Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Columbus Dispatch: AIDS group plans to build pharmacy, thrift store on N. High [near the Short North]

This image was taken from their press release

A Los Angeles-based AIDS organization plans to bring its unique mix of advocacy, health care and nonprofit business operations to a long-vacant lot on the southern border of the University District.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which bills itself as the largest global AIDS organization, said construction will begin soon on a building that is to house an Out of the Closet Thrift Store, AHF Pharmacy and HIV-testing site at the northeast corner of N. High Street and E. 5th Avenue.

The group also plans an AHF Healthcare Center in a medical office near Mount Carmel West hospital that could accommodate an initial caseload of 600 patients, said Adam Ouderkirk, regional director for the foundation.

“We take HIV patients regardless of ability to pay, whether you have a Cadillac (health-insurance) plan or no plan,” he said.

Both the thrift store and the pharmacy will be nonprofit ventures that generate money for the mission.
“It’s a model that’s worked in different parts of the country, and we think it will be successful in Columbus,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Ouderkirk said the foundation just closed on the property at 1230 N. High St. He declined to discuss the price, but according to the Franklin County auditor’s website, the land sold for $1.6 million on Dec. 22.

Local advocates were mixed in their reactions. While additional community resources are welcome, they all said, one group said the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has done little to collaborate.

“We knew nothing about the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s intent until three weeks ago,” said Bill Hardy, president and CEO of the AIDS Resource Center Ohio. “To me, there was not adequate groundwork.”
Hardy said the resource center, which merged earlier this year with the Columbus AIDS Task Force, also has been discussing plans for a health-care center and pharmacy.

“Part of the consolidation was to expand services,” he said.

Hardy and the resource center are among many statewide AIDS advocates who disagreed with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s recent successful fight to stop Ohio from changing some of the rules governing the Ohio HIV Drug Assistance Program, which is the state’s version of the federal Ryan White Act.

State officials and local AIDS organizations say the changes would have kicked in only in the event of a waiting list — there isn’t one now — allowing for the use of a priority system so that the sickest people would be served first.

A Franklin County judge, however, agreed with three patients who filed a lawsuit saying the new rules could affect access to treatment. The foundation backed the patients.

A preliminary injunction blocking the new rules was issued this month, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation hailed it as a victory. Weinstein said Ohio has no business planning for a “Sophie’s choice” in HIV treatment.
He also said there is plenty of room for new services in Columbus.
“Unfortunately, there is no shortage of patients to go around,” Weinstein said. “We are bringing our own resources to bear.”

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that only 28 percent of Americans living with HIV have the virus under control with proper medication and treatment, he said.

The foundation’s presence likely will make a big difference in the city, said Karla Rothan, executive director of Stonewall Columbus. Stonewall’s community center and offices are at 1160 N. High St., near the site that the foundation will develop.

The thrift store and pharmacy are “an innovative way of doing nonprofit work,” Rothan said. “I’m glad they chose to be our neighbor. I think it’s going to enhance services.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Home sales remain elevated in Central Ohio

(Dec. 21, 2011) November marks the fifth consecutive month of increased home sales in
central Ohio this year after the first half of the year struggled to keep up with increased sales
from 2010 due to the home buyer tax credits. According to the Columbus Board of
REALTORS®, 1,406 homes sold in November which is seven percent more than the previous

Additionally, the number of residential homes scheduled to close was up over 37 percent,
from 1,341 last year to 1,843 last month (November 2011).

“We’re finding that sellers recognize the challenges of today’s market and are realistically
pricing their homes to sell,” says Rick Benjamin, 2011 President of the Columbus Board of
REALTORS®. “Buyers are responding well to the pricing and, of course, the record low
interest rates. It’s still a great time to buy a home.”

Homes in central Ohio this year have sold for an average of $157,032, down 2.5 percent from
the average sale price in 2010, but up over five percent from the average sale price in the first
quarter of 2011. The average price of a home sold in November was $153,673, up 3.1 percent
from the previous month ($149,082).

The number of homes listed for sale last month (1,949) is 20 percent less than listings added
to the market in November 2010 (2,439). The total inventory of homes available for sale in
central Ohio was 12,675 at the end of November, which is down 27.5 percent from one year

As a result, the month’s supply, a measure of inventory that estimates how many months it
would take to sell the entire home inventory, fell 28.5 percent to 7.4, down from 10.3 last

“A healthy months supply for our market would be around 6.5. So the decrease in inventory
is a positive sign of market recovery,” adds Benjamin. “Plus, based on the concept of supply
and demand, when we have too many homes on the market, homes are more likely to sell for

Click here to view the November sortable housing market report by area.
Click here to view the entire central Ohio Local Market Update.

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin,
Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of
Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum,
Perry and Ross Counties.

