CCIIR Interest In Homeport Mission Grows

Business Development Representative Mark Chieffo of Ferguson Construction Company, Farmers Insurance Agent Jim Janosik and Executive Vice President Leslie Biskner of Cooperative Business Services were among the CCIIR members sprucing up American Addition.

Business Development Representative Mark Chieffo of Ferguson Construction Company, Farmers Insurance Agent Jim Janosik and Executive Vice President Leslie Biskner of Cooperative Business Services were among the CCIIR members sprucing up American Addition.

American Addition Benefits From Commercial Realtors Organization

Since 2013 they’ve swung golf clubs to benefit Homeport and its affordable housing mission. Now members of Columbus Commercial Industrial Investment Realtors (CCIIR) have added other instruments of force to the cause, from power blasters to chain saws.

On July 27 at Northstar Golf Club, CCIIR will host for the fifth consecutive year a scramble style team golf tournament benefitting Homeport.

But on June 7, members of the commercial real estate organization were busy improving the community center and entrance of American Addition, the 120-year-old Northeast Columbus subdivision Homeport is revitalizing through new home construction.

“Our members understand the needs of our community, and with our involvement with Homeport we’re able to drill down further in our commitment,” said Travis McIntyre, Vice President of Real Estate Lending at First City Bank and longtime CCIIR board member.

CCIIR members power washed the rear walls of the Tray Lee Center at American Addition. They also cleared the lot of nuisance trees.

CCIIR members power washed the rear walls of the Tray Lee Center at American Addition. They also cleared the lot of nuisance trees.

Sixty-acre American Addition, through neglect and attrition, had shrunk to 52 homes before the City of Columbus committed millions of dollars to address unmet promises for better streets, drainage, lighting and housing. Homeport has built 12 3-bedroom, 2 or 1 ½ bath, one- and two-story homes, is completing eight others and plans to begin construction on nine more this year.

CCIIR volunteers were at the American Addition neighborhood twice prior June 7 to map out improvements and determine the amount of materials that they would fund to beautify grounds.

When June 7 arrived, CCIIR members used chain saws to clear three nuisance trees at the rear of the community center. To keep the ground level for children, the members backfilled holes with dirt they loaded on a truck driven by Homeport Project Manager Becky Neubauer.

CCIIR members also power washed and peeled old paint from the rear of the building -- and have plans to have it repainted thanks to a member’s relationship with Home Depot.

CCIIR members cleared nuisance trees as part of their cleanup efforts at American Addition. 

CCIIR members cleared nuisance trees as part of their cleanup efforts at American Addition. 

Near the American Addition monument next to Joyce Avenue, CCIIR members pulled weeds and put down grass, mulch and plants.

The overall effort was timed in conjunction with Realtor Care Day program organized by Columbus Realtors.

American Addition historian and advocate Marie Moreland-Short was thrilled by the growing interest in her community platted in 1898 and that served for decades as home for working class families who migrated from the South.

“I love it, but I prayed about it. I made a prayer that American Addition be made whole again,” said Moreland-Short.

(Individuals or organizations interested in participating in American Addition or other Homeport initiatives can contact Leah Evans, Homeport Vice President of Neighborhood Strategies at 614-545-4829 or leah.evans@homeportohio.org.)