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Weinland Park Neighbors

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Viewing 15 posts - 331 through 345 (of 579 total)
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  • #314014

    fresh
    Member

    What company is this? How do you know what their plans are and what the homes are going to look like?
    I am for rehab, not demo; out of all of the homes there, maybe 8-10 can’t be saved. Although I do generically like the idea of getting rid of some of the doubles and replacing them with ‘appropriate’ single family homes. Hard to do though, w/ $30k (I’m guessing) in demo costs.

    #314015

    roy
    Participant

    berdawn wrote >>

    SusanB wrote >>
    We have 2 of the “Lease/purchase option tax credit” homes in Hungarian Village from CHP. In the 3 years that there has been one of these styrofoam vinyl sided cheap ass new builds 2 doors down from me we have had 3 different sets of section 8 tenants. Not good for the neighborhood IMHO. I’m curious as to where the 57% purchase rate comes from (not Columbus I’m sure). Also with all the vacant housing that could be rehabbed the only reason these folks do new build is the $$$$. CHP had a $30000 “administrative overhead fee” on EACH house (they built over 30 on the South Side that round). Big monies for the “non profit” that builds them.

    the most recent 990 for OCCH (2008) states $15 million in receipts. their CEO was paid over 600K that year (86K in deferred comp, so only half a mil or so in spendable $). making the world a better place pays well for some folks.

    Is OCCH the Hal Keller operation? Is Hal CEO?

    #314016
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Oh, I forgot to mention the other day… Weinland Park neighbors may be interested in this weeks podcast with Michael Wilkos, Weinland Park resident & key behind-the-scenes figure in neighborhood stabilization & revitalization in the area:

    CU Podcast #38: Coffee with Michael Wilkos

    #314017

    labi
    Participant

    fresh wrote >>
    What company is this? How do you know what their plans are and what the homes are going to look like?
    I am for rehab, not demo; out of all of the homes there, maybe 8-10 can’t be saved. Although I do generically like the idea of getting rid of some of the doubles and replacing them with ‘appropriate’ single family homes. Hard to do though, w/ $30k (I’m guessing) in demo costs.

    I don’t really want to name the organization because I’d rather not get derailed into a discussion of the importance of their mission vs. the importance of preservation of historic housing- which always seems to devolve into thread-killing personal name-calling.

    They shared some preliminary plans at a WP civic association meeting in December, then announced at a civic assoc mtg in March six specific properties that they had optioned from the land bank. At that point, they said that they intended to demolish all 6 properties, rather than rehab. They had somewhat modified the facades of their new-build designs, but the scale/mass is still significantly too small and the quality of the exterior materials is not great.

    Of particular interest here is the fact that they say they’d like to rehab rather than do new build if possible, and there seems to be some potential for existing philanthropic “partners” of WP being willing to kick in some amount of money to upgrade design/materials. Obviously, all this is somewhat conjectural until more specific commitments are made.

    The main issue from my point of view is that there seems to be a sense that no one in WP cares much about the issues of design appropriateness or preservation of the historic housing stock here. As a resident, it concerns me a great deal that some neighborhood leaders are saying in public that our neighborhood will never be as valuable as, say, VV, IV, or GV, because we don’t have “continuous” historic housing stock like they do. In fact, we DO have that continuous housing stock right now (although it’s been in the process of demolition by neglect by non-resident property owners for decades) – and that continuous housing stock is EXACTLY what’s at risk in these demolition projects. And the architectural styles represented are better than almost everything in Clintonville and most of IV.

    Sorry, this is becoming rant-like. I’ll stop here.

    Oops, wait – P.S. If there are architects and/or engineers out there who really want to do something public-minded for historic neighborhoods, they could start coming up with cost-effective, replicable plans for converting doubles into single-family residences. WP in particular is full of 2,500-2,700 sq ft doubles that would make great, modern-sized single family homes.

    #314018

    berdawn
    Member

    roy wrote >>

    berdawn wrote >>

    SusanB wrote >>
    We have 2 of the “Lease/purchase option tax credit” homes in Hungarian Village from CHP. In the 3 years that there has been one of these styrofoam vinyl sided cheap ass new builds 2 doors down from me we have had 3 different sets of section 8 tenants. Not good for the neighborhood IMHO. I’m curious as to where the 57% purchase rate comes from (not Columbus I’m sure). Also with all the vacant housing that could be rehabbed the only reason these folks do new build is the $$$$. CHP had a $30000 “administrative overhead fee” on EACH house (they built over 30 on the South Side that round). Big monies for the “non profit” that builds them.

    the most recent 990 for OCCH (2008) states $15 million in receipts. their CEO was paid over 600K that year (86K in deferred comp, so only half a mil or so in spendable $). making the world a better place pays well for some folks.

