Brownfield Grants to be used to Redevelop Abandoned Properties

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New life could soon be coming to some vacant and abandoned properties in the city of Columbus. Columbus City Council is expected to approve grant money that would be used to help developers cleanup the sites.

One of the properties is along Riverside Drive, north of Hayden Run Road. A developer is planning to build 152 apartments on the property. Council is expected to award the developer about $121,000 to conduct an site assessment and fix any problems.

Council will also decide whether to award $200,000 to the developer of an old shoe factory on Front Street. The developer, Casto Communities, is in the process of turning the old factory into luxury apartments and plans to use the grant money for asbestos remediation and underground tank removal.

Woods Development Group is looking at a property along Parsons Avenue in the Old Towne East neighborhood. The property was once home to a carpet warehouse, but is now vacant. The development group is planning to use the grant money to assess the site before it moves forward with the construction of 42 apartments.

10TV spoke with some in the neighborhood who say they are in favor of the idea, but are not thrilled with the development. Business owner, Matthew Mefferd said, “We are very glad and excited to have new people in the neighborhood. We are a little disappointed with the plans for the building itself, it doesn't seem to have adequate parking, the design is facing an interior courtyard instead of facing the exterior on the allies.”

The grant money is from the city’s Green Columbus Fund. The city is expected to allocate $1 million in 2014.