Plan proposes 40 units of senior housing at former Springfield middle school site

The site of the old Clark Middle School along West High Street. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
The site of the old Clark Middle School along West High Street. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A Columbus-area developer is looking to build senior housing at the site of a former Springfield Middle School, which has been vacant for more than 15 years.

The current plan is to build 40 units of senior housing that would be for those that are 55 years or older. The developer of the project is Dublin-based Stock Development Company, which deals with affordable housing.

The project in its current form would construct 16 two-bedroom apartments and 24 one-bedroom apartments that would be all housed in a single two-story structure. It would be located on the site of the former Clark Middle School, now a vacant lot in the 1300 block of West High Street in Springfield.

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The project would include an on-site property management offices, social service offices, exercise room, a computer lab, community room, and lounge and laundry areas, according to the application filed with the City of Springfield.

However, whether the project takes off is dependent on Stock Development’s ability to secure $800,000 per year in state tax credits for a total period of 10 years.

The company will be sending in its application to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for that funding this month. Securing state tax credits is a highly competitive process, according to Stock’s Development’s owner John Stock.

“Springfield has come up as an area that needs additional affordable housing,” Stock said of his interest to build in Springfield.

However, Stock’s project will not be the only senior housing project in Springfield competing for those tax credits this year.

A senior housing project that is associated with the Neighborhood Housing Partnership and aims to build 60 one-bedroom apartments in Springfield will also be competing against other similar projects across the state for those tax credits. The NHP plans to send in an application this month.

Stock estimated that his senior housing project on the west side of Springfield would cost between $7.5 million and $8 million to complete. However, the actual costs of the project is still being factored, he said. The majority of the funding is expected to come from the tax credits, if awarded.

The goal is to start construction late 2022 and the project is estimated to take over year to complete.

Stock’s company is also waiting on whether or not they secure the state tax credits before officially purchasing the property where the senior apartments will be located.

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That land is owned by the Springfield City School District and it has a listed sales price of $350,000, according to Peter Noonan, with Midland Properties, a company that represents the school district in real estate dealings.

Springfield City Commissioners recently hosted a public hearing to change zoning at the property to allow for housing. The rezoning approved by Springfield City Commissioners during the same meeting changed the use of the land, which was originally zoned to be used as greenspace, for parking or for school use.

Stock’s project will also need to get approval from Springfield City Commissioners once it moves forward due to the number of units slated to be built, according to Stephen Thompson, the planning, zoning and code administrator for Springfield.

By the numbers:

40 - number of senior apartments slated to be built on former school land in the west side of Springfield

12 to 14 months - how long the project is slated to last once construction begins

2022 - earliest start date for construction