Living Our Values- Establishing a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) in Columbus, Ohio
Just recently one of our team members had an excellent example of how we are creating value through real estate – the newly established Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) surrounding our Riverside Trail property in Columbus, Ohio! Riverside Trail will have 248 apartment homes on the East side of Columbus, and will serve 60% AMI families. We closed on it in March and construction is in progress.
When Caroline Kimmel was in the development process for Riverside, she realized that the area would benefit from being declared a Community Reinvestment Area. Doing so would allow all newly constructed affordable housing (and rehabbed housing with an affordable component) to be allowed a 15 year tax abatement. This would not only benefit Riverside, it would hopefully spur other developers to work in the area, as they would also receive the abatement. Affordable housing is badly needed in the area- a recent study identified that Franklin County (Columbus) as having a shortage of 55,000 affordable units based on projected growth over the next five years.
After identifying the solution, Caroline worked with Ice Miller, a law firm, Councilwoman Shayla Favor, and Steve Shoeny, Director- Columbus Development Department, to craft legislation that would declare the area a CRA, thus making the area more desirable for revitalization efforts! This CRA is the first for affordable housing in the City of Columbus, and HKP is the first developer to create a new CRA under the “ready for revitalization” category. For more information on the CRA, you can read this article.
This effort took Caroline, Ice Miller, and Steve Schoeny from the City of Columbus about 7 months to accomplish, and it was certainly time well spent. While HKP did not need the CRA in order to develop Riverside Trail, we appreciate Caroline’s ability to see the big picture in a solution that would benefit both the company and the community we will be working in! Her efforts exemplified our Culture, Community and Commitment values, and will provide value to the community for years to come (15 to be exact)!