Proximity And Price

Brenda Sissoko

Brenda Sissoko

Homeport’s ‘American Addition’ Homes Proving Popular

American Addition’s revitalization is bringing hope to long-time residents of the century old, historically neglected African-American community in northeast Columbus. Yet for new residents, some of the move-in appeal is more about pragmatism than tradition.

“My commute is going to be cut in half,” said Brenda Sissoko, a J.P. Morgan Chase employee currently commuting Downtown from Reynoldsburg.

Sissoko also found her future home’s cost very favorable compared to other residential areas she had explored. The three-bedroom, two-bath ranch-style home she is buying is one of eight American Addition homes Homeport is selling from $116,000 to $120,000.

The eight homes (3/2 or 3/1½), one or two-stories, should be constructed by March 2017. Homeport plans to build another nine shortly afterwards. It has already constructed 12 homes in the community. All are built to high quality, energy efficient standards.

American Addition was platted in 1898. In the early 20th Century, it attracted poor black families from the south, including Tennessee and Georgia, looking for better jobs and lives.

Some of the families raised hogs and cows and grew vegetables. The neighborhood was annexed into the City of Columbus in 1959, having existed for decades on limited sewer and water infrastructure, gas and electricity.

The 60-acre community, through neglect and attrition, had shrunk down to 52 homes before the city – under the leadership of now former Mayor Michael B. Coleman -- began to address unmet promises for better streets, drainage and lighting.

The first phase of infrastructure improvements took place from January 2013 to December 2014; the second and final phase began construction in October of this year and is scheduled to be completed fall 2017.

The total investment for both phases is almost $11.2 million, roughly $1.2 million above the original commitment, according to Hanna R. Jones, Deputy Director of Community Development for Columbus.

Jones said the improvements include:

·       Reconstruction and new installation of roadways and alleys;

·       Construction of ADA compliant curb ramps, gutters, curbs, storm drainage system and water lines;

·       Added streetlights and trees;

·       Updated traffic signs and pavement markings;

·       Incorporation of green features such as rain gardens and pervious concrete curbs.

“In addition to the City’s infrastructure commitment we have continued to provide funding through our homeownership Development Program for the construction of the single family homes throughout the neighborhood,” Jones said.

Sissoko, the future American Addition resident, was a homeowner when she lived in North Carolina. She rented when she moved to Central Ohio 11 years ago. Only in the last few years did she consider being a homeowner again, enrolling in Homeport’s homebuyer education, home repair and financial fitness classes.

“I have taken every class they offered,” she said.

She then began looking for a home.

“I was working with a Realtor, but everything was not good for me (price wise),” she said.

She eventually learned from Homeport’s web site about the homes it was selling in American Addition.

Sissoko said she settled on the Westminster or ranch option after Angela Printup, Sales Manager for Homeport’s Home Ownership Department, took her to see homes Homeport was building on the city’s West Side.

“I was able to see the house, walk in, see the type of work the contractor did. I was happy and we got the ball rolling for me to purchase at American Addition,” Sissoko said.

In June, she committed to American Addition. Now she is watching the construction.

“I am happy to see the ground is broken now and things are happening,” she said.

(To learn more about American Addition home purchase opportunities, contact Homeport Sales Manager Angela Printup at 614 545-4826.)