Port Authority proposes idea to develop more housing in Galion


GALION — The Galion Port Authority presented a proposal to the Galion City Council Finance Committee asking that the city consider loaning funds to a real estate developer to help facilitate construction of a new apartment building and single-family dwellings in Galion.

Port Authority member Chad Miller pitched the idea to make a low-cost loan in the amount of $300,000 available to the developer during the Finance Committee meeting on June 16.

Grant Giltz, a Canton-based developer, has already built the Carter Crossings Luxury Apartments complex on Carter Drive in Galion near the Galion City Schools campus. The two-building complex features one- and two-bedroom apartments with monthly rent priced from $825 to $1,125.

Miller said Giltz has an option to buy five parcels located at the Renschville Development, an 11-acre site on Winchester Road owned by the Galion Port Authority. Giltz was granted access to the property as part of the agreement when the Port Authority purchased the property from him. He had the purchase contract to acquire the Renschville property and passed it on to the Port when he sold the property to the agency.

According to the Port Authority website, “The initial plan (for the Renschville Development) is to construct up to 20 homes on the site plan. The plan works in parallel with the findings which were documented in a housing study performed by the Danter Associates and published on May 10, 2019. The homes built are eligible for property tax abatement under the City of Galion’s Community Reinvestment Area (CRA). Every home constructed is eligible for a 50% property taxes abatement for 15 years.”

Miller said Giltz has expressed his intention to build a third apartment building on Carter Drive and begin construction of single-family houses at the Renschville Development. Due to the rising cost of materials over the past year, Miller said Giltz noted that the price to build the next apartment building had increased by about $340,000 and Giltz asked the Port Authority if it was possible to secure a low-cost loan from the agency.

“We immediately started thinking about our revolving loan fund,” Miller said. “We prefer to use the assets that we have … to pair it with money from the city so that (Giltz) could then start building those single-family units. It’s kind of a two-prong approach. The Port would be asking for a loan from the city of $300,000, which we would in turn provide to Mr. Giltz for the apartment complex piece of his project. Additionally, the Port’s going to use the existing funds that we have in the revolving loan fund to help support housing starts out at Renschville.”

Miller said Giltz has committed to building two single-family units initially at the Renschville Development. Once they are sold, he will then construct more units.

Finance Committee Chair Dr. Thomas G. Fellner, At-Large, and committee member Aaron Ivy, 2nd Ward, both expressed support for the proposal. Fellner asked Miller to “work on the details” and present more information to the committee at a future meeting.


By Andrew Carter

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