Columbus seeks approval to buy Legacy Terrace

The city's Department of Community Reinvestment is seeking Columbus Council approval to buy Legacy Terrace, a 17-unit senior living facility at 801 Ninth St., for $1 million.

Since the complex opened in 2007, Fourth Street Towers Inc. has only four units occupied and struggled to make the mortgage payments on the $2.5 million construction. The nonprofit organization is the city’s designated Community Development Housing Organization as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Home Program.

The 10-member council meets at 5:30 p.m. today on the plaza level of the Government Center.

As a partner with the city, Fourth Street Towers used $944,367 of its community housing allocation over a three-year period and $1.5 million from a bank to build the complex that resembles modern row houses.

Allowing the property to go into foreclosure isn't the best option for the property, councilors were told in a report. As the administrator of the Home program, the city would have to return $1.6 million to the federal government and lose Legacy Terrace and eight other properties used as collateral.

After using money from the 1999 special purpose local option sales tax to buy the property, the city plans to work with the Columbus Housing Authority to manage the facility for seniors and its Section 8 program. Fourth Street Towers also will put up $350,000 to keep eight pieces of property used as collateral and are associated with community housing funds.

The apartments, each with 750-square feet, feature washer and dryer, walk in closets and fully equipped kitchenettes. Handrails are installed in the bathrooms and counters are lowered for people who use wheelchairs.