By: Mark Ferenchik
The Columbus Dispatch
April 17, 2020
The projects will be funded with low-income housing tax credits. The city of Columbus will also be providing federal money: $400,000 for each project.
Three low-income housing developments are coming to Franklinton amid higher-end projects nearby.
‒ Gates Junction, at 137 W. Broad St., developed by National Church Residences, which will have 50 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units.
‒ McDowell Place, 79-83 McDowell St., developed by Kaufman Development and nonprofit builder Homeport, with 12 one-bedroom units, 33 two-bedroom units and five three-bedroom units. Residents will share a parking garage with the Gravity II project being developed.
‒ Warner Junction at 719 W. Rich St., developed by the Model Group of Cincinnati, with four duplexes and 40 one- and two-bedroom units near the former Mount Carmel West hospital site.
The projects will be funded with low-income housing tax credits. Columbus will also be providing federal money: $400,000 for each project.
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency in 2018 launched an initiative to create mixed-income communities in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. The Fair Housing Act 50 Building Opportunity Fund distributes $3 million in housing tax credits in neighborhoods where trends show that affordable housing is at risk.
Bruce Luecke, Homeport’s executive director, said the $10 million project on McDowell will help provide affordable housing in an area that will also continue to see more upscale development just west of Downtown.
“With the new investment in Franklinton and with all the development either ongoing or planned, there is still a need for diversity in that marketplace,” Luecke said. “We want to preserve affordability in that marketplace.”
Rents will be affordable to those making between 30% and 80% of the area median income. That would range from $16,380 for a single person and $23,400 for a family of four to $43,700 for one and $62,400 for a family of four.
Plans still call for demolition of the vacant West Side Spiritualist Church to make way for the project, Luecke said. Columbus Landmarks has opposed the demolition of the church. Columbus Landmarks believes the concrete block church, which dates to 1911, is architecturally and historically significant.
The project will be near Kaufman’s Gravity I development on West Broad Street, an office, residential and retail complex that opened last year.
Gravity II will have a six-story, 167,000 office building at the southeast corner of Broad and McDowell, with OhioHealth as an anchor tenant. It also will have a 12-story residential and retail building on Broad Street, a five-story townhouse and apartment project on Broad Street, and an 889-space parking garage.