Despite Building Supply Shortage, M/I Homes Isn’t Slowing Down with Housing Developments

The developer tries to meet the real estate demand with 15 Central Ohio projects.

TC Brown
Hoover Farms

Rigid zoning codes, the cost and shortage of building supplies, scarcity of laborers, and even COVID-19 have plagued many developers, but none of that has slowed M/I Homes, which is currently building 15 developments in Central Ohio. 

The latest is Spring Hill Farm on 123 acres in Reynoldsburg, announced in July. It is the first new home development in that community in 15 years. 

“With a development like this it hits a market of housing that the community has not had for quite some time,” says Reynoldsburg Mayor Joe Begeny. “We have a small town feel and this development fits that with a lot of green space, park trails, connectivity, everything that new families are going to be looking for.” 

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Headquartered in Columbus, M/I Homes has constructed more than 130,000 homes in 15 markets in seven states over the past 40 years. In Central Ohio, business is thriving, says Josh Barkan, vice president of land for the organization, though challenges remain. 

“Central Ohio is a very tough place to get single family homes approved at a meaningful density and that is probably the biggest challenge,” says Barkan. 

Related:M/I Homes rides demand for homes to record highs

The process to create a new housing development is complicated and time consuming, taking up to three years for a builder to get approval from local zoning boards and city councils before it begins to close on homes. Two of the biggest factors under consideration by local governments always involve lot size and preserved green space, which local entities want to protect. Developers often complain that these requirements drive up their costs. 

Reynoldsburg revamped its zoning codes in 2018 and that reduced the approval period with city government to 18 months, says Barkan. M/I Homes is building 354 homes in Spring Hill Farms, each with three to five bedrooms and 1,440 to 2,792 square feet. The homes went on sale in July at the base price of $329,000. Thirteen had been sold through August. 

“These are entry level, targeted at first-time home buyers for their first move up, with great amenities and a community feel,” Barkan says. 

Last November, M/I Homes announced the Homes at Foxfire development at Commercial Point, the first time in 12 years the company has built in the southwest corridor. The Grove City homes, ranging in size from 1,440 to 2,620 square feet and beginning at $321,900, back up to The Players Club at Foxfire’s 18-hole golf course. 

Walnut Woods—on the eastern side of Hoover Reservoir, just a few miles off of the water—opened late last year and features ranch and two-story homes ranging from 1,440 to 2,499 square feet. Prices begin at $336,900. Another nearby development, Hoover Farms, also opened last year. It offers new homes ranging from 1,500 to nearly 3,000 square feet, and is nestled among 30 acres of reserve space. Pricing at Hoover Farms begins at $374,900. 

M/I’s other Central Ohio developments include: Heron Crossing in Pickerington; Founder’s Park at Harrison West; M/I Homes at Grandview Yard; Brown’s Farm in Grove City; Farms at Jefferson in Blacklick; Glacier Point and Jerome Village—Pearl Creek, both in Plain City; Liberty Grand and Woodcrest Crossing, both in Powell; Retreat at Dustin in Galena; and Northlake Preserve in Sunbury. 

This story is from the October 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.