Homeport To Begin Building In Milo-Grogan By Spring

Homeport Project Manager Justin Metzler at presentation on Milo-Grogan development; On right, City Council Member Michael Stinziano listens.

Homeport Project Manager Justin Metzler at presentation on Milo-Grogan development; On right, City Council Member Michael Stinziano listens.

33 Homes Represent $8.6 million Infusion Northeast Of Downtown

As early as Spring of 2017, Homeport will be constructing 33 one and two-story homes for rent in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood adjacent to upward trending Italian Village and the new operations of equipment manufacturer Rogue Fitness.

The scattered site development – a lease-option purchase program -- will be for residents of moderate income and represents a much appreciated $8.6 million infusion northeast of Downtown. 

“We’re extremely excited about Homeport coming to Milo Grogan,” said Robert Barksdale, Chair of the Milo- Grogan Area Commission.  “It helps to stabilize the neighborhood.” 

Justin Metzler, Milo-Grogan project manager for Homeport, said Homeport, through Wallick Communities, would be leasing the 3-bedroom, 1½ to 2-bath, 1,400 square foot homes in Milo by fall of 2017.

The homes will be rented to individuals and families who earn no more than 60 percent of the average median income for Columbus. That would be $41,760 for a family of four based on Franklin County median income of $69,600.

Barksdale praised the timing by Homeport given home sales in nearby Italian Village ranging from $400,000-$500,000, and 500 jobs expected from Rogue’s 600,000 square foot facility being built at the corner of East Fifth and Cleveland avenues.

“A Kirwan Institute (of Ohio State University) study has documented that when you can revitalize neighborhoods adjacent to higher income neighborhoods then you are much more likely to have success,” said Barksdale, who grew up in Milo.

The boundaries of the Milo-Grogan project are East Second Avenue to the South, Camden Avenue to the North, St. Clair Avenue to the East and Interstate 71 to the West.

Almost all the properties Homeport will be building on were purchased from Columbus and Franklin County land banks.

Homeport has previously built 18 single-family homes in Milo-Grogan. Individuals who leased those homes now have an opportunity to purchase them under terms of the construction funding 15 years ago. Similar lease-option provisions will apply to the newer homes being built by Homeport.

Homeport has been interested in more development in the Milo area for a few years. In June, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) awarded $1.5 million in low income housing tax credits that led to $7 million in housing tax credit equity from Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. Joining in the funding are the city of Columbus, NeighborWorks America, The Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County, and KeyBank.

Construction will be designed for LEED Homes Silver Certification, a U.S. Green Building Council standard that addresses energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality and use of recyclable materials.