Apartments and townehomes slated for former St. B’s site

The Columbus City Council gave final approval to an ordinance targeting the former site of the St. Bartholomew Catholic Church and surrounding area as an economic development target area. The site, in the 700 block of Sycamore, had been targeted for affordable-housing units on at least two occasions. However, developers were unable to obtain the state tax credits necessary to make the projects financially feasible.

Rubicon Development Group is planning a nearly $9.3 million investment to renovate the church building and develop apartments and townhomes. Developers say approximately 60 market-based rate apartment units are expected to be developed, along with six townhomes for purchase. During Tuesday evening’s council meeting, Rubicon officials suggested rent prices would range from $950 to $1,350 per month. Townhome sale prices are expected to be in the $250,000-$300,000 range.

Council also approved a 10-year tax abatement for the development, expected to save the company around $1.7 million over that period. Even with the abatement, the site is still expected to generate nearly $1.8 million in tax revenue for the city over the next 10 years. Rubicon says that tax savings from the abatement will be passed on to those who purchase townehomes, as the abatements are transferable. Robin Hilber with the city’s office of redevelopment noted that these abatements can be used strategically to encourage home-ownership in targeted areas.