Loan moves ahead for downtown apartment developer

A $5.8 million dollar city loan will go to a downtown developer of apartments and Sixth and Washington streets in Columbus.

That comes after the approval of Columbus City Council this week and a large number of residents protesting the plan.

Flaherty & Collins plans to build an estimated 50-apartment complex on the small lot beside the Cummins parking garage. The company plans to construct a complex with first floor commercial space and apartments above.

The developer plans to spend about $11 million for the project, but are turning to the city for another $5.8 million in financing to make the project work.

Many residents spoke out against the project over several city meetings, with concerns about why the city is subsidizing a higher-end apartment building, when there is such a need for affordable, low-income housing in the city. The apartments are expected to rent for local market rates, in the neighborhood of $1,300 a month according to the developer.

The forgivable loan funds would come from the city’s tax increment financing district revenue, which comes from the growth in property taxes in the city’s special taxing units.

Columbus City Council gave its final approval to the loan at its meeting this week with a 4-2 vote. Councilmen Tom Dell, Frank Miller, Tim Shuffett and Dave Bush voted in favor. Council members Jerone Wood and Grace Kestler voted against the proposal. Councilwoman Elaine Hilber abstained from the votes because she works for Cummins.

Photo courtesy of Hadley Fruits for Landmark Columbus Foundation.