Council approves Cole bond payoff

The city of Columbus will use about $939,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars to pay off bonds that helped fund construction of The Cole apartment complex.

Columbus City Council has approved a resolution authorizing the Columbus Redevelopment Commission to make the necessary payments to retire the bonds.

The city issued the Series 2011 bonds in the original amount of $1.635 million and loaned the proceeds to Buckingham Cole, LLC to fund “a portion of the costs of the design, construction and related capital costs of developing an approximately 146-unit residential building with approximately 8,000 additional square feet of commercial space.”

In order to fund the creation of The Cole, the city created a TIF district centered on the project site so that the developers’ property tax dollars would go toward repaying the bonds. The district is known as the South Commons Residential Block TIF or The Cole TIF.

Previous reporting by The Republic in 2010 stated that the bond amount was $2.5 million. Redevelopment Director Heather Pope said that she is unsure as to why the amount on the resolution is different, but the $1.635 million is also what was on the amortization schedule as the original principal balance.

“Since 2011, we have been paying towards that bond,” she told the council. “That TIF district was set up where 90% of the proceeds went to the debt service, and 10% was kept within the allocation area. And we have enough funds within that allocation area, combined with some funds from the Central Allocation Area, to pay off these bonds.”

The total payoff is $939,179, which includes $311,325 from The Cole TIF and $627,854 from the Central TIF. Pope wrote in a memo to the council that the redemption date has been set for April 20, 2023, which allows for savings of a little over $310,000.

This doesn’t include the savings from trustees’ fees the city would have had to pay over the life of the bond, which she has estimated to be an additional $8,000.