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United Way Issues RFP for Sale of Building

December 6th, 2021

For decades, United Way of Central Ohio has occupied 360 S. Third Street, a visible corner in the southern end of downtown Columbus at the southeast corner of South Third and East Mound streets. Now, the organization is ready to sell its desirable property.

Because United Way’s mission is to improve the lives of others by mobilizing the caring power of our community, a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued today to purchase and develop the property includes a caveat: redevelopment proposals that include affordable housing will be given special consideration.

“Our mission to improve the lives of others by mobilizing the caring power of our community impacts everything we do. Central Ohio is in desperate need of affordable housing, and our property is a prime location for redevelopment, as it is conveniently located to bus lines, services and nearly 100,000 jobs in the central core of the city,” said Lisa S. Courtice, CEO and President of United Way. “We want developers to meet a critical need in the transformation of our desirable location.”

Affordable housing is generally defined as housing where the occupant pays no more than 30% of gross income for housing costs, including utilities. When selecting a successful proposal, United Way will give special consideration to projects incorporating affordable housing. However, applications that do not include an affordable housing component will also be considered. Preliminary proposals are due February 28, 2022. Top applicants will be invited to submit comprehensive plans by April 22, 2022.

A Real Estate Task Force consisting of United Way employees, board members, community volunteers and outside advisors will review all proposals submitted, invite top candidates to interview with the Task Force and provide a final recommendation to the United Way Board of Trustees. A negotiation process with the leading candidate(s) will likely be part of this process as well. The Board of Trustees will provide final approval and authorization of a purchase and sale agreement. You will find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to the RFP process below.

Battelle Memorial Institute Foundation donated the 1.08-acre site at 360. S. Third Street property to United Way of Central Ohio in 1978 for use as its headquarters. Now 43 years later, the organization is pursuing a co-location opportunity with several complementary nonprofit organizations. It’s anticipated the building will be vacated and available for redevelopment no later than December 31, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions related to the RFP:

There is almost a two-month gap from the initial preliminary proposal submission – February 28, 2022 to the Comprehensive Plan submittal April 22, 2022. What do you envision being included in the Comprehensive Plan submittal that is not included in the Preliminary proposal submission?

Our Real Estate Task Force is hoping to receive high-level ideas from proposals submitted by the 2/28/22 deadline. The Task Force is sensitive to the amount of work that is required to submit a comprehensive plan and does not want prospective respondents to spend time on these details if they are not likely to be competitive.

What is the intended timeframe for a final decision after the finalist round?

The sale and redevelopment of 360 S. Third Street is a top priority for United Way’s Board of Trustees and its Real Estate Task Force. We are designing a thoughtful process that we will be implemented immediately after the April 22 deadline. At this time, we do not have specific details of this timeline. Our Board of Trustees meeting schedule includes full meetings in July, September, October and November. If possible, the Task Force will want to complete its due diligence and bring the best proposal to the Board of Trustees during this scheduled meeting timeframe.

Have there been any previous Hazardous Material study completed on the site or building?

We have not completed such a study.

Is it permissible to walk the building with a representative from United Way?

Yes, tours are permissible – individuals can contact Juliana Hardymon at juliana.hardymon@uwcentralohio.org if they wish to tour the property. Guidance we have received from real estate experts is that the maximum future value of property does not include the existing building.

The RFP mentions the CME Credit Union site. Please confirm whether our proposal should focus singularly on the United Way property and not combining any adjacent parcels.

We are seeking proposals for the sale and redevelopment of the parcel owned by United Way. That said, we recognize that including the adjacent property, owned by CME, in a redevelopment effort, could make the opportunity even more attractive. We encourage developers to connect directly with CME leadership should they have interest in a larger redevelopment parcel.

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