In 2012, Bexley City Council authorized the creation of the Bexley Community Improvement Corporation, a development agent of the City of Bexley. In early 2013, the Mayor will be submitting a proposal for appointees to the CIC's board of directors, subject to approval by Bexley City Council.
Pursuant to Chapter 1724 of the Ohio Revised Code, Community Improvement Corporations (CICs) can be formed and designated as a city development agency to "advance, encourage and promote the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of a community or area". The intent of the Bexley CIC is to form an empowered board of directors to advance the development goals of the City in a way that leverages the City's resident development talent and increases the ability of the City to be flexible and proactive in its development efforts.
FAQ on Proposed Mixed-Income Tax Credit Housing Developments in Bexley
The Bexley Community Improvement Corporations (CIC) was formed and designated in 2012 as a city development agency to "advance, encourage and promote the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of a community or area". The intent of the Bexley CIC is to form an empowered board of directors to advance the development goals of the City in a way that leverages the City's resident development talent and increases the ability of the City to be flexible and proactive in its development efforts.
The Bexley CIC is tasked with advancing the City of Bexley's adopted development strategies. Advancing the creation of additional mixed income housing units in Bexley is consistent with the strategic objectives expressed in the Bexley Land Use Strategy, the Bexley Strategic Plan, and the 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Amendment to the Bexley Strategic Plan.
Specifically, Goal 3 of the DEI Amendment, adopted by Bexley City Council in the summer of 2020, calls for the City of Bexley to:
"Continue to encourage the CIC in their efforts to identify affordable housing opportunities for people with low incomes as part of new development (including but not limited to rezoning and rehabbing current and future building and projects) as well as on its own."
(Bexley Strategic Plan Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Amendment, adopted August 11, 2020)
In 2018, the CIC engaged with The Community Builders (TCB) in order to help strategize and identify opportunities for mixed-income housing units in Bexley. The relationship was and continues to be an informal partnership, with TCB independently investigating site opportunities and keeping in communication with the Bexley CIC.
In late 2020, a site became available at the corner of Francis and Livingston Avenue that potentially met the criteria for tax-credit financed housing. In consultation with the CIC, a secondary site was identified in order to reduce the density of the proposed Livingston site. In order to allow a lower density development to be financially feasible, the CIC took a contract position on the second site at 420 North Cassady Avenue. The general concept is that the CIC take title to the property on North Cassady, and ground lease it back to TCB, retaining control of a proposed first-floor retail space. Additionally, discussion is underway for the CIC to be a non-participatory non-profit partner in both properties in order to satisfy underwriting requirements for tax credit housing, with a portion of the upfront developer fee going to the CIC in order to help offset the purchase price of the North Cassady site.
Site acquisition costs for the CIC are estimated to be around $500,000, assuming completion of the purchase of 420 North Cassady Avenue. The CIC will pay for the purchase using a line of credit available to it, leveraged against its holding of the Bexley Square Shopping Center. The CIC anticipates repayment of this expense through a combination of a portion of the developer fee on the North Cassady property; the land lease for the North Cassady property; and commercial rental receipts for the proposed commercial space at the North Cassady property. The CIC has not made or promised any payment to TCB, and has not assumed any costs associated with the proposed developments, with the exception of due diligence costs associated with the contract on 420 North Cassady.
Tax credit financing round applications are due in early February of each year. With the properties in question lining up in December of 2020, it was necessary to file a zoning application in December in order to commence the zoning process in order to satisfy the requirements of the tax credit financing. TCB and the CIC began engaging in community conversations concurrent with filing for zoning, and have held robust resident outreach in parallel with a zoning approvals process that is anticipated to continue through the summer of 2021.
TCB has held community meetings with residents around the proposed developments; and met separately with the South Bexley Neighborhood Association and the Bexley Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion group. TCB and CIC representatives have corresponded with over 100 residents, and heard and responded to a variety of concern and support for the proposed projects.
There is a tax abatement program in place for both the Livingston Avenue and North Cassady site, with the residential portion of both projects automatically qualifying for partial tax abatements. Any tax abatement would by law preserve the tax base from the underlying/pre-existing value, and only apply to any new increase in value. Income tax to both the City and the school district would still apply for residents locating to the proposed developments, as well as to employees working at the proposed developments.
The developments as proposed will be tax positive, and any additional expenses associated with city services would be paid for by tapping fees and utility rates. Therefore the proposed development would, if constructed, contribute positively to City finances.
About the CIC
ORDINANCE 52-12: AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO INCORPORATE BEXLEY COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION AND DESIGNATING BEXLEY COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION AS THE AGENCY OF THE CITY FOR THE INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL, DISTRIBUTION AND RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT IN THE CITY.
