It is easy to see that the Goeke family is happy with their recent move to Historic South Park. Jeff and Katie greet me with big welcoming smiles as warm as their beautifully restored hardwood floors in their home on Bradford St. Within moments we are chatting about recent events in our lives like old friends, such as their new baby, Claire. This kind of instant embrace by neighbors is common in South Park though; Jeff recalls how neighbors stopped to greet the couple as they were toured homes in the neighborhood.
This is exactly what Jeff and Katie were looking for when planning to come back to the Dayton area from Colorado, where Katie did her residency. Katie now works at Miami Valley Hospital. The couple list the many qualities of neighborhood that they were looking for, stating that diversity among the neighbors and homes, neighborhood personality and social events were top priorities. Jeff, a web designer who works from his home, recounts how the Historic South Park website really sold the couple on the neighborhood. Jeff grew up in Centerville and Katie is from Kettering, but neither had ever heard of the vibrant neighborhood that they feel so lucky to have found. Both Jeff and Katie agree that they do not know anyone else who lives in a neighborhood like theirs.
The famous Porch, Patio and Deck Parties really drew the family in, making them feel like they were welcome and a part of a community. This is not all that Jeff and Katie feel blessed to be a part of they explain; “we feel like our family is part something special by being part of the history of this home.” The Goeke’s home was one of many that were restored by Full Circle Development as part of the revitalization effort of Historic South Park. Jeff recalls how he was first impressed by the vision of the neighborhood and the developers helping to make it a reality. Katie commented that she liked how each house had distinct features and that the authenticity of the homes had been maintained. The couple agrees that it is the direction of the neighborhood that affirms their decision to choose South Park.
When asked what they would tell someone considering South Park for their home, Katie affirmatively says “do it, you won’t be disappointed.” Jeff considers the question and explains that one should come to the neighborhood with an open mind, ready to experience a wider range of emotions than in suburbia. The couple accepts that there are challenges to urban living and agree that it is not for everyone, but are content to be in a place where they know that their family is part the solution. In fact, they looked at many of Dayton’s urban neighborhoods before choosing their home and decided that they were the special kind of people that appreciate bike rides downtown, walks to RiverScape, and culinary adventures to nearby restaurants. Reflectively Jeff states, “It is one thing to buy a house, but if you are looking for a neighborhood, South Park is it!”