Columbus, Georgia Committee for Better Building and Development4556 12thStreetColumbus, Georgia 31901April 20, 2013Attn: The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation191 Peachtree Street NESuite 3540Atlanta, Georgia 30303Dear Trustees:This letter and attached proposal will illustrate how the Committee for Better Buildingand Development plans to execute the revitalization of the Booker T. Washington (BTW)housing units and commercial development in the Liberty District area. The proposal willexplain how the Committee’s solution will best meet the needs of the city of Columbus, theresidents of the BTW, and provide ample justification for our Committee’s grant request. Wehave included a detailed schedule and line item budget that describes how the Committee planson appropriating funds towards the execution of the project.After conducting thorough research to find the best possible solution that best meets theneeds of all parties involved, we have established a solution that will address the need forresidential revitalization and commercial development in the Liberty District area. The solutionand methods of execution will be illustrated, in detail, in the subsequent proposal.We thank you for your time to review our proposal and hope that you will considersponsoring our project. If you have any questions, please contact the President Committee at(706) 555-5555.Sincerely,President, Committee for Better Building and Development
Proposal for Grant Sponsorship TowardsCommercial Development and the Residential Revitalization of the BTW Housing Unitsin the Liberty District Area of Columbus, GeorgiaPrepared forThe Woodruff FoundationPrepared byThe Columbus, GA Committee for Better Building and DevelopmentApril 24, 2013
AbstractThis proposal will describe how the Committee for Better Building and Development plans toexecute the revitalization of the Booker T. Washington housing units and commercialdevelopment in the Liberty District area of Columbus, GA. This residential revitalization andcommercial development has been the topic of debate since the construction of the 2003 LibertyDistrict Master Plan, a guideline constructed by the Columbus Consolidated Government, toaddress the lack of commercialization in the Liberty District and the much needed renovationsthat need to be made to the BTW housing units. After weighing four possible solutions againstfour values (criteria) shared by BTW residents, city officials, area clergy, and Liberty DistrictStakeholders, we proposed a solution which best met the needs of all parties considered andallows for the goals outlined in the Master Plan to finally begin being implemented. We areasking the Woodruff Foundation to help sponsor this project with a grant of $20,000,000.Included in this proposal contains all of the information pertaining to how our solution will beimplemented, the length of time in which it will take to complete, a detailed item line budget,and how it best meets the needs of the city of Columbus and residents of the BTW housing units.
1Problem StatementThe objective of the Columbus, GA Committee for Better Building and Development is toprovide the most feasible, cost-effective means of revitalizing the Booker T. Washington housingunits and creating commercial developments in the Liberty District of Columbus, Georgia. Ourproposed solution gives the residents of BTW an increased quality of life through a standard ofliving that the Columbus Housing Authority gave residents of Ashley Station and Gentian Oakswhen these housing developments were renovated. Our solution will also give business owners achance to prosper financially, new jobs will be made available, and also give Columbus residentsnew and appealing ways to patronize the Liberty District through these new commercialdevelopment. Both components of the project will,―restore and maintain viability of the area, promote a sense of identity, pride andconfidence, provide a safe, livable and desire neighborhood, provide convenientneighborhood shopping, and promote entertainment, the arts and cultural activities‖(Master Plan 1-2)—all of which are goals outlined in the 2003 Liberty District Master Plan. This is the plan thatserved as the Committee’s main point of reference when we began formulating a solutiontowards the need to revitalize BTW and create commercial developments in the Liberty District.Through the Woodruff Foundation’s much-needed funding, the Committee can develop theLiberty District into a, ―cultural and entertainment center that serves not only as a destination fortourists, but also as a major congregation center for local people—an enjoyable place to meetothers, to celebrate, and to participate in special events in the area‖ (―Master Plan‖).While the city of Columbus has already graciously, ―committed more than $3 million towardsthe project and $37 million in flood abatement work,‖ (―Taking Sides‖), the Committee is askingthe Woodruff Foundation to sponsor the remainder of the project with a $20,000,000 grant(―Woodruff Grant Program‖). The Committee has exhausted all other means of securing thesefunds and desperately needs the Woodruff Foundation to help close this financial gap.
2The residents of the BTW public housing are faced with some of the worst living conditions inthe city. Most residents have no carpet on their floors, non-working window heating and airconditioning units, and are surrounded by concrete walls. Without financing through theWoodruff Foundation to begin commencement of the Committee’s proposed plan, residents ofBTW will continue living in these deplorable living conditions and commercialization in theLiberty District will remain at a standstill. Until the Committee can secure the necessary funds tobeing implementing the project, unemployment, community growth and revitalization will alsoremain stagnant. Without this much-needed grant, renovations to BTW and commercialdevelopment cannot commence.ObjectiveThe goal of the Columbus, GA Committee for Better Building and Development is to provide themost feasible and economical solution that addresses the need for revitalization of the Booker T.Washington housing units and commercial development of the historic Liberty District.Implementation of our plan will allow the Liberty District to develop into as an enjoyable placeto live, work, and play. Implementation of our committee’s proposed solution will also: Restore and maintain the viability of the Liberty District area Promote a sense of identity, pride and confidence Provide a safe, livable and desirable neighborhood Provide convenient neighborhood shopping Encourage retail and office development, retention, and expansion Better promote entertainment, the arts, and cultural activities Provide adequate open space and recreational opportunities to area residents(―Master Plan‖ 1)MethodsRenovations to the interior and exterior of the Booker T. Washington housing units will providethe residents with an increased quality of life and the opportunity to live in a revitalized housingdevelopment similar to Arbor Pointe, Gentian, and Ashley Station, which boasts similarrenovations found in our proposal. These renovations also give the residents of BTW
