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Inside The $47M Plan To Transform Downtown Columbus With Opportunity Pointe

In an era where affordable housing is as crucial as ever, Columbus State Community College and Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. are stepping up to the plate with a groundbreaking partnership. Their joint venture, dubbed Opportunity Pointe, is a $47 million initiative set to transform an underused block near the college’s downtown campus into a vibrant 160-unit affordable apartment complex.

What sets this project apart is not just its commitment to affordability but its strategic focus on supporting both Columbus State students and downtown workers.

The initiative is spearheaded by Columbus State Community Partners, the college’s real estate affiliate, in collaboration with Woda Cooper, a leader in affordable housing development.

Together, they’re tackling one of the most significant barriers to student success and workforce stability: housing insecurity.

Zachary Woodruff, the visionary behind the college’s real estate efforts, highlighted the project’s dual mission. “The Opportunity Pointe apartments will simultaneously address a critical student need, support the broader regional demand for affordable housing, and revitalize a largely dormant downtown block,” said Woodruff.

Of the 160 units in the building, 20 will be reserved exclusively for Columbus State students. It’s clear that the impact of this development will ripple beyond its physical boundaries, promising a revitalized downtown area and a new era of opportunity for many.

The partnership model is innovative, with Columbus State Community Partners offering seven parcels for the project, forming the majority of the development block. This collaboration not only leverages the strengths of both organizations but also underscores a shared commitment to community development.

Truly affordable housing

With rents projected to range from $365 to $1,295, depending on unit size and income eligibility, Opportunity Pointe is poised to offer a diverse array of downtown living solutions.

This development is timely, addressing a widening gap between the supply and demand for affordable housing, particularly in central Ohio. “Having affordable apartments so close to our campus will offer a tremendous benefit to students,” said Desiree Polk-Bland, Columbus State’s vice president of student affairs.

Both the City of Columbus and Franklin County have spotlighted affordable housing as a priority, situating Opportunity Pointe as a critical piece in the puzzle of urban development and social equity.

As Columbus State and Woda Cooper forge ahead with their plans, the excitement is palpable. Financing the dream hinges on securing a 9 percent tax credit from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. Once this piece of the puzzle falls into place, the project is expected to break ground in early 2025, ushering in a much-needed wave of affordable housing options.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.(CC by-SA-3.0)