'Victorian Heritage' Improvements Near Completion

Orlan Wormley is enjoying his new kitchen

Orlan Wormley is enjoying his new kitchen

Residents Return To Historic East Fifth Avenue Apartments

Homeport has reached another milestone in its initiative to preserve affordable housing in emerging neighborhoods south of Ohio State University. 

As May closed out, Homeport completed renovations and upgrades on 17 two-story, two-bedroom apartments on Fifth Avenue and Hamlet Street just east of Summit Street.

The historic buildings – built in 1909 – are at the southern border of Weinland Park, an area the city of Columbus and OSU have invested heavily to revitalize.

“The improvements by Homeport on Fifth Avenue are giving people of moderate income more opportunities to live in a desirable place, and giving employers workers who can live close by,” said Lisa Minklei, Homeport’s Interim Director of Real Estate.

Outside a 1909 building

Outside a 1909 building

Among those returning to their original apartment was Orlan Wormley, a single Dad and resident of the Fifth Avenue property since 2013.

“The inside is completely new. It’s beautiful. I love it. The kitchen is really nice,” said Wormley, who works with individuals with developmental disabilities. “There has also been a significant reduction in my electric and gas bills.”

The improvements include modern, energy-efficient cooling and heating systems and windows, as well as freshly painted walls, new kitchens appliances, cabinetry, vinyl plank flooring, carpets, showers and baths. 

The Fifth and Hamlet renovations are part of a three-site, $9 million initiative by Homeport called Victorian Heritage, funded from several sources and entities including the city of Columbus and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.

In December, eight families returned to two, two-story, historic 115-year-old brick buildings west of High Street at Clark and Dennison avenues near the Short North. Major improvements were made to kitchens, baths, cabinetry and roofs, as well as cooling and heating systems. 

The third phase of Victorian Heritage’s renovations, 34 one-bedroom apartments at 1379 N. High Street, should be complete by mid-June.  The building, for seniors, had an elevator installed during the renovations, making second and third floor apartments more accessible to residents with physical issues.

The living room view on East Fifth Avenue

The living room view on East Fifth Avenue