3―affordable, standard-quality housing‖ (―Master Plan‖ 1). In doing so, this project will help,―[p]romote a sense of identity, pride and confidence‖ that these residents so desperately desire.The commercial developments outlined in the Committee’s proposal will ―[p]rovide convenientneighborhood shopping, restore and maintain the viability of the area, promote entertainment, thearts, and cultural activities‖ (―Master Plan‖ 1-2). The Committee knows that in order to achieveall these goals, we must consider the extenuating circumstances and variables that a renovationsand commercial development like this will entail. This section will outline how the Committeeplans to execute and implement our plan considering these extenuating circumstances andvariables. WeatherThe Planning Phase, which spans from January through June of 2014, entails that ―Technicalstudies like a traffic report or environmental impact assessment‖ (Planning Applications‖), beconducted during the beginning of the summer. Inclimate weather, such as rain, will not affectthis portion of the phase because the job duties to be performed will be conducted during themonths of May and June.The Development Phase, spanning from 2015 to 2017, entails that the demolition be conductedduring the beginning of the year. The Committee has appropriated $14,500 in supplies (See Page9 for the Committee’s line item budget grant request) towards the purchase of supplies, such astarps and sand bags, to accommodate to the rain. Also, the construction crew shall work on theBTW interior renovations if the ground is too wet to work on when utilizing tarps and sand bagsaren’t sufficient enough to work on the demolishment aspect of the phase. CSU ClassesCSU classes will remain in session throughout the completion of all three phases. Studentsreceiving transportation to the River Park Campus through CSU will be detoured, but theirexisting drop-off location will remain, as the demolishment and construction will be conductedfive blocks east of the River Park Campus. Current Businesses
4Businesses that are not affiliated with our Committee’s proposed plan shall remain in businessthroughout the renovations of BTW and commercial development in the Liberty District area.The Committee shall work alongside Liberty District area businesses where commercialdevelopment is expected to commence by providing signage informing customers that theseestablishments are open throughout construction (2015-2017). The Committee shall use fundsappropriated from the ―Supplies‖ section of the Committee’s line item budget to purchase thesesigns. The Committee shall also notify Columbus residents during Town Hall meetings that thesebusinesses will remain open and that Columbus residents are highly encouraged to continuepatronizing these businesses throughout the development process. BTW ResidentsDuring the Development Phase, residents of BTW will remain in their units while exteriorrenovations are completed. When interior renovations are being conducted, BTW residents shallreceive hotel vouchers to temporarily reside at the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites at 1024 VeteransPkwy, which is located 0.7 miles away from BTW. This will be funded by the $14,500 allocationentitled, ―Hotel Vouchers for BTW Residents‖ located in our Committee’s line item budget. Public TransportationPublic transportation (METRA) on 9thStreet between 7thand 8thAvenues, the corners of 9thStreet and 8thAvenue, and at the corner of 6thAvenue and 8thStreet will be suspended anddetoured during the Development Phase, which spans from 2015-2017. During this time, theMETRA will run on parallel streets. The Committee will work alongside METRA to ensureproper signage of the detours is in place before and during this phase. Students receivingtransportation through CSU will be detoured, but their existing drop-off location will remain, asthe demolishment and construction will be conducted five blocks east of the River Park Campus.
5(Source: “Google Maps”) Traffic and ParkingTraffic detours and road blocks will be in place on 9thStreet between 7thand 8thAvenues, thecorners of 9thStreet and 8thAvenue, and at the corner of 6thAvenue and 8thStreet will besuspended and detoured during the Development Phase, which spans from 2015-2017. Theimage below illustrates the temporary traffic flow to accommodate the demolition anddevelopment that will take place. Patrons of the Liberty Theatre will be allowed to visit theestablishment, but will not be allowed to park on portions of 9thand 7thStreet. Muscogee CountyJail will remain unaffected by these street closures. The Committee shall use funds appropriatedfrom the ―Supplies‖ section of the Committee’s line item budget to purchase signage relating tostreet closures. Please note in the image that streets with red lines reflect these closures.
6ScheduleThe following schedule on Page 7 shall serve as a guideline for both the residential revitalizationof the BTW housing units and the commercial development located on 9th Street between 7thand 8th Avenues, at the corner of 9thStreet and 8thAve, at the corner of 6thAve and 8thStreet,the construction of a three-block linear park, and expansion of the historic Liberty Theatre(―Proposed Alternative Designs‖ 3). The schedule reflects a four-year span for projectcompletion. January through June of 2014 will consist of the Committee’s Planning Phase. Theremainder of the year, July through December of 2014, will consist of the Committee’sAssessment Phase. The next three years will consist of the Committee’s Development Phase,with a projected completion date of December 2017.
7Phase Time MethodPlanning January – June2014 1) A current site description and design response 2) Construct survey plan 3) Floor plans and elevations 4) Written description of the setting and the proposed use 5) A report complying with the appropriate provisions of theplanning scheme or justifying for an alternative solution6) Technical studies like a traffic report or environmentalimpact assessment.7) Once complete, submit Development Application (―PlanningApplications‖)Assessment July – December2014 1) Acknowledgement of application 2) Request for further information 3) Notification of the proposed development (advertising) 4) Assessment 5) Decision (―Planning Applications‖)Development 2015-20171) Demolition2) -Commercial development-BTW revitalization-Expansion of Liberty Theatre-Development of Linear Park3) Completion
8EvaluationThe committee has decided that the evaluation of the residential revitalization and commercialdevelopment be overseen by two entities. The residential component will be overseen by TheColumbus Housing Authority (CHA) because according to the CHA’s Fiscal 2012 report, theirincome increased by $887,227 or 35.7% mainly due to the Authority’s role as a developer in therenovations of a similar housing development, Baker Village (―Management’s Discussion &Analysis‖ 7). The commercial component will be overseen by the Committee and The WoodruffFoundation, and both the Committee’s and Woodruff Foundation’s roles and responsibilitiesshall be described in the subsequent section.Residential Evaluation Means:The Committee for Better Building and Development shall allow the Columbus HousingAuthority to carry out inspection, monitoring, evaluation and auditing activities concerning theperformance of the revitalization and the infrastructure improvements of the BTW housing unitsas the Authority deems reasonably necessary. Below is a detailed description of what theAuthority shall do: The Authority and its contractors shall maintain such records and accounts related to theDevelopment as are deemed reasonably necessary by the City and the WoodruffFoundation (―Memorandum of Agreement‖ 7). Upon receipt of five business days prior written notice from the City and WoodruffFoundation, the Authority shall permit representatives of the City and the WoodruffFoundation, at the City’s sole cost and expense, to have full access to and the right toexamine any books, documents, papers and records involving the performance of thework related to the Development during normal business hours at the Authority’s centraloffice (―Memorandum of Agreement‖ 7). It shall be the Authority’s obligation to maintain such records and accounts and the City’sand Woodruff Foundation’s right to examine any books, records or other documents shallexpire five years after the date of the completion of the Infrastructure Improvements(―Memorandum of Agreement‖ 7). A formal set of as-built documents will be conveyed to the City and the WoodruffFoundation at the completion of the Development (―Memorandum of Agreement‖ 7).