    Is OCCH the Hal Keller operation? Is Hal CEO?

    yep.

    I noticed a lot of overlap on the most recent northside CDC board list on the 990 and OCCH staff members…very…convenient?

    #314019

    rory
    Participant

    fresh wrote >>
    What company is this? How do you know what their plans are and what the homes are going to look like?
    I am for rehab, not demo; out of all of the homes there, maybe 8-10 can’t be saved. Although I do generically like the idea of getting rid of some of the doubles and replacing them with ‘appropriate’ single family homes. Hard to do though, w/ $30k (I’m guessing) in demo costs.

    Fresh, It’s confusing because there is more than one entity involved in revitalizing Weinland Park. The main group is composed of Campus Partners/JP Morgan Chase Foundation/Columbus Foundation/Wagenbrenner Development. They want to revitalize but not gentrify the neighborhood. To be very, very, very simplistic revitalization is best thought of as getting rid of the houses but keeping the people, whereas gentrification is often thought of as getting rid of the people but keeping the houses. And removing “blight” is one of the keys.

    Campus Partners/JP Morgan Chase Foundation/Columbus Foundation/Wagenbrenner Development have been buying foreclosed and vacant houses in Weinland Park for years. They will soon use the 2.5 million dollars in Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 money to either renovate or demolish the houses they have purchased. However, if the house has been declared “blight” by the city then it can torn down using NSP2 money. The lot can then be landbanked or used for affordable housing infill or Section 8 rental properties. There is no talk of landbanking for future market rate opportunities. They can also use lots and houses that are already in the landbank under NSP2. Under NSP2 guidelines only 10% of the houses can be demolished, that would be around 80 houses in Weinland Park. In addition, other non-profit entities, such as Habitat for Humanity can use the land bank lots for affordable housing opportunities.

    It brings up a couple questions in my mind such as who gets to decide what your neighborhood is going to be like? Is the addition of possibly 70-80 additional Section 8 properties sprinkled throughout Weinland Park going to help the economic development of a neighborhood that is already 25% Section 8 now?

    To answer that Campus Partners/JP Morgan Chase Foundation/Columbus Foundation/Wagenbrenner Development will institute some job training programs for residents. Ohio State has given $750,000 over the next five years and designated Weinland Park a “Community Laboratory for Poverty”. So maybe all the money sloshing around will cure poverty in Weinland Park. But it seems to me what Campus Partners/JP Morgan Chase Foundation/Columbus Foundation/Wagenbrenner Development don’t want is gentrification and its agents, e.g. artists, young professionals, SUV driving ladies from Lewis Center or however you define it. You’ve already got German Village and Victorian Village. What if you’re in the creative class and thought you could move to transitional neighborhood, make it better and someday even cash out? I think those days are over.

    #314020

    goldenidea
    Participant

    If there are architects and/or engineers out there who really want to do something public-minded for historic neighborhoods, they could start coming up with cost-effective, replicable plans for converting doubles into single-family residences. WP in particular is full of 2,500-2,700 sq ft doubles that would make great, modern-sized single family homes.

    Robert Cauldwell’s house is a double that’s been converted to a single family. He lives on the east side of N5th St, btwn 7th and 8th Aves. He walked me through it last summer, it’s quite nice.

    As for the discussion on demolishing single fams and replacing with new build Section 8s. I could be wrong, but I don’t get the sense that the Wagonbrenner team holds THAT many properties. My guess is they hold perhaps 30 parcels, and that the majority of those houses are probably too nice to demolish (hopefully). I know they’ve bought some that had been extensively rehabbed (e.g. all new mechanicals) by the previous owners, although the surfaces (floors, walls, etc) may now be trashed due to recent tenants and in need of replacement.

    Personally, I’m against tearing down anymore of the existing housing stock than is absolutely necessary, but perhaps some of the landbanks could/should be torn down (I can think of one on N5th St). I think most of the landbanked properties are in the landbank because they are so bad off that no one will buy them. They were beyond renovating from an economic standpoint. Looking at the landbank website, I don’t see that many landbanked properties, so we’re hopefully not looking at a lot of demolition.

    I’m still optimistic that gentrification is possible for WP, but I’ll say that Wagonbrenner is hurting that trend presently as they hold all of their acquisitions in a VACANT state. There’s way too much vacany right now and a lot of it is because Wagonbrenner isn’t moving on the units they’ve bought. I’m having a hard time finding and keeping good tenants in my few units because of all of the vacancies around them. Nobody wants to live in a ghost neighborhood.

    #314021

    SusanB
    Participant

    Let’s see- 800 homes in WP. 25% Section 8 currently- that’s 200. Adding 30 more homes boosts the Section 8 homes by 15%, a significant amount IMHO.

