include community involvement. Moreover, the city has
Mayor Coleman, who introduced a Strategic Business Plan
in 2002, to be completed by
2012. The plan includes building 10,000 new housing units,
stabilizing the office market and
creating new neighborhoods.
To stimulate development, the
plumbing, owners of these
three- and four-bedroom homes
(price: $130,000 to $190,000)
are eligible for federal energy-efficient tax credits and 15-year
In addition, as part of the
mayor’s $25-million Home
• Urban real-estate tax abatements: A 75 percent reduction in
real-estate taxes on improvements
to land citywide for a 10-year period, plus a 100 percent tax abatement for all downtown residential
rehabilitation projects and any new
construction projects within targeted areas.
• City office incentive program: For companies relocating
to or expanding downtown that
have 10 or more employees, the
city provides a payment for each
new job created.
Through public-private partnerships, once distressed neighborhoods are being restored,
while new residential and mixed-use commercial real
estate is being built. Class A office-vacancy rates, for
instance, are now 12. 9 percent, down from a high of
28 percent in 2001, according to a CB Richard Ellis
market survey. Currently, there’s more than $2 billion
of private and public investment either under way or
planned in the downtown area, city officials report.
(Clockwise from top) An
advertising poster for The
Lincoln Theatre. Also, the
historic Lazarus Building
then (above) and now (left).
Again initiative, 1,000
vacant properties will be
put back to use by 2012,
allowing families to stay
in their homes and to bring green-building standards
to the inner city. So far, the administration is halfway
through its goal. “We want to be nationally known as a
green city,” says Safford.
Lazarus Building—The 1-million-square-foot downtown landmark, named after the Lazarus department
store (a key attraction in the city for more than 100
years prior to shutting down), has been converted into
“green” office spaces.
Four Corners—The $43-million commercial development in this once-blighted area northeast of downtown includes the Central Ohio Transit Authority
Center, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, a police substation, 21,000 square feet of mixed-use space, and more.
Greenview Estates—From a demolished 11-acre
housing project on the north side, the first “green”
single-family subdivision has been built. Thanks
to energy-saving appliances and water-conserving
King-Lincoln District—Once the hub of commerce
and culture for Columbus Blacks, a highway cut
through and isolated the neighborhood, and poverty
followed. The community’s revitalization is under
way with the $12-million restoration of 80-year-old
Lincoln Theatre (once the only place Blacks could see