9 The Authority and Woodruff Foundation shall be Bcc’d on all documentation during eachstage of the part of the development process (Reference Schedule sections: Planning,Assessment, Development).Commercial Evaluation Means:The Columbus, GA Committee for Better Building and Development shall: Facilitate monthly Town Hall meetings to share the progress of the commercialdevelopment of the Liberty District area through the use of before and after photos anddeveloper progress reports. Give inspection rights to members of the Columbus Consolidate Government, LibertyStakeholders, and members of the Woodruff Foundation. Allow members of the Woodruff Foundation to sit in on Liberty Stakeholder boardmeetings and meetings related to the Liberty District development that are facilitated bythe Columbus Consolidated Government. Provide semi-annual and annual reports to the Woodruff Foundation. The Authority and Woodruff Foundation shall be Bcc’d on all documentation during eachstage of the part of the development process (See Schedule: Planning, Assessment,Development).BudgetThe Committee for Better Building and Development is asking for $20,000,000 to execute andimplement our proposed plan to effectively revitalize the BTW housing units and developcommercial properties in the Liberty District Area. $1,000,000 of the budget will be put towardsthe revitalization of BTW and the remaining $19,000,000 will be puts towards the commercialaspect of our plan. In the subsequent sections, you will find a detailed description of how theCommittee plans to appropriate these funds based on Residential needs and Commercial needs.We have also provided a line item budget that is categorized into: Personnel Costs and Non-Personnel Costs, which details the amount of: payroll, operating expenses, equipment,construction, demolishment, and renovation funds needed to execute the Committee’s plan.
10Residential AllocationAccording to the Columbus Housing Authority’s Fiscal 2012 Report, in fiscal year 2011, theAuthority funded $1,000,000 towards the purchase and revitalization of the Gentian OaksApartments (―Management’s Discussion & Analysis‖ 5). The Gentian Oaks Apartments aresimilar to the BTW housing units; therefore, the committee feels that this figure is appropriatetowards the implementation of the residential component of our proposed plan.Furthermore, the City has agreed to contribute $2,775,000.00 towards the development’s generalconstruction funding and $225,000.00 towards infrastructure necessities, including newunderground utility services, utility connections, and surface improvements (―Memorandum ofAgreement‖ 3). Because of the City’s generous contribution towards BTW’s infrastructureimprovements, we would be able to allocate the City’s $2,775,000.00 contribution and theproposed funds towards interior and exterior renovations, such as: the construction of a newcourtyard, roofing, paint, heating and air upgrades, carpet, and dry wall installation.Because the Committee chose to allow the Columbus Housing Authority to oversee therenovations of the BTW housing unit, the only section in the line item budget that applies toBTW is entitled, ―BTW Renovations,‖ and the amount of funding required is listed as$1,000,000. The CHA will incur all the remaining costs not directly related to cosmetic interiorand exterior renovations.Commercial AllocationThe Committee is asking that $19,000,000 of the proposed $20,000,000 be put towards thecommercial development outlined in our proposed plan. A large portion of the requested grantwill be appropriated towards personnel costs. According to Indeed.com, the average constructionworker salary is $47,000/year (―Construction Worker Salary in Georgia‖), and with 50employees working for three years, this will cost $7,050,000. The remaining $620,000 in payrollcosts are to staff a Principal Engineer, Senior Engineer, Architect, Real Estate Attorney,Consultant, Developer, and Lander Surveyor.
11The remaining $11,330,000 of the requested grant will cover operating expenses, rentalequipment, permit fees, and commercial construction. The total amount of the grant requested forthe completion of this project is $20,000,000. Please refer to the subsequent line item budgetfigure which illustrates, in detail, the costs to be incurred for project completion. Also, pleaserefer to the artist renderings below that provide a conceptualized illustration of the LibertyTheatre area commercial development.
12Personnel CostsPersonnel Services $ 7,670,000Classification Salary TimePrincipal Engineer $ 50,000 3 Years $150,000Senior Engineer $ 40,000 3 Years $120,000Architect $ 50,000 2 Years $100,000Real Estate Attorney $ 50,000 1 Year $50,000Consultant $ 40,000 1 Year $40,000Developer $ 40,000 3 Years $120,000Land Surveyor $ 40,000 1 Year $40,000Construction Crew $ 47,000 3 Years $47,000 x 50 Employees x 3 Years = $7,075,000Non-Personnel CostsNon-Personnel Services $ 11,330,000Operating Expenses $ 29,000Hotel Vouchers for BTW Residents $ 14,500Supplies (less than $5,000 per item) $ 14,500Equipment (Rented) $ 300,000Construction (Contracted Services) $ 11,001,000Demolition (Commercial development only) $ 1,000,000New Construction (Commercial development only) $ 9,000,000BTW Renovations $ 1,000,000Permit Fees $ 1,000Total $ 20,000,000
13PersonnelThe following section will provide the Woodruff Foundation with an overview of each of theCommittee member’s job duties, roles, and responsibilities as it relates to the project described inthis proposal. This overview shall serve as means of accountability and point of reference for theWoodruff Foundation’s role. The Committee is compiled of four members, and though each rolevaries in nature, each member shares the same passion and vision for the revitalization of BTWand commercial development in the historic Liberty District or Columbus, Georgia.Committee PresidentThe Committee President (CP) shall oversee the Project Manager, Chief Accountant, and Pointof Contact. The CP will constantly review the performance and hold accountable the othermembers of the Committee, with the best interests of the project, Woodruff Foundation, andColumbus Housing Authority being the top priority. The CP ensures all members of theCommittee work together as a team. The CP shall ensure that the Committee carries out theirroles and responsibilities in the most effective and efficient manner. While the Point of Contactrepresents the Committee in front of the Woodruff Foundation and Columbus HousingAuthority, the CM shall represent the Committee in all public activities, such as Town Hallmeetings and press events.Project ManagerThe Project Manager (PM) shall oversee the day-to-day operations of each phase of the project.The PM shall compose weekly progress reports for the Woodruff Foundation. The PM shall alsooversee the hiring process and conduct interviews alongside the Committee President. The PMshall also serve as the liaison between employees and POC, who reports directly to the WoodruffFoundation and the Columbus Housing Authority. The PM shall also be responsible for theexecution, planning, and completion of the project.Chief AccountantThe Chief Accountant (CA) is responsible for all financial matters pertaining to the project. TheCA shall maintain accuracy of the Committee’s line item budget and appropriated funds. The CA
14shall also keep financial records of all purchases made during the project and make these recordsavailable for the Woodruff Foundation, Columbus Housing Authority, and ColumbusConsolidated Government. The CA shall also conduct weekly and bi-weekly payroll procedures,maintain tax-related record accuracy, and provide weekly itemized expense and fiscal reports forthe Woodruff Foundation and Columbus Housing Authority.Point of ContactThe Point of Contact (POC) will serve as the liaison between the Woodruff Foundation,Columbus Housing Authority, residents of Columbus, residents of BTW, and the Committee forinformation relating to all aspects of the project. The POC is responsible for compiling andrelaying progress reports, scheduling appointments, and ensuring accuracy on all correspondenceto and from The Columbus Housing Authorities and The Woodruff Foundation.
