The former Community Hospital site could be rezoned by the city commission Tuesday to allow Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield to apply for tax credits for a proposed $7 million senior housing complex.
City commissioners recently passed an emergency motion to allow for staff members to prepare an ordinance to rezone the property at the corner of Burnett Road and High Street from a community office district to a multi-family residence district.
NHP is seeking tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for the first phase of a possible 80-unit senior living facility at the former hospital site. Community Mercy Health Partners is expected to sell the site to NHP for $100,000.
“The bottom line is that if we don’t take action now, the project’s not going to be able to be considered, and we don’t want that to happen,” said Commissioner Dan Martin.
The property being rezoned is a requirement for submission for OHFA tax credit projects, said NHP Executive Director Tina Koumoutsos. In the past, projects could get a waiver if a property was incorrectly zoned for a planned project, but that has changed in recent years, she said.
Without the zoning change, NHP would have to wait another year to submit its proposal. The project could begin construction in the spring of 2016, if credits are approved.
“It will be a real shot in the arm for those neighborhoods and the city,” Koumoutsos said. “We’re very appreciative of the cooperation with the city.”
While the rezoning may be approved by commissioners Tuesday, NHP will still have to go through the formal rezoning process and appear before the City Planning Board, said Mayor Warren Copeland.
“While we’re changing the underlying zoning, this doesn’t mean it won’t have to go through the usual process of going through the planning board for the final zoning to be approved,” Copeland said.
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