Columbus touts success at filling vacant, underused properties

A plan to highlight vacant and underused properties in the city of Columbus for new uses by business developers has been successful in filling about a third of the properties on the list.

Emilie Pinkston, a senior planner with the city of Columbus, told a joint meeting of the city and county plan commissions last night that the city’s infill development profiles on about 30 potential sites has helped guide development to 13 vacant or derelict lots in the city. Of those six have been completed and the rest are in various stages of construction, development and planning.

On the city web site, developers can find a current and updated list which shows areas ripe for development, what the surrounding land uses are, the zoning for the property, photos, maps and other details. The list has been especially useful for developers of affordable housing complexes, who get a boost to their applications for tax credits by building in infill locations.

Among the properties on the original list that have since seen development were the then-derelict Golden Castings Foundry site on 10th Street, the St. Bartholomew Catholic Church location on Seventh Street and the site of the new Rickers gas station and an office complex at County Road 325W and State Road 46 and the Casey’s General Store location on State Street and Gladstone Avenue, Pinkston said.

The city started the infill project in 2012.