hospital, which is in the midst of two expansion projects: a 750,000-square-foot facility to be used for clinical space and a 225,000-square-foot research and lab building. Both are slated to open in June and bring in 2,000 employees.

The hospital expansion means new people working in the area and the potential to develop similar goals: housing for new hires, improvements and investments along Livingston Avenue and safety and security measures for employees who likely use the amenities in German Village, Todorov said.