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A study analyzing potential new uses at a former foundry site in central Columbus has the backing of the Columbus City Council, but concerns remain about potential redevelopment of the property.
Tuesday, the council approved the study of the former Golden Casting Corp. site at 10th Street west of Cottage Avenue. The study presents options for the property, including using it for apartments and small businesses.
Since the foundry closed in 2003, questions have lingered about what to do with the 12.4-acre site. The size of the vacant space and the central location make it appealing, but concerns remain about possible contamination of the ground and the condition of homes in the neighborhood.
“My main concern is contamination,” said Bert Held, who lives near the site at 734 Hutchins Ave.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Next Columbus City Council meeting
WHEN: 6 p.m. Nov. 7
WHERE: Council chambers at Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.
Held said he’s worried about the decades of particulates that were emitted, and the possibility of building on that ground. He said the property needs to be cleaned.
Council members Frank Jerome and Jim Lienhoop recalled the ash that was emitted would stick to cars and houses, damaging them.
“I think there’s contamination everywhere,” Jerome said.
The foundry property is privately owned by Columbus-based KLM National.
The study started in 2006 and was updated this year. It spells out redevelopment options and includes public opinion.
The three options for the site are:
The mixed-use option received the most support during an Oct. 4 public open house to discuss the foundry site and the study, Rae-Leigh Stark, senior planner at the Columbus Bartholomew County Planning Department, told council members.
Jeff Bergman, director of the Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department, said there was much discussion during the open house about the poor condition of homes in the surrounding neighborhood and condition of the former foundry site. He said both could be stumbling blocks for development.
“Some of the surrounding housing is in less than ideal condition,” Jerome said. “If you want to put something nice in there, that would turn off buyers.”
Jerome raised the question of whether the former foundry site was located within the city’s Central Tax Increment Financing District, and whether extending the TIF district to include it would be appropriate. TIF funds could be a resource to help with the cleanup of the site, Jerome said.
Having the study approved by the council could help the city secure state and federal funds for its redevelopment, Stark told the council.
Other council business
On Tuesday, the Columbus City Council:
Rezoned four parcels of land at 1207 and 1225 Central Ave. from residential single family to residential multifamily, with a maximum height of two stories and 12 rental units for any apartments built.
Annexed and rezoned of a parcel of land at 6105 S. County Road 300W, in Wayne Township, so it could be used for The Phoenix Group’s $15 million plant project in Woodside Northwest Park on International Drive. A fiscal plan for the property, which documents how the city would provide services to the parcel, also was approved.
Approved a tax abatement of about $198,000 for Nagakura Engineering Works, 630 S. Mapleton St., to buy two new lathes to support increased production demand from a customer.
Authorized the use of money from the repurposed outdoor sports complex bond for certain capital improvement projects.
Overlay already has begun on 11 city roads. Thirty-eight other heavy traffic roads in poor condition, costing an estimated $2.4 million in repairs, are next to be bid. Twenty-five projects for city garage and parks department projects are expected to be bid this year.
Golden Casting study info
Golden Casting Corp. closed its Columbus foundry at 10th Street west of Cottage Avenue in 2003.
A city study of the 12.4-acre site began in 2006. It identified redevelopment options and gathered public opinion.
The study was updated this year, and includes public opinion from an Oct. 4 open house.
Forty people attended the open house. They were given two green stickers to indicate options they like and one red sticker to indicate an option they do not like.
The mixed-use option (residential and business) received 18 yes votes and five no votes. The small business option received 17 yes votes and four no votes. The residential option received 10 yes votes and four no votes.
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