and CEO of BARTAR Consultants, a process efficiency consulting firm. Anthony and Nichole, his wife of 16 years, have witnessed the city’s revitalization since relocating in 1997.
Both Washington, D.C., metro area natives, the Redics were living in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, where Anthony worked for Defense Finance and Accounting Services. When the government agency had openings in Ohio, the Redics chose Columbus and have never looked back. “The city was in a building mode,” he says. “It was good to be here and be a part of that growth.”
There are no signs of a slowdown. Plans are underway to redevelop the land around Columbus Regional Airport to attract new businesses and create jobs. When Columbus debuted on BE’s list in 2004, it had the highest black unemployment rate at 13.4%. Today, unemployment is down to 9%. Some 14% of the city’s 1.7 million residents are black.
The city has committed $25 million over five years to put vacant neighborhood homes back into productive use. The Redics, who are among the 40% of African Americans in Columbus who own their o
wn home, paid $100,000 for their three-bedroom, bi-level with a huge backyard. This is the couple’s first home, and they paid considerably less than the median home value of $155,600. With the money Anthony generates from the business and what Nichole earns as director of after-school programming at Little Blessings Learning Center, the couple’s annual household income is $150,000.
A huge plus for the city is its access to technology. Downtown Columbus is Wi-Fi enabled as are area parks, recreational centers, and schools. Good news for the Redics, parents of 14-year-old Bryan and 13-year-old Thomas.
–Carolyn M. Brown
Hoosiers get to add a Super Bowl championship team to the roster of qualities that makes Indianapolis so great. The historic game pitted two black coaches against each other and ended with Tony Dungy leading the Indianapolis Colts to victory.
Michael Grady says Indy is a place where anyone can score a business or personal touchdown–especially young professionals. The 24-year-old college student has lived in the bustling Midwestern city since the age of 3 and believes Indianapolis offers unlimited opportunities. “I think it’s up to individuals our age to stay in Indy to keep it going,” says Grady, a year away from getting a degree in communications, African American studies, and sociology from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.
Grady notes that the establishment of networking groups for young professionals and an active nightlife have helped the city retain its dynamism. The city’s cost of living index is slightly below average, and survey respondents give high marks for quality of life, especially medical care, ease of commute, and affordable housing. With a median home value of $136,500, Grady can afford to move forward with his plan to buy a home next year.
Grady’s long-range goal is to teach African American studies at the college level, perhaps at his future alma mater. “There is a renewed focus on diversity on campus,” he says. “I want to stay in the community