Tax credits for projects denied

Three proposed affordable housing and senior living apartment complexes in Columbus have hit a roadblock after each was denied state tax credit financing.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has announced that applications for the tax credits from the proposed Cottage Avenue Apartments on 22nd Street, Gateway Senior Village on 14th Street and St. Bartholomew Flats on Eighth Street were denied.

A similar application for a proposed senior living apartment complex in North Vernon called Tripton Place also was denied.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority received 50 applications for rental housing tax credits but only 18 were approved, totaling about $14.3 million in financing across the state. The credits can be sold on the open market to fund affordable housing projects.

Mark Lindenlaub, executive director of Thrive Alliance, which is working on the Gateway Senior Village project, said he was surprised that his application and all the Columbus applications were all denied the tax credits.

The need for senior and affordable family housing is growing in Columbus, Lindenlaub said, and the three proposed complexes were meant to be a solution to that need.

The Gateway Senior Village and Cottage Avenue Apartments were proposed as affordable senior living apartments while St. Bartholomew Flats was proposed as an affordable family housing complex.

The Columbus City Council passed a resolution for each of those projects last fall identifying the three proposed sites as economic revitalization areas, making them eligible for tax abatements.

Although the denials are a disappointment, Mary Ferdon, city executive director of administration/community development, said she intends to meet with the developers of each of the three projects to learn if they are interested in applying for the tax credits again this fall.

Ferdon said she has already met with Keller Development, which is working in conjunction with Developmental Services, Inc. on the $9.7 million Cottage Avenue Apartments project.

That group is interested in reapplying for the tax credits, so Ferdon said she will be working with them to strengthen their application. The initial application for Cottage Avenue Apartments missed acceptance by about half a point, Ferdon said.

The next steps for Gateway Senior Apartments, a $10.4 million project, and St. Bartholomew Flats, a $5 million project, are less certain.

Both Lindenlaub and Nick Surak, vice president of development for the Woda Group, the developer for St. Bartholomew Flats, said they need to speak with the property owners before deciding to resubmit their applications. Ferdon said she has not spoken with the people working on either of those projects yet.

If the property owners are not interested in trying again, Lindenlaub said, his group will refocus its efforts on another area of the city where housing is needed for one of three groups — senior living, affordable family housing or special needs.

Another affordable housing project in Columbus is currently being financed through the housing tax credits.

Ohio-based Jonesboro Investments Corp. — who is working with Thrive Alliance on Gateway Senior Villages — is building Gateway Apartments, an affordable housing complex on the former Golden Foundry, site using the rental tax credits.

However, Jonesboro was denied tax credit funding two times before its application was finally accepted on the third try in 2014, Ferdon said.

About the projects

Cottage Avenue Apartments

Location: 1804 22nd St., Columbus

Resident type: Elderly

Units: 51

Developer: Developmental Services, Inc.; Keller Development

Estimated cost: $9.7 million

Credit requested: $891,962

Gateway Senior Village

Location: 1520 14th St., Columbus

Resident type: Elderly

Units: 54

Developer: Jonesboro Investments, Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Thrive Alliance/Housing Partnerships, Inc.

Estimated cost: $10.4 million

Credit requested: $975,131

St. Bartholomew Flats

Location: 845 Eighth St., Columbus

Resident type: Family

Units: 30

Developer: Woda Group, Westerville, Ohio

Estimated cost: $5 million

Credit requested: $493,362

Author photo
Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.