15Works Cited"Columbus Ledger Enquirer." Liberty District Plan Proposal. Ledger-Enquirer, n.d. Web.24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2013/04/20/2472782/liberty-district-proposed-architectural.html>."Construction Worker Salary in Georgia." Indeed Job Search. Indeed, 24 Apr. 2013. Web. 24Apr. 2013.Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia. Managements Discussion & Analysis and AuditedFinancial Statements. Columbus: Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia, 2012.PDF.(http://www.columbushousing.org/assets/Columbus%20REV%20Audit%20Report%20063012.pdf)James-Johnson, Alva. "Taking Sides: Liberty District Redevelopment, BTW Relocation atCenter of Dispute Among Citys Political Leaders." Taking Sides: Liberty DistrictRedevelopment, BTW Relocation at Center of Dispute among Citys Political Leaders.Ledger-Enquirer, 30 Mar. 2013. Web. 19 Apr. 2013."Planning Applications." Budget Town Planning. WordPress, n.d. Web.(http://budgettownplanning.com/home)"Robert W. Woodruff Foundation." Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. Robert W. WoodruffFoundation, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://www.woodruff.org/grant_rww.aspx>.The Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia. Memorandum of Agreement. Columbus: TheHousing Authority of Columbus, Georgia, 2012. PDF.(http://ccga1.columbusga.org/e-cap.nsf)Tomlinson, Teresa. Liberty District Master Plan. Columbus: Columbus ConsolidatedGovernment, 2 Apr. 2013. PDF.
The Columbus, GA Committee for Better Building and Development4556 12thStreetColumbus, Georgia 31901April 20, 2013Attn: Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Columbus Consolidated GovernmentGovernment Center Tower100 10th StreetColumbus, Georgia 31901Dear Council Members:This letter and attached recommendation report are to address the need for residentialrevitalization and commercialization in the Liberty District, based on varied interpretations ofhow to effectively implement the 2003 Liberty District Master Plan. Due to the tensionsurrounding varied interpretations of the Master Plan, revitalizations of Liberty District Areacannot commence until both sides come to an agreement.The recommendation report will explain the problem, in detail, and also propose the bestsolution for the use of the Liberty District area and how to begin executing the proposedsolution. The four possible solutions and the criteria that we shall weigh them against are basedon the values and needs shared by all parties involved. After testing these solutions, we willdiscuss the best possible solution to begin the residential revitalization of BTW and commercialdevelopment in the Liberty District.We thank you for your time and hope that you will find our recommendation as the bestsolution to the problem at hand. Our Committee can be contacted at: CBBD@columbus.gov.Best regards,President, Committee for Better Building and Development
Recommendation Report forCommercial Development and the Residential Revitalization of the BTW Housing Unitsin the Liberty District Area of Columbus, GeorgiaPrepared forMayor Teresa Tomlinson andThe Columbus Consolidated GovernmentPrepared byThe Columbus, GA Committee for Better Building and DevelopmentApril 20, 2013
AbstractThis recommendation report will address the problem of the differing interpretations of the 2003Liberty District Master Plan concerning the commercial development and residentialrevitalization of the Booker T. Washington (BTW) Housing Units in the Liberty District area ofthe Columbus, GA. If this problem is not addressed, it may cause stagnation and potentialdecrease in community growth, unemployment rates, crime, revenue, and a decrease in quality oflife for the residents of BTW. Our committee will provide four possible solutions that wereformulated based on differing interpretations of the Master Plan and alternative solutionsproposed by Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. These solutions will then be weighed againstfour criteria (Economical, Feasibility, How Well it Addresses the Problem, and Popularity) thatreflect the values of the Columbus Consolidated Government, Liberty District Stakeholders,BTW residents, area clergy, and Columbus residents. Based on our findings, the implementationof our committee’s proposed solution will: Restore and maintain the viability of the Liberty District area Promote a sense of identity, pride and confidence Provide a safe, livable and desirable neighborhood Provide convenient neighborhood shopping Encourage retail and office development, retention, and expansion Better promote entertainment, the arts, and cultural activities Provide adequate open space and recreational opportunities to area residents(“Master Plan” 1)
1Introduction“The Liberty District has declined significantly over the past several decades, and the ColumbusConsolidated Government determined the time was right to engage in an “opportunity-based”process to plan for appropriate public/private redevelopment” (Master Plan 1). Considering thediversity of Stakeholders and residents that infuse the historic Liberty District, and inanticipation of their needs and ideas, the Columbus Consolidated Government constructed the2003 Liberty District Master Plan.“The city adopted the Plan in an effort to revitalize the African American EntertainmentDistrict and offer improved housing and commercial options for residents. A criticalelement to this revitalization is the redevelopment of the Booker T. Washington (BTW)housing units” (“Master Plan”).Yet, the Plan is at the center of a huge debate amongst Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, city officials,developers, area clergy, and BTW residents because no one can come to an agreement as to howto implement the Plan while also addressing the redevelopment and/or revitalization of the BTWhousing units. On one side of the debate involves the mayor of Columbus Teresa Tomlinsonwho strongly believes that because the city has already committed over $40 million to the projectthat the main focus of the 2003 Master Plan should be to build 100 mixed income apartmentsaround the historic liberty theatre (“Taking Sides” 2). On the other side of the debate TaxCommissioner Lula Lundsford Huff and supporters believe that rezoning the housing near theLiberty Theatre is a violation of the 2003 Plan, which calls for a Liberty Center around theLiberty Theatre (“Taking Sides” 3). While the plan does include some residential development inthe area, Lunsford believes that the main focus should developing the area into a commercial,entertainment and recreational center.Problem Statement“The Liberty Theatre area, once the heart and pride Columbus’ African-Americancommunity is only a shell of what it used to be. Gutted buildings, empty lots, overgrownweeds, the miry clay surrounding the historic Liberty Theatre—all tell the tale of a
