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Housing authority buys six central-city lots for redevelopment

Thursday, December 13, 2012 | 6:49 p.m. CST; updated 9:16 p.m. CST, Thursday, December 13, 2012
The Columbia Housing Authority acquired new property Thursday in hopes of creating affordable housing. The properties are next to Oak Towers, a CHA development, and property owned by the Columbia Community Development Corp., which aims to build new houses on the lots along with CHA. The acquisition cost the city $326,164.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Housing Authority has purchased six lots in the central city with the goal of developing affordable housing for low-income families.

All six lots are near the intersection of Garth Avenue and Sexton Road. They also are adjacent to or near three properties owned by the city of Columbia and three owned by the Columbia Community Development Corp.

The purchases create a good chance for all three entities to work together on a mix of affordable housing, authority CEO Phil Steinhaus said in a news release Thursday evening.

"Working with the city of Columbia and the CCDC will present some unique partnership opportunities to really engage in some creative community development work in this neighborhood," Steinhaus said. "All three organizations share a common goal of preserving and developing affordable housing in the heart of Columbia and surrounding neighborhoods."

The housing authority purchased the following lots:

  • 1 E. Sexton Road and 104 W. Sexton Road for a total of $242,664. The properties comprise nearly two acres.
  • 105 Lynn St. for $25,000. The property is 10,140 square feet.
  • 115 Lynn St. for $22,000. The property is 10,575 square feet.
  • 107 Lynn St. for $15,000. The property is 10,230 square feet.
  • 700 Oak St. for $21,500. The property is 11,880 square feet.

The housing authority closed deals on most of the properties on Dec. 5 or Dec. 6. The purchase of the Sexton Road properties closed Wednesday.

The city of Columbia owns tracts at 106, 108 and 110 W. Sexton Road. Columbia Community Development Corp. owns tracts at 109, 111 and 113 Lynn St.

The housing authority has been working to acquire land for affordable housing projects since May. In mid-September, it struck a deal to acquire land on Lambeth Drive in northeast Columbia to develop 23 apartments with support services for people with mental disabilities. New Horizons Community Support Services is a partner in that project.

The authority plans to tap state and federal tax credits to help finance the projects. It has been working with ND Consulting Group to apply for the credits.

The area of Garth and Sexton has long been considered a prime location for redevelopment not only as affordable housing but also for retail uses that would provide central-city jobs. The Columbia City Council in 2006 approved rezoning to accommodate plans by Convenant Community Development to build apartments and a grocery store on the corner. Those plans, however, never came to fruition.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.


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