Tentative affordable-housing project gets tax abatement

An Indianapolis developer has been granted a tax abatement for a workforce development housing project in central Columbus that could begin next year.

The Columbus City Council unanimously approved a tax abatement for Herman & Kittle Properties Inc., which has proposed building 36 apartment units as part of an affordable-housing project known as the Lofts at Ashford. The company plans to build 12 one-bedroom units and 24 two-bedroom units.

The project would be located at 10th Street and Hutchins Avenue across from Ashford Park, a 209-unit apartment complex under construction that is also being developed by the company on the former Golden Foundry site. City officials Tuesday also unanimously approved designating the vacant site as an Economic Revitalization Area, which was necessary in order to approve the tax abatement.

The site is a 1.6-acre brownfield that will require remediation in order to remove any existing deed restrictions associated with the development of a multi-family community, the company said in its tax abatement application. The company plans to do an assessment of the property since it is located near the former Golden Foundry site.

The $6.1 million project is contingent on Herman & Kittle Properties Inc. receiving tax credits from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, said Caroline Diamond, senior development analyst with the company.

The competitive tax credits, if awarded, will help finance about 80 percent of the project, Diamond said.

To qualify as a renter, a person seeking a one-bedroom apartment would have to earn no more than $27,300, which is 60 percent of the area’s median income.

A two-person household would be limited to $31,200 and a three-person household would be limited to $35,100 in annual income.

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment would be $632, while a two-bedroom unit would be $756.

The tax abatement means the company would have a tax savings of $230,000, said Robin Hilber, community development programs coordinator.

Diamond said the company was approved for a 4 percent tax-exempt bond from the state housing authority for its Ashford Park project as part of a non-competitive application it submitted.

If the project is awarded tax credits, construction work is expected to begin in August or September of 2018, Diamond said.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com