2community that once thrived, but eventually succumbed to abandonment, decay, andneglect” (“Taking Sides” 1).In an effort to revitalize and redevelop this once-thriving community, the Liberty District MasterPlan was composed as a guideline to help potential developers, investors, and communitymembers facilitate a solution that focuses on an “’opportunity-based’ process to plan forappropriate public/private development” (“Master Plan” 1). The Master Plan proposes for theredevelopment and enhancement of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings in thehistoric Liberty District of Columbus. At the center of the Liberty District development sits thedilapidated and much neglected Booker T. Washington (BTW) Housing Units, which also needthe same redevelopment and revitalization that the rest of the Liberty District calls for.The Plan has been interpreted by Columbus Consolidated Government leaders, Columbusresidents, and Liberty Stakeholders, and potential developers in two different ways, causingtension because neither side can come to an agreement as to how to implement the MasterPlan. Implementation of the 2003 Master Plan has caused a source of contention and has been atthe center of an ongoing debate for the past ten years.“On one side of the debate are Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, City Manager Isaiah Hugley,the Housing Authority of Columbus, Liberty Theatre Board Chairman Robert Anderson,some local pastors, and some public housing residents. [In addition to thecommercialization component,] [t]hey want 100 mixed-income apartments to be builtaround the historic Liberty Theatre” (“Taking Sides” 2).“On the other side of the controversy are Tax Commissioner Lula Lundsford Huff,councilors Jerry “Pops” Barnes and Bruce Huff, Planning Advisory Commissioner ZephBaker, and grassroots activists. They oppose the plans to rezone the three blocks near theLiberty Theatre for the BTW redevelopment project. They see it as a violation of the2003 Master Plan, which calls for a Liberty Center around the Liberty Theatre. While theplan calls for some residential development in that area, opponents believe 100
3apartments is too dense and the focus should be on developing the area into acommercial, entertainment, and recreational center” (“Taking Sides” 3).Both sides of the argument agree that while commercial developments and residentialrevitalization are keys to creating business, stimulating economic growth, and serving as a,“cultural and entertainment center that serves not only as a destination for tourists, but also as amajor congregation center for local people—an enjoyable place to meet others, to celebrate, andto participate in special events in the area” (“Master Plan” 1), but implementing thecommercialization component of the Master Plan must begin with an agreement as to what andhow to develop the BTW housing units. Although several public town meetings and privateColumbus Consolidated Government meetings have taken place, neither side has come to anagreement as to how to develop the area and commence with the implementation of the MasterPlan.Implementation of the Master Plan and revitalization of the Liberty District Area cannotcommence until both sides come to an agreement, causing stagnation in unemployment rates anda potential decrease in community growth, crime, and potential revenue. Moreover, residents ofthe BTW housing units will continue residing in poor living conditions in the much-neglected,392 unit, 70-year old structure. Because of this, our committee will combine all the residentialoptions pertaining to the redevelopment and revitalization of the BTW housing units, along withthe all the commercial options proposed by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson outlined in the “Update:Mayor Outlines Four Alternatives” April 2, 2013 Ledger-Enquirer article, and will weigh themagainst four criteria that reflect the values of the community leaders, residents of Columbus,developers, and the Columbus Consolidate Government, in order to establish a solution that willallow for development in the Liberty District to finally commence.CriteriaOur committee chose to weigh our proposed solutions against four criteria that consider thevalues held by the residents of Columbus, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, City Manager IsaiahHugley, The Housing Authority of Columbus, Liberty Theatre Board Chairman RobertAnderson, area clergy, and resident of the Booker T. Washington housing units (“Taking Sides”“Update: Mayor Outlines Four Alternatives”). These values were articulated in two Columbus-
4Ledger articles addressing the development of the Liberty District, where cost-efficiency, theability to carry out plans for commercial and residential revitalization, addressing the problem ofthe lack of commercialization in the Liberty District, and popularity, remained constant factorsin coming to a general consensus of how to begin development in the Liberty District. In orderfor the proposed solution to work, when compared against the other three proposed solutions, itmust fulfill the most amounts of established criteria. This comparison will be typified in thesubsequent section entitled, “Testing.” Please note that while these criteria are weighed equally,if a proposed solution only satisfies half of the criteria (only serves a residential solution or onlyserves as a commercial solution), it will be denoted in the subsequent matrix as a light blue checkmark, versus a solid green check mark, which means that possible solution fully satisfies thatcriterion. EconomicalThe first criterion is Economical. According to the article, “Taking Sides,” published on March30, 2013, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson conveyed concern towards the financial aspect of anyproposed solution, stating that, “The city has committed more than $3 million and three cityblocks to the project, as well as about $37 million in flood abatement work” (2). The same articlealso stated that in order to further finance the project, “the Housing Authority will have to submitan application for federal tax credit financing by June.” Moreover, this January, ColumbusCouncilman Barnes also voted in favor of the city spending an additional $3 million towards theproject (“Taking Sides” 3). Considering that any proposed solution will require collaborativefinancial efforts in order to successfully implement, it is crucial that our committee find asolution that is cost-effective because millions from several benefactors have already been spentto simply prepare for the redevelopment. FeasibilityThe second criterion is Feasibility. This criterion considers the overall ease in which theproposed solution can be implemented. The proposed solution needs to consider the existingbuildings, zoning, private and public property, and the overall time it would take to implement.According the Master Plan for the Liberty District, which was the document that brought forth
