Negotiations continue on remaining foundry acreage

A mixture of both affordable and normally-prices apartments may be built on the west side of the former Golden Foundry site, it was announced Tuesday.  

Herman and Kittle Properties of Indianapolis is preparing a task credit program request that could result in up to 190 units being built on the site, according to Carl Malysz, Columbus Community Development director.

Three other proposed uses for the 12.8 acres of vacant land where the former foundry stood have fallen by the wayside.  

The first would have created Gentry Park, a nursing home dedicated to seniors with memory ailments.

The second would have added another 200 units to the 60-unit Gateway Apartments, which are being built on the east side of the former foundry site.

But earlier this year, both property owner Matt Ellegood of KLM National LLC and Gateway developer Tim Morgan mutually determined such an expansion was not a good idea, Morgan confirmed.

“We didn’t feel it was in our best business interests to pursue that avenue,” said Morgan during a telephone interview from his office near Cleveland.

Last month, Malysz said a third potential investor, whom he described as a “bonafide apartment developer very capable of delivering a good product” were about to announce a closed deal with Ellegood

But on Tuesday, Malysz told the Columbus Board of Works and Public Safety the third potential developer has also dropped the option.    

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is continuing an environmental study of the western site, which involves extensive soil testing of the former foundry site, Malysz said.

While Morgan had earlier stated his decision to buy the vacant land was contingent on the outcome of the IDEM study, Malysz said he’s not going to speculate on reasons why the deal fell through.

Describing IDEM as “slow and methodical,” Malysz said he doesn’t expect details of the study to be released anytime soon.

At City Hall, the community development staff is now completing an update on the city’s stock of affordable housing, which is defined as monthly rent that does not exceed 30 percent of a tenant’s income, Malysz said.

Past studies show 2,700 people in Columbus pay rent that exceeds 30 percent of their monthly income, he said.

Of those people, 1,500 are spending more than 50 percent of their monthly income on rent, he said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.