The Columbus Dispatch
Jaycees want affordable housing Downtown
Would add culinary center to Rich and Main streets
The North Columbus Jaycees have proposed adding three apartment buildings and a training center next to the organization’s existing apartment building on East Rich Street Downtown that would add more than 100 affordable apartments to the core of the city.
“In the Downtown area, there’s a lot of places to work there ... and a lot of Downtown living coming into play, but not a lot that is affordable, and that’s our specialty,” said Greg Thirtyacre, president and founder of the NCJC (North Columbus Jaycees) Housing & Development Foundation, which is proposing to develop the site with Sunset Development.
The development would occupy most of the block bounded by East Rich Street, East Main Street, South 5th Street and Franklin University.
The project would include two fivestory buildings fronting East Main Street, each of them containing 60 apartments.
In addition, the project calls for a five-story building immediately west of the existing Jaycees Arms residence, to contain a training center for “wellknown existing culinary programs,” according to a plan presented to the city. On top of the two-story training center would be three floors of housing containing 18 apartments.
Thirtyacre did not identify the proposed operator of the culinary center because he said details are still being worked out.
Thirtyacre said the three new buildings would complement the existing 11story Jaycee Arms, which opened in 1971 and includes 220 low-income senior apartments.
“We’ve got 220 senior citizens who already live there,” he said. “Our overall goal is to develop the block to put families there in there, which makes it nice for grandmothers. It makes it more homey with different age groups, and different incomes and families, putting it all together, similar to what you’d find in a neighborhood.”
In addition to one- and two-bedroom apartments, the buildings would include three-bedroom units suitable for a family, a rarity Downtown.
The buildings along Main Street also would include space for ground-floor retail, which Thirtyacre hopes can be occupied by tenants that can serve residents and the neighborhood.
“We’re hoping to put amenities in those places to accommodate the residents,” he said. “Now they walk across the street to the gas station to buy milk. Our thought is we could put something in like a coffee shop, maybe a drug
Thirtyacre said developers are still working out financial details of the project but he expects each building to cost $15 million to $20 million. Rents have not been determined, but he’s hoping apartments can rent for under $1,000 a month.
No timetable has been set for the project.
Thirtyacre said the organization is applying for low-income tax credits for the development. If those are approved, he said he would like to break ground in 2022.
The plan will be presented to the Downtown Commission on Wednesday. firstname.lastname@example.org @Jimweiker