5the need for the revitalization in the Liberty District, a call to action for a proposed solution hasbeen under discussion since 2003 (“Master Plan”). Considering this, the proposed solution wouldneed to possess the ability to begin being implemented immediately and expected completionneeds to be as soon as possible. How Well it Addresses the ProblemThe third criterion is How Well it Addresses the Problem. The proposed solution needs toconsider both the residential and commercial development of the Liberty District, as well as theoverall image of the area. While the major goal of the proposed solution is for the residential andcommercial growth of the Liberty District, it is paramount that the said solution provides aphysical framework that retains and strengthens the District’s economic and cultural health andmakes a provision for reasonable future growth, restore and maintain the viability of the area,promote a sense of identity, pride and confidence; and provide a safe, livable and desirableneighborhood (“Master Plan” 1).According to the Liberty District Master Plan, the Columbus Consolidated Government wants to“[d]emolish substandard units and blighting influences” (1). This component of the residentialaspect of the Plan pertains to the BTW Building. And since the BTW housing units are a largecomponent in the revitalization the Liberty District, considering the housing needs of the BTWresidents and how to revitalize the existing BTW building is paramount when addressing theresidential aspect of the solution. In addition to addressing the BTW housing, the residentialcomponent must also try to conserve existing standard housing and provide areas for newresidential development (“Master Plan” 1).The commercialization aspect of the proposed solution needs to strongly consider the potentialgrowth of the Liberty District. According to the Master Plan, this growth entails: providingconvenient neighborhood shopping to support residential uses, encouraging retail and officedevelopment, retention, expansion, recruitment, and retaining employment in local industries(“Master Plan” 1). Measuring How Well it Addresses the Problem of the proposed solution alsoconsiders the assets—places, buildings, and conditions that define the District in a positiveway—and liabilities—places, buildings, and conditions that define the District in a negative way.
6These assets include: the Liberty Theatre, area churches, BTW Housing, cemeteries, LibertyGardens, Masonic Lodges, and the Mildred Terry Library. Some of the liabilities include:housing, lack of retail, zoning, parking, structures, sense of community, and Veterans Parkwaygateway quality (“Master Plan” 7). PopularityThe fourth criterion is Popularity. When measuring popularity, the proposed solution needs toconsider how well it is received amidst a variety of individuals. This includes: residents, businessowners, and city officials. Residents of the BTW housing units, in particular, will hold the mostweight when addressing the residential aspect of the proposed solution because the deciding howto revitalize the BTW building remains at the forefront in debates of how to begin therevitalization process. City officials, business owners, and other Columbus residents have asignificant impact on how well the proposed solution is received because these individuals are atthe heart of the Plan. These people “came together in a year-long redevelopment planningprocess, during which they shared their ideas and values with each other” (“Master Plan” 2),attended town meetings, and workshops to devise the Liberty District Master Plan, with the goalof implementing a strategic solution which would help foster residential revitalization andgrowth of commercialization.Possible SolutionsThe four proposed solutions are a combination of proposals by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and theColumbus Consolidated Government and varied interpretations of the Liberty District Plan(“Update: Mayor Outline Four Alternatives” “Proposed Alternative Designs” “Taking Sides”).These proposed solutions contain plans for both residential revitalization and growth throughimproved commercial development in the Liberty District. Residential emphasis is being madetowards addressing the BTW housing units because the BTW building remains at the forefront indebates of how to begin the revitalization process. Commercialization plans focus onimplementing a new park that benefits area residents, students, and tourists; the expansion of theLiberty Theatre because it is considered an asset, and commercial development between 6thAveand 8thStreet (see Image 1, Page 7). Artist renderings reflecting each proposed solution’scommercial development aspect can be found in the appendix (See Images 2-5).
7Figure 1: Liberty District area developmentImage 1: Liberty District area Development(Source: Master Plan, p. 10)A. Residential: Renovations to BTW: Simplerenovations made to the existing BTWHousing units. Commercial: CommercialDevelopment (and 6th Ave & 8th St CornerDev.) / Large Park Development /Expansion of the Liberty Theatre: Allow forcommercial development on 9th Streetbetween 7th and 8th Avenues and at the cornerof 9thStreet and 8thAve. Allows for potentialcommercial development at the corner of 6thAve and 8thStreet. Provides a three-blocklinear park for outdoor Liberty Theatreactivities and possible outdoor interactivecomponents of Liberty Center. Leaves site forLiberty Theatre expansion, Liberty Center areaor potential future commercial development nextto Liberty Theatre and Linear Park. This plan would also allow for additional diagonal parking on8thAve to accommodate additional Liberty Theatre parking.B. Residential: Nothing Done to BTW / Develop New Housing Elsewhere: Developing100 mixed-income apartments to be built around the Liberty Theatre. Commercial:Commercial Development (and 6thAve & 8thSt Corner Dev.) / Large ParkDevelopment: Allow for commercial development at 9thStreet and 8th Avenue, along 8thStreet (between 6thAve and 8thAve) and at all corners of 6thAve and 8thStreet. Alsoprovides a three-block linear park for outdoor Liberty Theatre activities and possibleoutdoor interactive components of Liberty Center. Also adds additional diagonal parkingfor the Liberty Center.C. Residential: Demolish BTW / Construct New Housing: Demolish BTW Housing unitsand develop new units, similar to Arbor Pointe and Ashley Station. Commercial:Commercial Development (and 6thAve & 8thSt Corner Dev.) / Large ParkDevelopment / Expansion of the Liberty Theatre: Allow for commercial development
8on 9thStreet between 7thand 8thAvenues and at the corner of 6thAvenue and 8thAve.Also allows for potential development at all corners of 6thAve and 8thStreet. Provides athree-block linear park for outdoor Liberty Theatre activities and possible outdoorinteractive components of Liberty Center. Provides for Liberty Plaza across the streetfrom Liberty Theatre, which can be used for additional open space and off-street parking.Also adds additional diagonal parking for the Liberty Theatre.D. Residential: Renovations to BTW: Simple renovations made to the existing BTWHousing units. Commercial: Commercial Development (No Corner Dev.) / LibertyTheatre Expansion / Smaller Park Development: Allows for commercial developmentalong 9thStreet from 6thAvenue to 9thAvenue, and at the corner of 6thAvenue and 8thStreet. Eliminates a section of the proposed Linear Park to allow for Liberty TheatreExpansion, Liberty Center area, or commercial development next to the Liberty Theatre.Proposes that the smaller version of the Linear Park be moved in front and behind theLiberty Theatre as opposed to alongside it. Adds a playground behind the LibertyTheatre. Eliminates the parking lot being used by the Friendship Baptist Church on 6thAvenue.TestingThe following section will provide an explanation of our findings along a subsequent matrix,which illustrates how the four criteria discussed in the previous section (Economical, Feasibility,How Well it Addresses the Problem, and Popularity) measure against our committee’s fourproposed solutions. Please note that while all criteria are weighted equally, if only the residentialor only the commercial aspect of the addressing the problem is met, it is denoted in the matrix asa light blue checkmark and is only given half credit in that respective category. If the proposedsolution addresses both the residential and commercial needs of the problem, it is denoted in thematrix as a green check mark, and is given full credit in that respective category.Taking all of these measurements into account, the following matrix illustrates that the proposedsolution that meets the most amount of criteria is Plan A. Plan A proposes that renovations bemade to the BTW housing units, and that commercial development be made on 9th Street
