Affordable-housing apartment complex in the works for Whitehall

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
The $25 million Enclave on Main project is a 4-story, 102-unit apartment complex set to occupy the corner of Main Street and Maplewood Avenue.

Developers continue to be bullish on the Whitehall real-estate market.

The $25 million Enclave on Main project is a 4-story, 102-unit apartment complex set to occupy the corner of Main Street and Maplewood Avenue.

The Woda Cooper Cos. Inc., based in Columbus' Brewery District, is seeking a rezoning of three contiguous properties – 3540 E. Main St. and 739 and 721 Maplewood Ave. – from residential and general commerce to multifamily.

The affordable-housing development would have a mix of one, two and three bedrooms, said Clay Cooper, assistant vice president of development for Woda Cooper, which specializes in affordable housing. The company now operates in 15 states and will enter the Minnesota market with a project planned to start by early next year.

“it’s a great transit corridor on Main Street, great access to public transportation,” he said.

Cooper said rent will be income-based for tenants.

According to the Affordable Housing Alliance Central Ohio organization, housing is generally considered "affordable" if a low-income renter is paying no more than 30% of his or her income for housing (rent and utilities) or if a low-income owner is paying no more than 30% of his or her income for mortgage and utilities. A household is housing-cost-burdened if it pays more than 30% of income for housing and has severe housing cost burden if it pays more than 50% of income for housing.

Whitehall has been the center of development activity for a number of years, with the opening of Norton Crossing; a yet-to-be-named major redevelopment at the northeast corner of East Broad Street and North Hamilton Road; the Broadwood at Broad and Robinwood Avenue; and the Yearling Green apartments on Rickenbacker Avenue.

“It’s an absolutely an exciting time to be a development in Whitehall,” he said. “In the partnership with the city, they hold us developers to a high standard. They want to make sure we build a high-quality project.”

“The city is committed to ensuring that as Whitehall redevelops underused properties, we do so in a way that supports the diverse needs of our community,” said Zach Woodruff, director of development and public service for the city. “So, while we're happy to welcome new market-rate developments – like the Broadwood and Norton Crossing apartments – we're also pursuing affordable and workforce solutions to provide new housing opportunities to a wider range of income levels.

“The proposed Enclave on Main development is not only in line with the city's commitment to supporting affordable housing; it's also in line with our recently adopted development blueprint which calls for embracing density, especially in areas with access to public transit, such as on Main Street."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary