Council approves economic development target area, tax abatement

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Columbus City Council has approved an economic development target area, part of the process needed for a local developer to construct 16 townhomes in the downtown area.

The economic development target area where the development by Central Townhomes LLC is on 0.23 acres of land on the north side of Seventh Street between Sycamore and Chestnut Streets. Currently, four vacant houses, which will be demolished, sit on the properties.

“Originally, we were talking about looking for an area in the downtown where we could building that ‘missing middle’,” said Robin Hilber, assistant director of community development for the city. “So it definitely looks like this would be an attractive area. It’s close to the library, right across from Central Middle School, close to Lincoln CSA.”

The economic development target area designation would mean that the city could offer increased incentives, including tax abatements, to developers seeking to revitalize the area, city officials said.

The council also approved a $4.5 million tax abatement for Central Townhomes, which is for 10 years on each of the townhomes.

The abatement would save the owner of the properties — Central Townhomes LLC or whoever eventually purchases the townhomes — an estimated $193,000 in property taxes over 10 years, Hilber said.

Central Townhomes LLC has expressed interest in investing $4.5 million to build 10 two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhomes and six three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhomes on the properties, Hilber said. The townhomes would range in size from 1,000 to 1,260 square feet, and the anticipated selling price for the townhomes is between $225,000 and $275,000, Hilber said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.