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Decade in Development: From Poindexter Village to Legacy Pointe

Walker Evans Walker Evans Decade in Development: From Poindexter Village to Legacy PointePhoto by Walker Evans.
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A lot has changed in Columbus between 2010 and 2020. In this series we take a look at large-scale development projects and trends that shape where we live, work and play.

In 2010, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and Ohio State University President Gordon Gee jointly announced a $10 million investment into the city’s Near East Side, centered around the OSU East Hospital. The plan was to improve the quality of life, housing stock, safety and job opportunities for the King-Lincoln District and surrounding Near East neighborhoods.

From that announcement, PACT (Partners Achieving Community Transformation) was born from a collaboration between OSU, The City of Columbus and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA). The group held multiple rounds of community input sessions in 2012 to produce a “blueprint” in 2013 for the larger 800 acre area.

That $165 million redevelopment plan showcased multi-pronged approach with development only being one aspect, albeit the most visible component. The blueprint included several targeted areas within the neighborhood with the largest being the low-income housing site known as Poindexter Village.

Poindexter redevelopment plan — Map courtesy of CMHA.

The demolition of Poindexter Village began in 2013 after relocating low-income residents to other communities through a voucher program. A plan unveiled in 2014 called for the redevelopment of the site as a diverse mixed-income neighborhood with over 350 residential units, which was supported by a $30 million grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The demolition of Poindexter Village — Video by Walker Evans.

That federal investment allowed the multi-phase 25-acre development to accelerate with the majority of construction completed or under way by 2018. Two of the original buildings on site were preserved and designated as a site for a museum to honor the history of the area, but updates have been scarce since the original planning in late 2016.

New residences under construction in October 2017 — Photo by Walker Evans.
New buildings facing Mount Vernon Avenue at Legacy Pointe in October 2019 — Photo by Walker Evans.

Today, the final phases of Legacy Point are under construction, likely to be fully completed in 2020. Relocated low-income residents from Poindexter Village were given the first option to relocate back Legacy Pointe, but representatives with PACT reported a low adoption rate for that program — unsurprising as most former residents had resettled six years prior and weren’t interested in relocating again.

The operations and management of PACT was reorganized in 2019 after CMHA and the City of Columbus opted not to renew funding following the original five year financial commitment. Moving forward, PACT will be operated as an extension of OSU.

For more info, visit www.legacypointeaptliving.com and www.eastpact.org.

Read more from the Decade in Development series

Note: Walker Evans volunteered on the Board of Directors at PACT from 2016 to 2019.

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