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Homeport Planning Affordable Housing for Main Street Downtown

Brent Warren Brent Warren Homeport Planning Affordable Housing for Main Street DowntownRendering provided by Homeport.
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Homeport wants to see more affordable housing Downtown, and they think their former office building at 562 East Main Street is a good place to start. The nonprofit housing organization will bring preliminary plans for a 60 unit, five-story apartment building to the Downtown Commission tomorrow.

The new building would replace the 10,000 square foot building and adjacent surface parking lot where Homeport’s administrative staff worked until moving to Agler Road last spring. The apartment units would be a mix of one- and two-bedrooms, and would come with income requirements — for instance, a two-person household would have to make less than $34,000 a year to qualify.

“The need is significant for workforce housing,” said George Tabit, Vice President of Real Estate Development at Homeport, who pointed out that 40% of jobs Downtown pay less than $40,000 a year while most new development targets a much higher income bracket.

Tabit said the idea is to introduce the plan to the commission and receive any initial feedback they may have, with a formal submittal and design review to follow in the future.

Although the initial plan does not call for any retail in the building, Tabit stressed that part of the first-floor parking garage could be converted in the future if the market called for it.

Homeport intends to apply for affordable housing tax credits to help fund the project. Those credits are awarded in June, and if the project is chosen and also receives approval from the commission, construction on the building could start in the first or second quarter of 2017.

“Downtown is booming,” said Tabit. “But what we’re not seeing in the market is affordability. So if there’s an opportunity to add some now, while there’s still land available, before it’s all been absorbed… this could be a great chance to do that.”

CLICK HERE to read more about the plans of the new Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio.

For more information, visit www.homeportohio.org.

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