The Poindexter Village housing community, parts of which already underwent demolition starting in June,2013

Columbus attorney William Todd, Chief Executive Officer of real estate development firm Develop88 LTD, submitted a purchase offer to the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) on August 9th, in an effort to purchase and rehabilitate ten of the 35 buildings of the Poindexter Village housing community, which is now being demolished.
Todd said, “the goal of every revitalization effort should be to get private investment to turn these neighborhoods around. We can’t continue to rely on federal dollars, when the private sector is willing to step up and invest. These are great buildings with a rich history of particular importance to Columbus’s African American community. These buildings are ripe for reinvestment, and we are willing to bring private dollars to get this project done.”
Develop88 Managing Partner Beth Gano Cattunar says “we were excited by the vision of a new future for Poindexter Village – one that retained a strong sense of service and history while breaking from the government housing past. Every neighborhood is as unique as the people that live there. We want to build on the strong foundation of the past while adding vision for the future.”

According to Todd, the group’s offer is in response to CMHA’s rejection of a report by an Expert Group of architects, preservation experts and building development professionals convened by the City of Columbus Historic Preservation Office as part of a federally-required review of the demolition of historic properties. “We got the phone call and then saw this Expert Group report – and this Expert Group has real good people that I know and respect -- and thought, we can do this, we should do this and we need to step up,” Todd said. “This is a great convergence between business principles and community development. For us, first and foremost, restoring Poindexter Village makes business sense. Then, our Develop88 mission calls us to do something good for the city and state that we live in and love. This project is a perfect match of community desire and private sector capability.”

Emails to CMHA’s executive staff and a phone call to CMHA Executive Director Charles Hillman seeking comment were not returned by press time.