Columbus Development Director Boyce Safford III was tapped yesterday by Mayor Michael Coleman to serve as the Executive Director of the Columbus Next Generation Development Corp (NGDC).
Safford will be responsible for creating investment opportunities and job creation efforts in Columbus neighborhoods, starting with a focus on East Franklinton. This section of Franklinton closest to Downtown was designated as a target for redevelopment through an urban planning effort in 2011-2012, which calls for converting the neighborhood into a dense hub of creativity.
“Under Boyce’s leadership, Columbus has become a national model for economic development while elevating our fight against vacant and abandoned housing and initiating transformative neighborhood revitalization projects in every corner of our city,” said Mayor Coleman. “I have every confidence he can bring that same level of leadership to make the Next Generation Development Corp. a success for East Franklinton and other neighborhoods throughout Columbus.”
NGDC was created in October 2012, followed by the establishment of a new tax increment financing area (TIF) for East Franklinton. These efforts are expected to speed up the process of assisting residential and commercial development in the area, along with the cleanup of blight and installation of new infrastructure. Portions of Town Street and Rich Street running through the neighborhood are expected to begin their two-way conversion this summer, which includes the installation of bicycling infrastructure.
“I appreciate Mayor Coleman’s confidence in my skills to lead this important organization as we continue efforts to revitalize our neighborhoods,” said Safford. “This is an exciting opportunity where I will be able to utilize the talents and skills I have gained while leading the Columbus Department of Development for the past six years.”
Deputy Director Nichole Leatherbury-Brandon will serve as acting Director of Development beginning February 11th.