As 2016 progresses, Northland Community Council President Emmanuel V. Remy hopes to see a continued focus on rejuvenating the East Dublin-Granville Road corridor.

As 2016 progresses, Northland Community Council President Emmanuel V. Remy hopes to see a continued focus on rejuvenating the East Dublin-Granville Road corridor.

Remy said he would like to see community leaders and city officials work together to "establish a new vision" for that stretch of state Route 161.

That dovetails nicely with plans recently announced by Dave Cooper, president of the Northland Area Business Association.

Cooper said he has approached Forest Park resident George Schmidt, a former chairman of the NCC's Keep Route 161 Beautiful Committee, about taking over the business organization's State Route 161 Task Force, and the retired engineer has agreed to do so. Schmidt will assume the title of chairman currently held by Cooper.

"I'm not devoting the time to it that it requires," Cooper said. "He and I will work together to bring improvements to 161."

Remy said he believes the once-thriving commercial corridor offers redevelopment opportunities for medical offices and senior services, including housing for older people.

"I also believe, especially as it relates to the Continent, there are some new housing opportunities that make sense," Remy added.

That might include a mix of single-family and apartment units that appeal to young professionals and first-time buyers, according to Remy, who is a Realtor.

"I think everyone is going to shift their attention to 161 and what we can do to improve it not only for transportation but beautification and the businesses, leadership in general," Cooper said.

That change in focus, he added, will probably result from the likely renewal of a special improvement district that has helped the Morse Road corridor undergo upgrades.

NCC development committee Chairman Dave Paul concurred with both Cooper and Remy.

"I'm very hopeful," Paul said. "I think we're seeing some stabilization taking place along the corridor. We're seeing hotels with new ownership. There is some discussion going on about the potential for reviving the special improvement district.

"I'm encouraged that 161 is going to continue to make progress."

Paul went on to note that the development committee heard 40 cases during the course of meetings in 2015, more than in any of the previous five years.

"I'd like to take that as an indication that the economy is improving and folks are starting to reinvest in the Northland neighborhood and our commercial corridors," he said.

As far as the NCC itself is concerned, Remy is trying to find new ways to engage residents in 2016, in particular the Somali and Bhutanese populations. Each of those communities has its own council, and Remy said he would like them to send representatives to NCC meetings and be involved in the umbrella organization's activities "so their voice can be heard and their ideas shared."

In general, Remy doesn't have any concerns for the neighborhood.

"The outlook hasn't been brighter for Northland since I began participating than it is now," he said.