Tax Credits Major Step to Redevelop Foundry Site

A proposal to redevelop the former Golden Casting Foundry site has received a major boost from federal tax credits that will enable private developers to build high-quality, affordable rental housing for low-income residents on the long-vacant property.

The City of Columbus partnered with private developers to seek the Rental House Tax Credits that will help the developers raise the necessary funds for constructing the Gateway Apartments project on a portion of the former foundry site. Last week, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) awarded the developers with the tax credits, which will provide a financing mechanism for the project. The credit is used to raise private equity investment for the construction of the development. In addition, IHCDA awarded a $500,000 soft second Development Fund loan to the project to help fund a portion of the project.

The $10.3 million Gateway Apartments project, being co-developed by Thrive Alliance and Jonesboro Investments Corp., will provide a 60-unit apartment complex with rent affordable to low-income residents. The developers are committed to environmentally remediating the property before construction.

“This project will provide high-quality, affordable housing for those with low-incomes in our community, and is therefore well-needed and very welcomed,” Mayor Kristen Brown said. “The reality is that without the incentive of federal tax credits, the developers could not viably offer this benefit to our community.  It’s also a big bonus that the project will revive a blighted property and give another major boost to a neighborhood that we’ve made a priority to revitalize.”

Mark Lindenlaub, Executive Director of Thrive Alliance, was approached by Jonesboro President Timothy Morgan at the request of Mayor Brown in fall 2013 to forge a partnership to accomplish the project. Thrive Alliance has renovated homes in the Lincoln Central neighborhood since 1989.

“We were excited that Mayor Brown thought we could help with this project,” Lindenlaub said. “We are thrilled to receive this funding. This project will be a huge boost to the neighborhood.”

The City of Columbus has pledged a 10-year property tax abatement and earmarked $55,000 in local Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to install curb and sidewalk improvements in the public right-of-way around the perimeter of the project site.  Carl Malysz, Director of the City’s Department of Community Development, said the City’s financial commitment played a significant role in securing the award. 

“The Rental House Tax Credits program is extremely competitive.  There were 45 proposals submitted and only 15 received tax credit awards,” Malysz said.  “More often than not, the difference between receiving an award or not is an expression of how badly the community wants it.”

Mark Stewart, Executive Director of the Bartholomew County United Way with its headquarters to the Golden Casting Foundry site, welcomed the apartment project to the neighborhood.

“The project will catalyze additional positive development in the area,” Stewart said. “It will eliminate an eyesore and turn the site into a point of pride.”

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