WHEREAS, pursuant to Chapter 1724 of the Ohio Revised Code, community improvement corporations can be formed to advance, encourage and promote the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of a community or area; and
WHEREAS, a municipal corporation may designate a community improvement corporation as its agency for the industrial, commercial, distribution and research development in the municipal corporation when the legislative authority of the municipal corporation has determined that the policy of the municipal corporation is to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of its inhabitants through the designation of the community improvement corporation as such agency;
WHEREAS, Council wishes for the City to have a community improvement corporation known as Bexley Community Improvement Corporation (“Bexley CIC”) to serve as the City’s agency for the industrial, commercial, distribution and research development activities of the City; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Bexley, County of Franklin, State of Ohio:
Section 1. Council hereby determines that the formation of Bexley CIC will advance, encourage and promote the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of the City of Bexley.
Section 2. The Mayor is hereby directed and authorized to prepare Articles of Incorporation to be submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State for the formation of a non‐profit corporation under the name of Bexley Community Improvement Corporation, with said corporation to be formed pursuant to Chapter 1724 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Section 3. Upon completion of the preparation of said Articles of Incorporation, the Mayor is hereby authorized to execute said Articles of Incorporation and to submit said Articles of Incorporation to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office along with the appropriate filing fee of $125 payable to the Ohio Secretary of State, which is hereby appropriated for such purpose.
Section 4. The Mayor is hereby authorized and directed to prepare such initial Code of Regulations as may be required for Bexley CIC in compliance with Title 17 of the Ohio Revised Code, including, but not limited to, Chapter 1724 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Section 5. Council hereby determines that the policy of the City is to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of its inhabitants through the designation of Bexley CIC as its agency for the industrial, commercial, distribution and research development in the City.
Section 6. Upon Bexley CIC receiving its certificate from the State of Ohio evidencing the filing of its articles of incorporation, Bexley CIC shall be, without further action, designated as the agency of the City for the industrial, commercial, distribution, and research development in the City pursuant to Revised Code Section 1724.10. Ordinance 52-12 1.
Section 7. Council hereby authorizes and directs the Mayor, the City Auditor, and/or any other City official, as appropriate, to sign any other documents, instruments or certificates and to take such actions as are necessary or appropriate to form Bexley CIC and establish it is as the agency of the City for the industrial, commercial, distribution, and research development in the City.
Section 8. It is hereby found and determined that all formal actions of this Council concerning and relating to the passage of this Ordinance were taken in an open meeting of this Council, and that all deliberations of this Council and any decision making bodies of the City that resulted in such formal actions were in meetings open to the public and in compliance with all legal requirements.
Section 9. This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.
In a corner of our Bexley community, tucked away behind (and only accessible from) Livingston Avenue, is a neighborhood of 19 duplexes and a 72-unit apartment development that front onto Ferndale and Mayfield Avenues. These apartments were developed in the 1960s, on a piece of land that had formerly been used as a landfill.
History of the Ferndale/Mayfield area, and the City's efforts to improve it
• 1920s: Portions of the area that is currently Ferndale/Mayfield was operated as a private landfill
• 1930s: The former landfill closed, and the site was vacant
• 1960s: 108 apartment units, distributed throughout 21 buildings, are developed on the former landfill
• 2003: The Southwest Bexley Master Plan (link) calls for the potential redevelopment of Ferndale and Mayfield, and calls for connecting the streets to Sheridan Avenue via a Charles Street extension.
• 2000's: The City of Bexley purchases or is gifted with several parcels just north of Ferndale and Mayfield. Environmental tests of the sites indicate contamination with lead and arsenic.
• 2000's: The Bexley Community Garden is installed on City-owned property in the area, with garden plots receiving remediation and follow-up testing to ensure safe soil conditions.
• 2011: The Bexley Land Use Strategy (link) calls for stabilization of Ferndale and Mayfield, greater connectivity to the area, and potential redevelopment
• 2013: The Bexley Strategic Plan (link) reiterates the recommendations of the Southwest Bexley Master Plan and the Bexley Land Use Strategy, and expresses the need to protect residents in the area from displacement outside of Bexley, by exploring and providing alternative affordable housing arrangements.
• 2013: The Bexley Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) is created, in part to assist with redevelopment in the Ferndale and Mayfield area.
• 2015: Bexley City Council and the Bexley CIC agree upon a program to begin assemblage of apartment properties at Ferndale and Mayfield.
• 2017: The updated Southwest Bexley Strategic Framework expounds upon options for Ferndale and Mayfield, calling for further environmental exploration, conceptualizing recreational uses in the area, and reiterating the need to protect residents in the area from displacement.
• Late 2017: The Bexley Community Improvement Corporation purchases two apartment doubles on Ferndale, and begins environmental testing to ascertain any environmental conditions that may negatively impact human health.
• May, 2017: The Bexley Community Improvement Corporation receives full environmental test results and a report from an environmental risk assessor. Based on the results of the report, the CIC creates a tenant relocation package and rent voucher program for residents of the CIC's property to ensure healthy living conditions, and to assist with continued Bexley residency for households with children in the Bexley City School District.
In 2018 Pandey Environmental LLC. conducted a Phase I Environmental Study (link) on behalf of the City of Bexley within those areas either owned by the City, or which where accessible via the City's Public right-of-way.