Redevelopment Commission discusses purchase of property on Water Street

The city of Columbus will take preliminary steps to inquire about the possibility of purchasing 1.71 acres of land at Water Street and Lafayette Avenue.

The city’s Redevelopment Director, Heather Pope, asked members of the Columbus Redevelopment Commission their thoughts during the commission’s meeting Monday night at City Hall. She explained that the property, which had two homes on it prior to the 2004 flood, is currently sitting vacant. The homes were torn down after being decimated by the historic flood that June. Pope said that a realtor working for the property’s current owner approached city officials to gauge interest.

The property is currently zoned “Downtown: Commercial” and is surrounded by other city-owned property. Pope noted that the property doesn’t have a conventional shape, measuring just over 100 feet deep. She added that she thought the Redevelopment Commission may want to consider purchasing the property, as the city continues to work towards establishing a thriving Riverfront District. Pope explained that if the city were to purchase the property, it would first need to get two appraisals on the property. City officials could then offer the average of the appraisals if they decided to pursue the purchase. When asked what the appraisals would cost the city, Pope estimated a total of $3,000 for both appraisals.

Some members of the commission expressed hesitation about paying that much. However, they did instruct Pope to make inquiries in to getting estimates on actual appraisal costs. Depending on those figures, the Redevelopment Commission will make a determination on whether or not to pursue the property.