German Village Gazette

German Village Society looks to recruit young people

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The German Village Society is on a mission to recruit young professionals in the neighborhood.

The long-range planning committee, which met May 8 at the Meeting Haus, outlined several steps to bring 20- and 30-year-olds into the organization.

Matt Eshelbrenner, chairman of the committee, said the Society is seen as somewhat of an exclusive organization.

"We're trying to battle the perception that the German Village Society is a homeowners' club," Eshelbrenner said.

"The long-term goal is getting them engaged younger so you'll see people now renting in German Village owning in German Village."

One of the proposals by the committee is to offer individual memberships at $35 to those 35 years old and younger.

Right now, the lowest individual cost is $50. The new fee structure would have to be approved by the German Village Society Board of Trustees.

Sarah Marsom, historic preservation advocate, said they identified 513 rental units in the neighborhood, according to the Franklin County Auditor's Office. It is unclear what the ages are of those who live in those properties.

The community has between 3,000 and 4,000 residents, so roughly half of the Village's residents could be renters, committee members said.

Committee members said membership has a number of advantages, such as discount pricing for neighborhood events. That means 20-percent off rentals for parties and weddings at the Meeting Haus.

They'd be asked to lend their energy and creativity to serve as a "common voice serving as caretakers and stewards of (a) unique urban literature," according to literature that soon will be distributed by the group.

Committee members contend Columbus has the country's fifth-highest concentration of Fortune 500 countries and many of the decision-makers live in German Village.

So, participating in events opens the door to networking with the city's top business and civic leaders and provides an opportunity to work alongside other philanthropically minded young people."

The committee will mail literature to all 513 addresses of rental properties in the next few weeks to invite the residents to a party in the neighborhood sometime in mid-July. The location has yet to be determined.

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