Mayor Andrew J. Ginther today announced an agreement between the City of Columbus and Easton to help drive economic and community development at Easton and in the Linden neighborhood. Easton will receive a 10-year 100 percent tax abatement for new residential properties at Easton in exchange for a guaranteed $4.25 million investment in public infrastructure in Linden. The agreement also guarantees 500 new permanent non-retail jobs at Easton and an additional $1.5 million investment in the City’s neighborhood renewal in Linden.
“I have charged our Department of Development with finding ways to revitalize our vulnerable neighborhoods,” said Mayor Ginther. “This agreement allows for the continued development of Easton, one of the city’s largest job centers, while providing necessary funds for the revitalization of Linden.”
The Neighborhood Design Center in conjunction with the Linden community will develop a master plan for the area. Funds from Easton and its developer, The Georgetown Company, which recently worked with the City and Nationwide Children’s Hospital to help transform the Southside neighborhood, will help pay for the revitalization efforts.
“Linden is a historically rich neighborhood, but it lacks an anchor or a champion such as Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the Southside, JP Morgan Chase in Weinland Park and the Ohio State University on the Near East side,” said Columbus City Council President Zach Klein. “It’s my hope that this agreement positions Easton to be that champion.””
The City of Columbus and Easton are directing a portion of existing Easton TIF revenues to Linden with an upfront payment of $2.5 million within six months of this agreement. A second payment of $1.75 million will be made by December 31, 2021.
In addition, Georgetown and its partners, such as Steiner and Associates, will provide significant in-kind support to the City’s Linden efforts through real estate consulting and planning services.
“We have been supportive and involved in the City’s efforts to increase opportunities in Columbus neighborhoods,” said Adam Flatto, CEO of The Georgetown Company and Developer of Easton. “We look forward to working with Mayor Ginther, City Council and Linden leadership to amplify their efforts in the neighborhood and help leverage these additional resources for the betterment of Linden.”
“We are excited about the plans we are developing for the renewal of our neighborhood,” said Wanda Curry of the Greater Linden Business Network. “The agreement between the City of Columbus and Easton now gives a start on the funding that will make these plans a reality.”
The agreement with Georgetown is just one of the significant contributions the City of Columbus brings to Linden:
- The Department of Neighborhoods will move into the Point of Pride building this year.
- The Linden Neighborhood Pre-K Center opened in 2016, bringing 200 new spaces for high-quality pre-K to the area.
- The city spent $27 million in capital improvements to the neighborhood, including the remodeling and reopening of the Douglas Community Center.
- The Linden area will serve as a pilot program for the Smart Columbus City transportation grant, particularly first and last mile efforts to and from Easton – making Linden residents available for the permanent, high-paying new jobs created by the Georgetown agreement.