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Columbus to offically take over Legacy Terrace

The city of Columbus has signed the documents to acquire Legacy Terrace, a 17-unit, senior-living complex that had been facing foreclosure.

Joe Riddle, director of the city’s Community Reinvestment program, said the paperwork between the city and Fourth Street Towers Inc., the owner of the property, was completed Tuesday and Wednesday. After the deeds are reviewed and canceled, the city will write a $1 million check using money from the sales tax city voters approved in 1999.

The sale relieves Fourth Street Towers, a Community Housing Development Organization, of a $1.5 million debt it owed to SunTrust Bank on the $2.5 million construction. Fourth Street Towers, a nonprofit organization, defaulted on the loan in February, and Columbus Council agreed in March to acquire the property at 801 Ninth St.

The complex was built in 2007 to mimic row houses that were part of the Liberty District, but only four apartments were rented, earning only $2,200 per month. Each 750-square-foot unit has a washer, dryer, stove and refrigerator.

At full capacity, the city estimates the apartments would earn only $10,940 per month — not enough to pay a possible mortgage debt of $13,000 to $14,000 per month Fourth Street Towers would have faced.

Tuesday, Columbus Council approved an agreement with the Housing Authority of Columbus to manage and operate the complex. The public housing agency also will collect rents, lease units and renew leases. The city will pay the Housing Authority 8 percent of the monthly income.

Riddle said Len Williams, executive director of the authority, was scheduled to take the agreement to his board Wednesday for approval. “They will start very soon,” Riddle said of the authority’s management of the property.

Williams was not available for comment.