    #314022

    labi
    Participant

    The Housing Committee of the Weinland Park Community Civic Association had a very productive meeting last night about the 6 land bank properties that have been named as potential sites for the neighborhood’s NSP 1 project (NSP = Neighborhood Stabilization Plan, which is federal stimulus money. There are 2 phases: NSP 1 and NSP 2.) The 6 properties are 2 singles and 4 doubles. Apparently the NSP 1 organization is not allowed to rehab doubles, so if they proceed with the doubles, it’ll be demolition/infill. One of the singles is in very bad condition and has already been contracted out for demolition by the land bank, so that’s going to be infill, too. The other single is in better shape and is on a block that is already well along the revitalization way. However, the project organization says they aren’t allowed to rehab anything that has been designated blighted by the city, which that single has been (all 6 properties have been.) I think that is a directive from their international organization. So we’re looking into whether the designation could be appealed or reversed in this case so the house could be rehabbed instead of demolished. The “blight” definition in the Columbus City Code is very broad, possibly written that way so it could be variously interpreted for different political, social, and economic purposes.

    As I currently understand it, there is also an NSP 2 project being developed by Campus Partners/Wagenbrenner/Cols Fdn. At first this was mostly described as a lease-to-own set of continuous new-builds adjacent to Wagenbrenner’s Columbus Coated Fabric site. But Wagenbrenner has also been acquiring individual properties all over WP, and they periodically mention at civic association meetings that they haven’t decided what should be done with them, demo or rehab, if they may end up part of the lease-to-own stuff, etc. Campus Partners’ role in the decision making has never really been laid out. Two of the Wagenbrenner properties are on my block and it’s a big deal to me what exactly ends up happening. There are only about 800 houses in WP all together, so being coy about what’s going to happen with 30 of them isn’t a small thing in my book, especially considering Campus Partners’ previous appetite for carte-blanche demolition. “We’re just assessing market conditions and funding variables” sounds very reasonable to a developer, but it is just not very comforting to the individual homeowner who will be living for decades with the results. (Half-vacant South Campus Gateway, anyone??)

    The expertise at the table so far has been predominantly social service agencies and individual homeowners. We’re starting to gather in some contractors and architects. It would be extremely helpful to have more diverse “stakeholders,” as they say. If anyone is interested in getting involved or just has something to add, please PM me.

    #314023

    labi
    Participant

    goldenidea wrote >> I think most of the landbanked properties are in the landbank because they are so bad off that no one will buy them. They were beyond renovating from an economic standpoint.

    As I see it, there are two complications with the “worth renovating or not” calculation in WP. One is that there was so much mortgage fraud here in the recent past – people using false appraisals to get $150,000 mortgages on houses whose real market value should have been more like $65,000. So banks that foreclose on those properties place the sale prices way too high. Second factor, I think, is that Wagenbrenner announced (before the market crash) that they were going to put a huge new-build development in. So every absentee landlord now feels they’re sitting on a gold mine and even if they want to sell their ridiculously dilapidated property they think it’s worth $70,000. Hard to price out a gut rehab that will be economically feasible with that starting point.

    #314024

    goldenidea
    Participant

    Let’s see- 800 homes in WP. 25% Section 8 currently- that’s 200. Adding 30 more homes boosts the Section 8 homes by 15%, a significant amount IMHO.

    Based on long-term casual observation (~8 yrs), I’d venture that the number of Section 8 units in WP is quite a bit higher than 25%. Just adding CPO units and JR Haller units might get to that percentage. I also suggest that nearly everyone living in WP (I’d venture 90%+) is receiving some kind of govenment or social service check to help pay for most of their housing and other living costs. Those other units containing people “on a check” might as well be Section 8 from the basis of what the represent to the neighborhood. So MAYBE there’s 10% of the total units occupied by people who work and/or go to school. People who are totally self-supporting.

    My point is while those 30 parcels now owned by Wagenbrenner may be statistically significant, looking at the backdrop of the neighborhood, their fate will not impact those statistics if they (stay) Section 8. HOWEVER, what is important is that were these houses to become market rate, they would go a long way to helping to turn the neighborhood b/c they would bring in SORELY NEEDED self-supporting people. One or so active families per block can start to turn the tide, I’m convinced of that.

    I can’t help but think that Wagenbrenners know this and would be inclined to support that “turn” unless it’s so easy to make big bucks staying Section 8 that they opt to grab the easy dollars. I’m trying to be optimistic and not jaded.

