Nonprofit Developer Eyes Potential Projects in Columbus
A nonprofit developer with a reputation for tackling large, complicated mixed-income projects is opening an office in Columbus.
The Community Builders (TCB) was founded in Boston in 1964. The organization says it has “completed or preserved” more than 30,000 homes and developed over 855,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, in addition to maintaining a portfolio of more than 11,000 homes that it either owns or manages.
Jeff Beam, Director of Development for TCB, said that he hopes to host an open house at the new Columbus office some time in November, but in the meantime he has been keeping busy by meeting with a wide range of city officials and community leaders.
“We are very excited about the prospect of TCB working with the city, nonprofits and other local partners,” he said. “Wherever we work, TCB’s approach is always grounded in local vision, and Columbus is a city with immense civic capacity and organizations that work in partnership on big issues.”
TCB’s previous work in Ohio has mostly been in Cincinnati, where the 700-unit City West project was completed in 2001. Like Legacy Pointe at Poindexter on the Near East Side, City West is mixed-income development that was built on the site of aging public housing.
Among the first local projects the group will be taking on is in Bexley, where Beam said that the Bexley Community Improvement Corporation has selected TCB to work on “preserving affordable family units and revitalizing” the Ferndale-Mayfield area, in the southwestern corner of the suburb.
The organization also hopes to work in the Linden neighborhood, and is in the process of submitting a proposal for the area in response to a recent posting from the City of Columbus.
“We work in high-priority neighborhoods, regardless of the challenges, by leveraging creative funding resources and aligning with strong, focused partners,” Beam said, adding that past projects have involved successful partnerships with Columbus-based firms like Moody Nolan and Skilken Gold.
When asked how he sees TCB fitting into a Columbus market already rich with local developers and nonprofit organizations focused on housing, Beam said he is confident there is a place for the organization, which has been described as the largest nonprofit developer of mixed-income housing in the country.
“I think our work here can fill an important role between the for-profit housing developers and the smaller community nonprofits,” he said, “in lifting up communities where transformational change is needed.”