Now in its third year, Go West! brings a day of art and music to the neighborhood once called The Bottoms through a teaming of the Franklinton Development Association and Franklinton Arts District.

Now in its third year, Go West! brings a day of art and music to the neighborhood once called The Bottoms through a teaming of the Franklinton Development Association and Franklinton Arts District.

As in years past, the Tommy's Diner parking lot will offer beer, children's activities and live tunes from five bands, including Old Hundred and The Wet Darlings. A total of 15 visual artists will present site-specific installations in empty homes on West Broad Street and adjacent Martin Street, including a dragon sculpture by Nikos Rutkowski and a closet bursting with purple stripes by Undine Brod. And the nearby office of Blostein/Overly Architects will unveil potential building concepts for the city produced by the firm's principals and students at OSU's Knowlton School of Architecture.

But something feels different this time around. Beyond the work put in by artists and community organizers, more permanent efforts to make the neighborhood a residential destination for the creative class seem to be gaining traction.

As area property owner, contractor and FAD president Chris Sherman puts it, "This is the dawning of the age of East Franklinton."

In February, Mayor Michael Coleman pledged city funds at the State of the City address to help redevelop a warehouse on West State Street into 42 affordably priced living and work spaces for artists and other creative types.

The project Sherman is heading, to turn a former warehouse and office space at 400 W. Rich St. into artist studios, will have a dozen spaces ready to rent July 1. Another 22 studios will come on line shortly after. And the Riverside Bradley housing project, long a source of neighborhood tension, is being vacated for demolition and eventual redevelopment.

"The open-air drug market is gone, and now that the Main Street bridge is open, there are people riding their bikes and actually walking around the neighborhood," Sherman said. "More kids than I've ever seen before are using the skate bowl at Dodge Park."

The developments have given Sherman not just hope for the neighborhood's future, but material for his own installation at Go West: a room filled with more than 50 working fluorescent light fixtures, all salvaged from area properties.