    I also think encouraging 30 units worth of outside self-supporting people to enter the neighborhood would also promote the idea of showing the existing residents, by example, that getting trained and getting a job is worth the effort. If so, that importation of outsiders might fit into the bigger plan to rehabilitate the existing residents, rather than to just gentrify the whole area and push those people out.

    #314025

    goldenidea
    Participant

    One is that there was so much mortgage fraud here in the recent past – people using false appraisals to get $150,000 mortgages on houses whose real market value should have been more like $65,000. So banks that foreclose on those properties place the sale prices way too high.

    Perhaps a few years ago, at the start of the meltdown, banks repossed and marketed over-inflated props, at still over-inflated prices but those days are long gone. Now-a-day, banks buy props at Sheriff sales for what they lent (which is still a lot higher than anyone else will pay) and then sell them for next to nothing and take the loss. That’s where much of the bail out money went, to cover those bank losses. I think if you look at sales in the MLS, you’ll see very few, if any WP props selling above even $50K. Waggenbrenners don’t pay nearly that much.

    The landbanked props, at least historically, have been in much worse shape the foreclosures, but few will touch them because there’s too much work needed to get them running again and too many other better options to buy instead.

    So every absentee landlord now feels they’re sitting on a gold mine and even if they want to sell their ridiculously dilapidated property they think it’s worth $70,000. Hard to price out a gut rehab that will be economically feasible with that starting point.

    I think that the gold mine mentality has existed since the early 2000s or even earlier, before CPO announced they were buying Broadstreet, and before Columbus Schools announced they were replacing the school. The Wagenbrenner initative is just the most recent planned activity drawing attention to the neighborhood. I think most investors price high when selling, both now and before, to see if there’s any suckers out there, not so much because they actually think their props are worth what they list them at. Most long-holding investors know that this neighborhood won’t turn overnight with or without whatever Waggenbrenners are planning.

    #314026

    berdawn
    Member

    NONE of the properties currently being considered are market rate or owner-occupied. The new homes being built by Waggenbrenner are tax-credit units available to those making up to 150% of area median income (~40K for a family of three, IIRC) and will not be sold for 20 years. The other units, badly designed and of questionable workmanship, would be owner occupied, but only available to low-income families, of which there are already an abundance in WP.

    #314027

    labi
    Participant

    Thanks for the info, GI. I was hoping someone would chime in with a more up-to-date understanding than I have.

    goldenidea wrote
    The landbanked props, at least historically, have been in much worse shape the foreclosures, but few will touch them because there’s too much work needed to get them running again and too many other better options to buy instead.

    I don’t think any of the six properties currently under consideration for NSP I project have been in the land bank longer than since July of 2009. Not all of them are at the same level of dereliction. I wonder if they were acquired more hastily than usual due to the knowledge that the NSP money was on its way. But once they entered the land bank, my understanding is that there was/is a kind of scramble among the nonprofits that had NSP money coming (or had tax-credit projects in mind) to acquire them, and, unlike private buyers, nonprofits can place 6-month extendable holds on land-bank properties. Not much of an opening for private investors (or, god forbid, potential owner-occupiers) there. Especially when some neighborhood leaders don’t talk about anything except how they want to keep people above 120% AMI out of the neighborhood to “protect” the conditions we have here. From listening to them, you’d never know that there are already many blocks in WP where individual homeowners have been making a difference in the revitalization effort – attractive, cared-for-looking stretches that anyone would be proud to call home. Sure, there are still crime “issues,” but no one would call VV, IV, or GV crime-free either.

    In some ways owner-occupiers are the most cost-effective way to renovate houses. It’s slow, for sure, but when people are skilled enough to do some work themselves, it can take a lot of expense out of the “is this investment feasible” question.

    The thing that kind of gets lost in all the discussion about WP problems on this thread is that there ARE changes happening that are making the neighborhood a more desirable place to live. There are opportunities here for young people to buy a place to live, enjoy working on it, and be proud of helping restore WP to the “neighborhood of choice” that it once was.

    #314028

    labi
    Participant

    berdawn wrote >>
    NONE of the properties currently being considered are market rate or owner-occupied. The new homes being built by Waggenbrenner are tax-credit units available to those making up to 150% of area median income (~40K for a family of three, IIRC) and will not be sold for 20 years. The other units, badly designed and of questionable workmanship, would be owner occupied, but only available to low-income families, of which there are already an abundance in WP.

    To be clear, although she in no way needs me to speak for her, I think Berdawn means “none of the properties being considered for NSP and/or tax credit projects.” According to plans passed out last week at one of the civic assoc mtgs, the majority of the Wagenbrenner development on the Cols Coated Fabrics site is going to be straight-up market rate housing. One of the big selling points for their lease-to-own project in my mind is that they seem committed to building houses that are at least on the exterior indistinguishable from the market-rate component.

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