Graceland Apartment Project Moving Forward
A three-year-old proposal to build an apartment complex at the Graceland Shopping Center in Clintonville has been revived, thanks to a partnership with a local affordable housing developer.
Originally proposed as a market-rate project by CASTO, the developer has brought in Homeport as a partner and now plans to build a 180-unit complex in which half of the apartments will be affordable for those making between 80 and 100 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
The new development – to be called Graceland Flats – is supported by financing from the Federal Housing Administration’s construction loan program and the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County.
That’s financing that wouldn’t be available if it were a purely market rate project, according to Homeport President & CEO Bruce Luecke.
When asked how the organization came to be involved in the Graceland project, Luecke said that the partnership really dates back to work done with CASTO on the redevelopment of the Barrett Middle School in Merion Village.
“We continued to talk (since then), and a deal came up that just made sense for both of us, (so) we jumped on it,” he said, adding that he hopes to see more such collaborations in the future.
“I do think this is a nice model….and if you think about that location, you have a lot of people who are working near there, and not a lot of affordability,” said Luecke. “This is a nice tool to be able to develop more mixed-income housing in the places where it’s needed.”
The new complex will be made up of six separate, three-story buildings. It will be located in the southwest corner of the shopping center, on a vacant lot that sits just south of an LA Fitness Center and east of the athletic fields known as Kenney Park.
Construction is scheduled to start in October, according to CASTO.