Sitting in Midtown Marketplace on a sunny Saturday morning, a person can see that Jefferson Westside is a community of people, not just a neighborhood of homes. And these people would like to see change.
Standing in line for coffee at Midtown, Robin Best praised the Jefferson Westside Neighborhood for its location and assortment of small businesses. Having always liked this area, she said that it probably wouldn’t be too hard to get anywhere from it. “I like it because it feels like a neighborhood,” said Best. For an outsider looking in, she only had one criticism: “It would be nice to see more businesses.”
Two blocks away Aaron Chester, the owner of the Perk Coffee & Espresso , enjoys the balance of homes to businesses in the neighborhood, as well as the even ratio of long term residence and college students. Even the proximity to the Downtown area is nice. However, he would like to see something new. “I think smart change and progressive attitude towards what’s going on would be amazing,” says Chester. He goes on to stress that the neighborhood seems to want to stay exactly how it is, and by doing so, is changing for the worse. He is excited to see that change is on the horizon, though. “As someone who has worked on improving the downtown area for the last decade, I’m excited to see things happening.”
Some of the other residents do enjoy the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, but also realize that more businesses would attract more people to the area. Sean Carroll, a
resident of Jefferson Westside for the past two years, likes the small businesses in the area, but also thinks that more people would bring more business. “I know that the University wants to build a five-story student residence hall in the old Peace Health Medical Center, and I think that is a good idea,” says Carroll. He says that by bringing more people into the area, more commerce will spring up to fit the demand of more people. Any thing else to add Mr. Carroll? “There’s tons of potholes in the roads,” he says. “They should definitely fix those.”
Change seems to be occurring in the Jefferson Westside area through the people who live and work there. And it will happen, one business and pothole at a time.