Entrepreneur Eyes Parsons Avenue Library As New Neighborhood Coffeehouse


An historic library on Parsons Avenue in Columbus is getting saved from further decay thanks to a young and caring entrepreneur.

Joel Cosme is leading an effort to raise funds to renovate the building and turn it into a hip and all inclusive neighborhood coffeehouse.

He stumbled across the old Parsons library about a year ago and an idea struck.  He had been thinking about starting a business, so why not a coffeehouse called "Community Grounds," in an historic building that desperately needs some love and care.

"I want there to be just a welcoming environment where people can come in, grab some great food, something great to drink, as well as have the opportunity to witness performances,” said Cosme.

He is working with the Parsons Avenue Redevelopment Association to make the coffeehouse a reality.  This is the latest project in this Southside neighborhood that's starting to see some big change.

Once upon a time, Parsons Avenue used to be a very vibrant neighborhood and a big shopping destination.  But through the years, the neighborhood crumbled.  Now, the push is on to revitalize this south side neighborhood and new businesses are popping up.

Bob Leighty is the executive director of the Parsons Avenue Merchants Association. He's one of many community activists leading the charge to redevelop this community.   "We're seeing a significant investment in different parts of the Avenue and ultimately we would like to have a mix of independent shops that serve the neighborhoods, as well as bringing residents back to the Avenue,” said Leighty.

Cosme says the coffeehouse won't just be for adults but for kids too.  "If we're creating a safe space, a space where they're able to interact and learn new things, then I feel that's what really helps make the community better,” he said.

Community Grounds will be holding a launch party on September 10th to raise funds to buy the historic library.  For more information, go to mycommunitygrounds.com.

If all goes as planned, the coffeehouse should open its doors next spring.