Homeport Receives Critical ‘Hamilton Crossing’ Funding

64 Apartments Slated For Property Once Home To 'Swimland'

Fresh off the recent openings of the Eastway communities off East Broad Street, Homeport has been awarded financing to advance another affordable senior apartment community in Whitehall.

Construction of the 64-apartment “Hamilton Crossing” community at the southeast corner of Etna and Hamilton roads could begin in late spring 2016 thanks to an allocation of $1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits through the Ohio Housing Financing Agency.

“This is a big moment for Homeport. This is a big moment for Whitehall. This is a wonderful opportunity for the residents who will be able to move there in the summer of 2017,” said Amy Klaben, President/CEO of Homeport.

The $11.4 million three-story building will be constructed on property that for decades was home to “Swimland,” a popular, privately-owned swimming pool that closed in 2008. The city purchased the vacant 5-acre parcel in 2014 for approximately $300,000 with the idea Homeport would be able to cover the expense and build on it.

Whitehall is committed to providing diversity of housing and to making sure “our city residents can age in place,” said Zachary Woodruff, Whitehall’s Director of Economic & Community Development.

 “Both Homeport and Whitehall see great strengths in the site,” said Lisa Minklei, a member of Homeport’s development team.

“It will serve the City of Whitehall as a gateway to a larger community area, with John Bishop Memorial Park and the Whitehall Senior Center just down the street on Etna Road,” Minklei said.

“In addition, its Hamilton Road location puts it within walking distance of shopping and restaurants -- and numerous other amenities via COTA buses.  The $11.4 million dollar total investment will serve both the City and the residents well,” Minklei added.

Six of the one- and two-bedroom apartments will be set aside and designed for independent seniors with mental or physical challenges, an initiative driven in partnership with Central Ohio non-profit Creative Housing.

The demand for affordable senior apartments in Whitehall has been evident long before the 66-apartment Eastway Village community was opened in the fall of 2013, Woodruff said.

Each week before Eastway’s completion the city received two to three phone calls regarding availability. The demand and interest continued right through the now fully-occupied 32-apartment second phase of Eastway, known as Eastway Court, that opened in April.

“We believe the market will be very strong for Hamilton Crossing,” Woodruff said.

Rent for the 64 Hamilton Crossing apartments, if based on 2015 standards and guidelines, could range from $285 for a single bedroom to $685 for a two-bedroom. Nobody will pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income for rent.

Using the same guidelines, tenants could not earn more than $29,400 to be eligible for a one-person household or $33,600 for a two-person household.

Individuals must be at least 55 years old to rent an apartment at Hamilton Crossing.