Route 63 Into New Albany (2025)
We moved back to New Albany from California in 2015. New Albany was created by Les Wexner, founder of the Limited. The town was built around a tiny little farming town founded in 1837. There is still the famous original house in town along the walking trail in town. There are white fences everywhere in New Albany. They are definers of New Albany property. Anything behind the white fence is New Albany. Behind the white frences are many brick Georgian style homes.
Our first year in New Albany was one of getting adjusted to the new environment. It was good to be out of the heat of Palm Desert and California that was becoming more and more unaffordable. There was a huge field a half of a block from our house that where I walked my greyhound Genna. There were many open spaces and the Ohio countryside was nearby.
The Ohio countryside was nearby
The duck marsh near the high school
An early morning walk
The huge field near our house where I wlked Genna. Now, it’s an apartment complex
Things were peaceful the first year we lived in New Albany but soon the neighborhood was attacked with construction projects. Houses were built out to the very end of our street. The big park was leveled down to make room for a three-story apartment complex. Across the street, was another three-story apartment complex. In addition, there was the opening of the entire block building of new shops and the company with 150 employees on the top of this block.
My wife and I often speculated on all of this with my good friend Adam at Hudson 29. Parking for the restaurant once was nothing to even think about. Now, finding a place to park is problematical. They have posted hour limit signs in the parking lot but there is no way that the parking spaces will hold the overflow from the two huge new apartment complexes in downtown New Albany.
The New Apartments in Downtown
The town so far has not felt the need to create any type of parking structures. Rated the top suburb in America in 2017 by Business Insider magazine. change is coming very quickly to the town. One of the great problems will be traffic. Everyone seems to know this. Still, things move ahead without any change in the two-lane roads coming into town.
Ready for Traffic Problems
Founded in 1837, the town saw rapid growth in the 1990s, much due to the efforts of Limited founder Lex Wexner and construction of his mansion in New Albany. Few communities in America (if any really) represent the vision of one man like New Albany represented the vision of Les Wexner. The high school looks like a miniature of University of Virginia campus. The downtown of New Albany is something Disney might have created. In fact, all of New Albany might have been a Disney project for creating the perfect community. It was not one of the older communities of Columbus (like Upper Arlington where I first lived in Columbus where I heard over and over again the phrase “An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Historic Ealy Home in New Albany (Constructed in 1830)
New Albany was different from the older communities of Columbus. In part, it seemed made up of people who wanted a country life near Columbus. In the 1990s Columbus, the Ohio country was north and east of the growing city. New Albany became a type of chosen community development project for Les Wexner whose huge Limited Stores was next to Easton. He had already created the great trend in the outside small town feeling of modern shopping malls with his incredible Easton on the NE side of Columbus. In the 1990s, he built a huge home in New Albany and then began plans for developing the country-side around New Albany.
The town has the feel of the large shopping mall called Easton that Wexner created just five miles west of New Albany. Easton served as the symbol of mall as a shopping town. The concept of a shopping mall is taken outside by Wexner with Easton as Easton set a new direction for American shopping malls. The town of New Albany was developed with many of the ideas and spirit that Wexner, the brilliant retailer, put into developing Easton. In a general manner, the town Wexner created became one of the greandest suburbs in the nation. As someone who was born in LA and lived in the Bay Area and the wine country, I can still say that New Albany is very special.
In the coming years, the town faces the challenges of its incredible growth. Not only has the downtown grown, but the area all around New Albany has grown until it has become a new base of many important corporations.
It has changed from the town I moved to just a few years ago. I’m sure that it has changed much more for those who have lived in New Albany for a number of years.
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If I was at the Rusty Bucket on Main Street in New Albany, I would raise a toast with some mug full of craft beer.
“To the future of New Albany,” I would say. And I would mean it.
But it was difficult to say if we were going to witness this future, if we were going to stay in New Albany forever.
California always calls to us. Even its fires and earthquakes and crazy politics and lifestyle.
In this grand context, New Albany 2025 was created.
And the below music in the creation of this all.