9between 7th and 8th Avenues and at the corner of 9thStreet and 8thAve. Allows for potentialfuture commercial development at the corner of 6thAve and 8thStreet, provides a three-blocklinear park for outdoor Liberty Theatre activities and possible outdoor interactive components ofLiberty Center, leaves a site for Liberty Theatre expansion, Liberty Center area or potentialfuture commercial development next to Liberty Theatre and Linear Park. This plan would alsoallow for additional diagonal parking on 8thAve to accommodate additional Liberty Theatreparking.Plan A EvaluationPlan A address partially addressed the Economical criterion because it serves as an inexpensiveresidential solution and an expensive commercial solution. Making renovations to the BTWhousing units is one of the least expensive solutions that can be done in order to satisfy theresidential component of the problem because other proposed solutions called for completedemolishment and/or moving the housing to another area, which would require stronger effortsmade towards receiving investments by developers and would face strong competition whentrying to receive HUD funds and additional tax credits (“Update: Mayor Outlines FourAlternatives”).Plan A fully addresses the Feasibility criterion because it the residents of the BTW housingwon’t face displacement because the renovations will allow them to continue residing in thebuilding throughout completion. Plan A is also feasible because the commercial developmentaspect of the plan was suggested by the Columbus Consolidated Government, Mayor TeresaTomlinson, and others who actively partook in Town Hall Meetings relating to the residentialrevitalization and commercialization of the Liberty District. Moreover, details of thecommercialization were laid out in a memo entitled, “Proposed Alternative Designs for BTWRedevelopment in the Liberty District” from the members of the Columbus ConsolidatedGovernment to Liberty District Stakeholders. The memo contains four proposed solutions for theredevelopment and commercialization of the Liberty District and these proposed solutions wereused in conjunction with Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s proposals to form our committee’s proposedsolutions.
10Plan A fully addresses the How Well it Addresses the Problem criterion because it addresses boththe residential and commercial aspect of the problem. Plan A will provide much neededrenovations to the BTW housing units, improving the overall appearance of both the interior andexterior. Plan A will also allow commercial development on 9th Street between 7th and 8thAvenues and at the corner of 9thStreet and 8thAve and at the corner of 6thAve and 8thStreet,which satisfies the lack of commercialization that was articulated in the problem section of thisreport. Furthermore, Plan A also creates a Large Park and expansion of the Liberty Theatre, bothof which serve as additional components of increasing commercialization in Liberty District thearea.Plan A fully addresses the Popularity criterion because residents of the BTW housing cancontinue residing where they are currently located and receive much needed renovations to theirunits. Lisa Johnson, 55, a resident of BTW is quoted in the March 30, 2013 Ledger-Enquirerarticle, “Taking Sides” as saying, “I want an upgrade. I’m tired of concrete walls. I’m tired ofhaving no carpet on my floors” (4). Plan A’s commercialization component was devised byMayor Teresa Tomlinson and detailed in an April 2, 2013 memo that was sent to Liberty DistrictStakeholders. The proposed solution was revised in a Stakeholder meeting to allow additionalparking on 8thAvenue to accommodate additional Liberty Theatre parking so the plan was morefeasible to execute. Unlike Plan B, which was rejected by Stakeholders on March 7, 2013), PlanA wasn’t rejected, and only received one modification (“Proposed Alternatives” 3). Because ofthis, Plan A is well-received and backed by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, the ColumbusConsolidated Government, and Liberty District Stakeholders.Plan B EvaluationPlan B is an expensive residential solution; therefore, it only partially addresses the Economicalcriterion. It will require more time to complete the residential aspect of the problem and willrequire stronger efforts made towards receiving investments by developers and will face strongcompetition when trying to receive HUD funds and additional tax credits when trying to buildnew housing units elsewhere. Developing new housing units elsewhere would cost the city moremoney than Plan A proposes, which is to simply revitalize and renovate the BTW housing units.Plan B fulfills the Feasibility criterion because the commercialization component of the proposal
11was suggested by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (“Update: Mayor Outlines Four Alternatives” 3).Because she, and members of the Columbus Consolidated Government, stands behind thisproposal, it is deemed as Feasible. Plan B does not fully fulfill the How Well it Solves theProblem criterion because it does not address the existing BTW housing unit problem. It onlysolves the commercialization component of the problem. Lastly, Plan B satisfies the Popularitycriterion because Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, City Manager Isaiah Hugley, the Housing Authorityof Columbus, Liberty Theatre Board Chairman Robert Anderson, area clergy, and some BTWresidents suggested both the residential and commercial components of this solution (“TakingSides” 2).Plan C EvaluationPlan C is the most expensive solution all-around because it proposes that the BTW housing unitsbe demolished and have new housing units constructed in its place, similar to Ashley Station andArbor Pointe. The commercialization component proposes the most development out of all thesolutions. Plan C entails plans for commercial development on Ninth Street between Seventh andEighth Avenues, and at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street. It also proposes a largethree-block linear park and expansion of the Liberty Theatre. Because of this, Plan C does notmeet the Economical criterion. Plan C meets the Feasibility criterion because both thecommercialization and residential components of the proposal were suggested and backed byMayor Teresa Tomlinson (“Update: Mayor Outlines Four Alternatives” 2-3, “Taking Sides” 2-5). Plan C meets the How Well it addresses the Problem because it allows for bothcommercialization and revitalization of the Liberty District. Plan C partially meets thePopularity criterion because while it is popular amongst BTW residents, it is not popular withHUD Housing because lately it has been pushing housing authorities to opt for an alternative toprojects such as Arbor Pointe and Ashley Station. It is also not popular with,“Lula Lundsford Huff, whose family has a long history of entrepreneurship in the LibertyDistrict, said the plans to move BTW residents around the Theatre violates a plan thatwasdeveloped from input from stakeholders who wanted the three bocks used for mixeddevelopment” (“Taking Sides” 3).
