Mike Wolanin | The Republic An exterior view of Columbus Transitional Care and Rehabilitation, 2100 Midway St., in Columbus, Ind., Thursday, April 2, 2020.

The Columbus City Council will consider tonight declaring the location of a potential affordable housing development an economic revitalization area (ERA), the first step towards qualifying for a tax abatement.

Housing Partnerships Inc. (HPI), a non-profit that does business as Thrive Alliance, is planning a development called Haw Creek Meadows that would be a combination of workforce family housing and housing for seniors to be built over two phases.

It would be located at the site of the former Columbus Health and Rehabilitation Center at 2100 Midway St. and reserved for those making 30, 50 and 60 percent of area median income (AMI), Thrive Alliance officials have said.

The council will be voting on a declaratory resolution to establish the area as an ERA and if approved, the council would then have to pass a confirmatory resolution on the matter during their meeting on July 16 to officially qualify HPI for a tax abatement.

The project will likely be up for bids in the second quarter of next year and construction will start by the third quarter, Kevin Johnson, executive director of Housing Partnerships at Thrive Alliance, has said. Build time is expected to take 15 to 18 months with leasing getting started in 2026.

Haw Creek Meadows would require demolition of the existing property on site and the construction of a new four-story building — the total project cost for phase one is expected to be $20.6 million, Andrew Lanam of Stifel Public Finance told the redevelopment commission last week.

Phase one would see 64 workforce family housing units with a child care component and phase two would encompass 64 units for seniors.

The child care facility would be open to both residents and non-residents and focused on children up to age 3, Johnson told the redevelopment commission. He added they plan to have an agreement in place with a licensed childcare provider who will work in the facility.

HPI intends to ask for a 10-year real property tax abatement on a $14.4 million investment, according to city documents. The tax abatement itself would also be voted on during the July 16 meeting.

In a letter directed to Director of Community Development Robin Hilber, Johnson said the 64-unit building would result in 1.5 full-time equivalent positions by the end of 2026 at an average wage of $24.61, plus the creation of an estimated 100 temporary construction jobs.

HPI is applying for an award of 9 percent federal low-income housing tax (LIHT) credits in the amount of $13 million to help with financing of the project, along with about $3.3 million in Regional Economic Acceleration & Development Initiative (READI) funds through the South Central Indiana Housing and Community Development Corporation (SCIHCDC).

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission on June 24 voted to contribute to the project an amount not to exceed $4.65 million from the city’s central tax increment financing (TIF) district. However, how much TIF funds the redevelopment commission will actually end up contributing will depend on the amount of READI funds awarded, and will be reduced dollar for dollar on an award greater than $2 million. Because of this, the TIF dollars wouldn’t realistically go out until calendar year 2025, Lanam said last week.

The city council will have to sign off on the redevelopment commission’s contribution because it is an expenditure greater than $500,000. That will be on the July 16 agenda as well, Director of Redevelopment Heather Pope said.