PHASE ONE Part 1

To initiate the Community Development Plan, ROFCDC is proposing the removal of a building on the Rock of Faith Baptist Church’s campus located at the northwest corner of Seymour Ave and Mound St. The building would be replaced by a forty (40) unit Senior Independent Living Facility. These apartments would provide a complete senior living experience, focusing on affordability, safety and amenities while maintaining an up-to-date environment current with today’s trends in décor and technology. The Rock of Faith Senior Independent Living Facility aims to be a comfortable living quarters and a enriching experience, where seniors can truly enjoy their golden years. It is believed this neighborhood resurgence will provide our neighbors with hope that more time, effort and resources will be invested in the area. The goal is to help alleviate poverty by providing an affordable independent living facility and to educate the community through senior experiences.

Funds will need to be secured through fundraising and third party financing in order to demolish and remove the old building and construct the new facility. The cost of building the forty (40) unit senior living center will require $1.0 million for pre-development and approximately $3.5 million for construction. Working closely with our development/construction partners and suppliers and the city, county and state, we are confident the Senior Independent Living Facility will be completed by April 2018.

PHASE ONE Part 2

ROFCDC is working to develop Rock of Faith Neighborhood Residences, the gut rehab of a long-vacant High School owned by ROFCDC on the corner of Mound St. and Berkeley Rd., directly adjacent to the Rock of Faith Baptist Church and CDC service offices. Working with the Veterans Administration, the State of Ohio, Franklin County, the City of Columbus and our development/construction partners and suppliers we will begin reconstruction, creating 35 residences for veteran’s and/or affordable transition housing for some of our neediest residents. The project will provide wrap-around social services to ensure residents’ recovery, employment, financial growth, family stability and personal empowerment. These services will be offered on-site as well as through linkages with service providers in the community. Similar funding mechanisms will be used as with Phase 1.

There will also be a complementary, privately constructed 26 bed psychiatric facility on the same 3 acres. Proposed start for both is April 2017. We will work closely with Franklin County Services and the Wellness Close the Gap program as strategic health partners. Starting date to be announced.

Simultaneously, working with Columbus, Franklin County and the State of Ohio, ROFCDC will gain control of all abandoned parcels available around the project area, which has a 32% owner occupancy rate. ROFCDC will lease or sell parcels to projects as they arise. City and county will raze abandoned buildings, transferring ownership to ROFCDC. We will begin landscaping training class in partnership with Columbus State University to care for the parcels in anticipation of their development. We will work with the trades council for training and apprenticeship programs.

Our approach immediately reduces crime, the costs of municipal services, liability & blight. Our purchase of this land at the lowest market capitalization possible, allows lowest, quickest point of entry for development, immediately increasing property values in the project area and the surrounding area and insures higher valuations and revenue as remaining parcels are developed. Remodel of church will provide interfaith community anchor at center of project. Remodel of school will also provide offices for social services and high school-trades training classrooms leased to Columbus State Community College, preparing disadvantaged for meaningful employment. While developing housing and services on the south side of Main Street, ROFCDC will continue to maintain all parcels under its control one block into the north side of Main St until the market provides the opportunity to develop mixed use facilities. Those facilities will contribute to the Near Eastside Area Commission and Columbus redevelopment efforts, which have been very successful! Abutting Bexley to the east, the second most affluent community in Ohio, it will curtail the natural flow of associated problems east. Also, it will reverse the blight moving west to eventually join the redevelopment moving from downtown led by The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As this project succeeds by utilizing certified sustainable construction standards, US and Ohio teaching and training practices and proven community outreach services, it will provide an environment of safety, security, sustenance and stability. Having a healthier base from which to renew, individuals can pursue a more productive, fulfilling life. The ROFCDC master plan and implementation may be a model for other cities throughout the US.

Effects of Change

Reduction in Crime – Vacant lots and blighted buildings permeate the landscape of this section of Main Street, turning them into opportunities for much illegal activity. New development will decrease and encourage both residents and visitors to patronize businesses. It will also create a welcoming environment and a change in perception.
Revitalized Neighborhood – New businesses and development will increase overall pride within the neighborhood. Once this occurs outsiders will take notice and want to become a part of the renaissance by occupying and renovating homes. This will ultimately result into creating a positive identity for the neighborhood, something the neighborhood currently lacks.
Overall positive impact-The chasm of disparity between South of Main and its neighbors, Bexley a block away east and downtown Columbus ten blocks west, is overwhelmingly evident. With long term planning and controlled development, the entirety of Main Street, which includes Bexley/ Capital University area east to downtown Columbus west will become re-energized! A cohesive corridor is created enabling the entire corridor and area to thrive!
Perception changes – this will also have to occur before any dirt is moved. However, once redevelopment begins, the perception of both residents and visitors will change.

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Community Gardens have been used to teach communities new skills, to be self-reliant and to provide nutritious food to the residents of the community, replenishing what is today a food desert. Other Columbus neighborhoods have seen success in their community garden efforts. Franklinton and the Hilltop are two neighborhoods in Columbus that have benefited and seen success in their gardens. As the project acquires abandoned parcels, the South of Main Community can look to these two local neighborhoods when starting gardens of their own. A suggested starter location for a community garden for this neighborhood would be on the corner of Seymour Ave and Mound St behind the Rock of Faith Baptist Church.
 Benefits: 
  • Teaches Community new skills.
  • Provides nutritious foods to residents who have little to no income.
  • Beautifies the neighborhood by reclaiming deserted, dilapidated space
  • May create entrepreneurial income in what is literally a ‘food desert’!
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Blight To Park Currently there isn’t a park or much green space located in the South of Main Community. The families who live there have no safe place to go for recreational activities. The silos located along Main Street were scheduled to be demolished the summer of 2013. That hasn’t occurred and continues to be a deteriorating health and safety issue. Working with the city, we greatly desire and need to create a park and an athletic field where sports such as soccer can be enjoyed by the local community. This athletic field is a quick design that is feasible
and inexpensive to accomplish short term. Eventually this athletic field will evolve into a park with playground, jogging path, picnic tables, soccer field, public art and a community center.
The park will require additional time, funds and assistance from county, city and local leaders, thus making it a long term goal.
 Benefits: 
 
  • Replaces the decrepit silos with green space. image036
  • Creates a safe environment for families to enjoy recreation and sports.
  • Enhances the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
  • Encourages surrounding communities to come and enjoy the park