National Church Residences breaks ground for Northland senior-housing project

SCOTT GERFEN
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National Church Residencies has broken ground on Northland Gate, a $16 million, a 94-unit senior-housing project by at 5771 Maple Canyon Drive.

Construction is underway on a 94-unit senior-housing project in Northland, the third such project for a community that has a high concentration of vulnerable seniors, according to data from Ohio State University's Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

National Church Residences, based in Upper Arlington, is building the $16 million Northland Gate at 5771 Maple Canyon Drive.

Columbus City Council member Emmanuel V. Remy, who spent six years as president of Northland Community Council, said he remembers the project in its infancy.

"We know the senior population will grow exponentially by 2030," he said. "We also know those residents in Northland and throughout the city would like to age in place. Having the ability to stay in their neighborhood in affordable housing means everything to the seniors out there."

Currently, Franklin County has the second-highest number of people ages 65 and older in the state, according to the 2014 Kirwan Institute study, which said this senior population is projected to grow by more than 53% by 2030, a rate five times more than the anticipated overall population growth of Franklin County.

Remy and others took part in a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 25 for the 3-story, 85,000-square-foot building, which will offer one- and two-bedroom residences.

Rents will range from $400 to $1,000, depending on income levels. The development will provide free Wi-Fi, a fitness center and outdoor walking paths.

Construction will take a little more than a year, said Amy Rosenthal, vice president of affordable development for National Church Residences.

"The community members know best, and they're coming to us saying they have a need," she said. "The data were there, too. Northland was lacking affordable senior housing. It had never received a low-income housing-tax-credit award for seniors. It felt like the time was right."

National Church Residences received $1.2 million in tax credits in 2019 from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which essentially gave the company the approval to proceed with the project.

The company already has a strong presence in the community: It manages Restoration Plaza I, II and III and owns Northland Community Center for Senior Health North and other properties in the neighborhood, Rosenthal said.

In addition to Northland Gate, National Church Residences is building two other senior-housing developments that should be completed in the next two years, according to information from the company.

Salem Village at Dublin-Granville and Karl roads will have 76 one-bedroom apartments, and Bretton Woods at 4836 Cleveland Ave. will have 62 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

National Church Residences and its financial partners have invested nearly $50 million in the Northland area, according to the company.

"The numbers of our aging population are astounding, so it's important we have partners like National Church Residences," Remy said.

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