Affordable Housing Proposed for Franklinton Church Site
Homeport has proposed replacing a 107-year old former church at 79 McDowell St. with a four-story, 52-unit apartment building. The affordable housing nonprofit presented plans for the building to the East Franklinton Review Board last week.
According to documents submitted to the city, the apartments would be reserved for families earning 80 percent or less of the area median income. Financing for the project would hinge on it being granted tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.
Sixty parking spaces would be provided for residents in the garage of the recently-approved Gravity 2.0 development, located directly across the street.
Homeport provided a statement from President and CEO Bruce Luecke when asked to comment on the proposal:
“Homeport’s East Franklinton development will strive to capture the spirit of the community in design and, importantly, add quality affordable housing in the Franklinton community. We will continue working with the East Franklinton Review Board and area residents to make this needed housing an exciting addition to Franklinton.”
The church building, which has been vacant for about seven years, was acquired by the Franklinton Development Association in 2013 and transferred to the city’s Land Bank.
A plan from 2013 to transform the building into a new home for the Harmony Project never came to fruition.
The prospect of the building being torn down has already drawn a reaction from Columbus Landmarks. The historic preservation organization sent out an email to supporters directing them to a page with information on the building, examples of some recent church renovations in Columbus, and a petition to sign opposing its demolition.