12Plan D EvaluationPlan D is the cheapest solution all-around because it proposes that renovations be made to theexisting BTW housing units, it proposes no corner commercial development (like Plan A, B, andC do), and while it proposes for the Liberty Theatre expansion, it also calls for a smaller parkdevelopment. Because of this, Plan D fulfills the Economical criterion. Plan D is the mostFeasible solution because it require the least amount of residential and commercial development.Plan D partially meets the How Well it Addresses the Problem criterion because it satisfactorilyaddresses the residential problem because it does not increase residential housing and onlyaddresses the commercialization component of the problem. And while it does address thecommercialization component of the problem, it proposes the smallest amount of developmentbe made. Plan D does not meet the Popularity criterion because it is not popular with theFriendship Baptist Church because their parking lot will be eliminated in the commercialdevelopment process (“Update: Mayor Outlines Four Proposals” 3).
13Testing MatrixPlan A Plan B Plan C Plan DEconomicalFeasibilityHow Well itAddresses theProblemPopularityLegendPartially addresses problem—Only residential or only commercialFully addresses both residentialrevitalization and commercialdevelopment revitalization
14RecommendationCity officials and residents alike have established a need for residential revitalization andcommercial development of the historic Liberty District. After our committee weighed the fourproposed solutions against the four criteria (Economical, Feasibility, How Well it Solves theProblem, Popularity), we propose that Plan A be implemented because it satisfies the mostcriteria. Plan A, which entails: Renovations are to be made to the existing BTW housing units:o This apartment complex is in the vicinity of a busy street. Because of this, we willcreate a central courtyard for BTW residents. By creating a courtyard withlandscaping, barbecue area and seating for the residents, we can create a quietspace for the residents to enjoy, and also increase the curb appeal of the property(“Renovation Tips”).o We will install new concrete sidewalks on the property. The new asphalt andsidewalks assure that water is drained away from the property and ultimately outto the city street (“Renovation Tips”).o We will install an entryway security system. It’s an inexpensive, telephone baseddoor locking system used by residents to allow entry to visitors (“RenovationTips”).o We will replace the existing interior brick walls with drywall, and then apply asimple two-tone paint job (“Renovation Tips”). The exterior will also receive apaint job, in accordance with historic Liberty District color standards.o We will install ceiling fans (“Renovation Tips”) and upgrade heating and airunits.o We will install a bright, white Durolast roofing system to replace the existingroofing (“Renovation Tips”). Commercial development (and 6th Ave & 8th St Corner Dev.), large park development,and expansion of the Liberty Theatre:o This also allows for additional diagonal parking on 8thAve to accommodateadditional Liberty Theatre Parkingo This also allows for commercial development on 9th Street between 7th and 8thAvenues
15o Commercial development in this area shall include: restaurants, retail shops, agrocery store, a drug store, and a possible hotel.o The expansion of the Liberty Theatre shall serve as a, “mixed-use area of lofthousing, commerce, and entertainment focused on an urban space open to thecommunity” (“Master Plan” 12).Implementation of Plan A will solve the issue surrounding the need for residential revitalizationof the BTW housing units and commercial development in the Liberty District that wasdescribed in the problem statement.
16AppendixFigure 1: Plan A Commercial Development Artist Rendering(Source: “Proposed Alternative Designs for BTW Redevelopment in the Liberty District” Memo April 2, 2013.)
17Figure 2: Plan B Commercial Development Artist Rendering(Source: “Proposed Alternative Designs for BTW Redevelopment in the Liberty District” Memo April 2, 2013.)
18Figure 3: Plan C Commercial Development Artist Rendering(Source: “Proposed Alternative Designs for BTW Redevelopment in the Liberty District” Memo April 2, 2013.)
19Figure 4: Plan D Commercial Development Artist Rendering(Source: “Proposed Alternative Designs for BTW Redevelopment in the Liberty District” Memo April 2, 2013.)
20Works CitedBradley, Theresa. "Forcing Appreciation On Multifamily Properties With a Value AddedStrategy: Some Before and After Pictures of Apartment Building Renovations." TheresaBradley-Banta Real Estate Consultancy RSS. N.p., 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.James-Johnson, Alva. "Taking Sides: Liberty District Redevelopment, BTW Relocation atCenter of Dispute Among Citys Political Leaders." Taking Sides: Liberty DistrictRedevelopment, BTW Relocation at Center of Dispute among Citys Political Leaders.Ledger-Enquirer, 30 Mar. 2013. Web. 19 Apr. 2013.JRA Architects, and KPS Group. Master Plan for the Liberty District. Columbus: n.p., 2003.PDF.Owen, Mike. "Update: Mayor Outline Four Alternatives for Liberty DistrictRedevelopment." Update: Mayor Outlines Four Alternatives for Liberty DistrictRedevelopment. Ledger-Enquirer, 2 Apr. 2013. Web. 19 Apr. 2013.Tomlinson, Teresa, and Columbus Council. Proposed Alternative Designs for BTW Replacementin the Liberty District. Columbus: Columbus Consolidated Government, 2 Apr. 2013.PDF.Tomlinson, Teresa. Liberty District Master Plan. Columbus: Columbus ConsolidatedGovernment, 2 Apr. 2013. PDF.