- By Michael Cooper Staff Writer
The developer of a proposed $11 million, 60-unit apartment complex at a former Springfield school site won’t move forward with the project this year but will continue to examine other possible locations, city staff members said.
Indianapolis-based TWG Development wanted to rezone a nearly three-acre property at 130 N. Burnett Road, the former Schaefer Junior High School that was demolished by the Springfield City School District in 2005.
The City Planning Board recently recommended denying the proposal but city commissioners still could have approved it. A public hearing was set to be held at their last meeting on Jan. 30 but the developer pulled the application before the meeting. If approved, the developer planned to seek tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to help pay for construction.
The developer chose not move forward with the rezoning due to feedback from the community, said project applicant Chad Nykiel, development director for TWG Development in an e-mail to the Springfield News-Sun.
“Since we were seeking tax credits to fund the project, we did not feel there was enough time to address the communities concerns and still meet the deadlines for this year’s funding round,” he said. “We are hopeful to revisit this project along with other available sites later this year and re-evaluate our options at that time.”
The apartment complex would have included 60 units with open floor plans, walk-in closets, in-unit washers and dryers, a fitness room and a community room, according to the application. The plan called for 15 one-bedroom apartments with about 750 square feet as well as 39 two-bedroom units with an average of 950 square feet and six three-bedroom units with about 1,300 square feet.
The decision to pull the proposal was based on public feedback, Springfield Planning, Zoning and Code Administrator Stephen Thompson said. The developer and city staff members will work to find a different location in the future, he said.
“They were on a pretty quick timeline and only had a few sites in mind when they came to us,” Thompson said.
East side Springfield resident Mary Smith was relieved when she received a letter in the mail saying the application had been withdrawn.
“I’m just tired of all of this stuff coming in,” she said. “I don’t know what it’s going to do to our taxes or traffic, keeping up the roads. Times are just rough.”
Springfield city staff members recommended approval of the rezoning, according to public documents. The complex was originally proposed at a different site but staff members believed the old Schaefer site might have been more appropriate, Thompson said.
At the Dec. 11 hearing, the planning board recommended denying the application because more than a dozen residents spoke out against the plan, Thompson said.
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Several residents were upset with the proposal, believing low-income housing would affect the neighborhood, including traffic, Thompson said.
The application says the proposal wouldn’t have been for Section 8 housing vouchers, according to public documents.
Economic growth and new jobs have created a demand for housing in Springfield, the application says. The Ohio Housing Needs Assessment also shows the Clark County market is under-served for families, developers said.
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