On June 17, Ohio State and its nonprofit development arm, Campus Partners, revealed sketches of what developments linking campus to the University District could look like. The complete overhaul of High Street between 14th and 17th avenues imagines a University Square at 15th Avenue on the east side of High Street and an OSU Arts Plaza on the west side, plus a 500-room hotel, the transformation of Pearl Alley into a retail corridor and a "long walk" from OSU's library, across High Street and into the campus neighborhood.

On June 17, Ohio State and its nonprofit development arm, Campus Partners, revealed sketches of what developments linking campus to the University District could look like. The complete overhaul of High Street between 14th and 17th avenues imagines a University Square at 15th Avenue on the east side of High Street and an OSU Arts Plaza on the west side, plus a 500-room hotel, the transformation of Pearl Alley into a retail corridor and a "long walk" from OSU's library, across High Street and into the campus neighborhood.

So far, response to the developments has been mostly positive. "Change is inevitable, exciting and always difficult. I am trying to take the long view," said local historian Doreen Uhas Sauer, who sits on the University Area Review Board and is president of the University Area Commission. "I think Campus Partners has done more than just due diligence in thinking what can happen here. … Discussions of what events could happen on the plaza site and what rich history there is in the area - without once mentioning Brutus Buckeye - is in itself exciting."

The block of High Street between 16th and 17th avenues, which is being developed by Edwards Communities, will be the first to see construction this summer as plans for an apartment complex get underway. Campus Partners will redevelop the area between 14th and 16th avenues and is currently focused on infrastructure improvements. According to Campus Partners, there isn't a firm timeline for construction, nor does the nonprofit have established plans for tenants in the area.

So what will happen to the businesses on that stretch of High Street?

"We know the existing tenants between 14th and 16th avenues well and stay in contact with them regarding the progress of the development," said Campus Partners President Amanda Hoffsis in a statement to Alive. "Once we have more detail as to the new development, we will work with the tenants in accordance with their existing leases. There will not be a one-size-fits-all solution."

Since Campus Partners led the rezoning of nine acres in the corridor last year, most businesses have vanished, either closing for good or relocating elsewhere. Strolling along that stretch of High Street today is like walking through a ghost town of empty storefronts. A sampling of the departed: A Slice of New York, Long's Bookstore, UBX Book Exchange, Brenen's Cafe, Cuzzins Yogurt, Campus Corner, Insomnia Cookies, Evolved Body Art, Bernie's Bagels & Deli, Johnny Go's House O' Music, Clothing Underground, Charleys, Lids and Chumley's. (Chumley's bar manager Brittany Jones said last week that the bar plans to reopen at High Street and 9th Avenue in about a year.)

Many former business owners posted Scotch-taped notices to their darkened front doors. Some are upbeat ("Moved!"). Some are wistful ("We would like to thank you for your patronage, and wish you the best in your academic endeavors"). Others simultaneously read like thank-you notes and subtle digs at landlords who forced them out ("Thank you for supporting our very 1st Charleys over the past 30 years").

Still, a few stragglers remain. The O Patio and Pub on East 15th Avenue is open. The Student Book Exchange at 14th and High is still in business, though its owner couldn't comment on ongoing talks with Campus Partners. Ditto for Jimmy John's at 15th and High. Just south of 16th Avenue, Too's Spirits Under High - a campus basement dive bar since 1991 - is still serving customers, and owner Scott Ellsworth hopes to continue to do so through the end of the year. In 2015, when news of the forthcoming developments became public, loyal Too's patrons took to Twitter for a #savetoos campaign that continues today.

"I've given my blood, sweat and tears to this bar.It's my family business, and my employees and regulars are like my cool younger cousins," said Ellsworth, who bought the bar in 2007 and said he has plans to open a Threes on High if and when Too's closes. "We have been firing on all cylinders for the last four years and would have no reason to go anywhere. We have no choice on our departure, because if we did our asses would be staying in that grungy basement for as long as I was able to open a King Cobra 40-ouncer."