For more information about the central Ohio housing market, visit
To view commercial properties for sale or lease in central Ohio, visit
To view residential properties for sale, visit

Monday, December 19, 2011

Italian Village IN, Victorian Village OUT of new "Columbus" Congressional District

Click on the map to see other areas of Central Ohio and the State.

Italian Village and the Dennison Place "Circles" will be in the new District 3 

Victorian Village will be in District 15
(Currently held by Congressman Steve Stiver)  


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Columbus Underground: The Hubbard Apartments to Rise Over The Short North

The northeast corner of Hubbard Avenue and High Street has been one of the most widely discussed plots of land here on Columbus Underground over the past five years. Originally proposed in 2006 as the home of the failed Ibiza condo development, the site is going through a change of ownership where local development firms Elford and Wagenbrenner are jointly working on a revised plan for the neighborhood. The Hubbard will be a five-story mixed-use apartment building with ground-floor retail and a public parking garage located in the back.

For more details on the project, we spoke recently with Mark Wagenbrenner, President of Wagenbrenner Development, and Mike Fitzpatrick, President of Elford Development, Ltd.  Click here for more

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Business First: Two Columbus suburbs among Midwest's best quality of life areas

Business First by G. Scott Thomas
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2011, 2:23pm EST - 
Last Modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011, 2:25pm EST

Chicago is not only the economic hub of the Midwest, but it also sets the regional standard for quality of life.

On Numbers analyzed 955 Midwestern communities, searching for the places offering the most favorable living conditions. Four Chicago suburbs have taken the top four slots.

Two Columbus suburbs – No. 5 Powell and No. 9 Dublin – also made the top 10 list. Powell's median household income of $126,510 and $331,900 median house value helped it to its high ranking. In Dublin, the median household income is $114,560, and its median house value is $327,200.

Topping the ranking is Winnetka, an affluent village on Lake Michigan's North Shore. Winnetka's $201,650 median household income is the highest in the Midwest, as is the 87.4 percent of adults who hold bachelor's degrees in the area.

On Numbers used a 20-part formula to find Midwestern communities that enjoy healthy economies, light traffic, moderate costs of living, impressive housing stocks and strong educational systems. (Click here for the complete methodology.)

The full quality-of-life rankings for the Midwest are available in the following database. Use the tab to find a single state, or click Search to view the whole list.

On Numbers has already released quality-of-life rankings for the East, South and West. Top-to-bottom national standings will be released Friday.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Italian Village Saveway Mart on Summit Might Lose Liquor License

Last night the Columbus City Council objected to the liquor license renewal for the Saveway Mart at Summit and Third in Italian Village.

From Ch 4:  "While council can object to the permits, it doesn't have the final say. 
In fact, that's up to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, which will hold hearings early next year.

According to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, out of the 13 hearings held last year for Columbus businesses, just two objections were overruled."

Saveway Liquor Permit Objection

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Columbus Dispatch: Ibiza bankruptcy to repay some of money owed

The developers of the proposed Ibiza condominium project in the Short North have filed a plan in bankruptcy court to repay investors.

Under the plan, the main creditor, Columbus-based Finance Fund, would receive $3.6 million of the $5.3 million it is owed, assuming the property at High Street and Hubbard Avenue is sold.

In addition, 52 individuals who placed deposits on condominiums in the building would receive up to $2,600 each. They would receive additional payments if the building is sold.

According to the filing, 75 of the 135 units planned in the complex were pre-sold, with deposits totaling $1.16 million, before developers announced that the complex would not be built. The filing does not address why only 52 buyers are provided for in the reorganization. Apex’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Business First: Wagenbrenner raises $4.5M from investors for Jeffrey Place bid, eschewing banks

Business First by Brian R. Ball, Staff reporter  
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011, 2:24pm EST

The Wagenbrenner Development Inc. affiliate that has started taking over the stalled Jeffrey Place project in Italian Village has secured investors backing the first phase.

Jeffrey New Day LLC in early November revealed its interest in the property when it closed on nearly 6 acres along East First Avenue. At the same time, it filed a foreclosure lawsuit against the owner of an adjacent 23 acres after buying a mortgage that had financed the land’s acquisition in late 2000.

Wagenbrenner President Mark Wagenbrenner said he expects to file a plan for a multifamily project on the 6 acres in December or January.

The developer has taken a cautious financial strategy with that initial foray into the Jeffrey Place redevelopment. Jeffrey New Day revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this month that it had raised $4.5 million from undisclosed investors.

“What it really comes down to is the availability of capital,” Wagenbrenner said, noting that raising the money from investors means he didn’t have to put a mortgage on the property.

“It’s money to get us through expenses,” Wagenbrenner said of the investment’s purpose. “Finally, we are in a position to move the site forward.”