A Community Reinvestment Area agreement that Bexley City Council is considering would enable a private developer to environmentally remediate and remodel an apartment complex at 909-925 Mayfield Place in southwest Bexley, Mayor Ben Kessler said.

Bexley has an existing CRA for southwest Bexley, Kessler said at council's first reading of Ordinance 12-19 on April 9. The legislation, if approved by council, would enact the CRA for the Mayfield Place property.

"Within that area, properties are automatically allowed to claim a 50 percent, 10-year abatement on remodeling improvements," Kessler said.

Bexley Parks LLC, a private company, acquired 909-925 Mayfield Place on April 2 for $2 million, according to Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano's website. The property generates annual taxes of $48,967.98, according to the site.

Ordinance 12-19 states that Bexley Parks LLC would undertake environmental remediation of contaminated soil at the Mayfield Place in accordance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's Voluntary Action Plan. The company would remodel the interior and exterior of the apartment complex at a total cost of $686,000, with approximately $308,000 going toward the environmental remediation, the legislation states.

The ordinance would allow for a 100 percent, 15-year tax abatement on the new improvements, Kessler said. The environmental remediation and renovations are scheduled to begin in May, he said.

Once the improvements are completed on the Mayfield Place property, "if the auditor raises the value, those taxes would be abated," Kessler said. "(Bexley Parks LLC) still pays taxes on the existing, base value of the property."

If council approves the legislation, "we're not abating current taxes," Councilman Richard Sharp said. "We're abating future improvement and value."

A condition of the CRA that Ordinance 12-19 would establish is that the apartment complex would be maintained with affordable rents for tenants, with units renting at or below the 65 percent rent limit allowed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Columbus area.

The CRA is designed to encourage property owners to invest in southwest Bexley, especially the Ferndale Place/Mayfield Place area, Kessler said.

"I think it makes sense for us to try to support responsible ownership," he said.

The ordinance was scheduled for a second reading on April 23, with the third and final reading tentatively scheduled for at 6 p.m. May 14 at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.

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