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Jan 28, 2015

Portsmouth bypass will be ODOT’s first public-private partnership

A planned $429 million bypass around the city of Portsmouth in Scioto County will be the largest project in the history of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and it will also be the first public-private financing partnership, reports The Columbus Dispatch. A new mechanism adopted in 2011 “allows the private sector to build and pay for public transportation projects while the state repays them over time,” according to the article. “It’s kind of like when you buy your house (with a mortgage). You get the road up front,” said ODOT spokeswoman Melissa Ayers. The total cost to taxpayers has not been determined yet; ODOT will use “a combination of federal funds that in past years have been earmarked for Appalachian highways and other construction money” to make payments over the 35-year contract. The 16-mile bypass will link Route 23 and Route 52, allowing drivers “to avoid about 26 miles of Rts. 23 and 52 and a slew of stoplights through Portsmouth.” Construction is expected to take about four years. For more, read the full article

Posted by R. McCarthy in  State Updates   |  Permalink


Jan 26, 2015

Development boom turning West Chester, Liberty Township into a metropolis

Eight development projects are scheduled to open in 2015 in the West Chester/Liberty Township area, creating a new destination location in the “I-75 Growth Corridor” between Cincinnati and Dayton, reports the Journal-News. Three hotels, the $350 million mixed-use Liberty Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s expansion including a fourth floor and a proton therapy center, and Butler Tech’s bioscience training facility are all part of “the next wave of development in this hot spot between Cincinnati and Dayton.” Joe Hinson, president of West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, said “We’ve become a small area of farmland now transitioning into a metropolis…with two central business districts and also now becoming a more regional draw for our entire area,” which includes Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.  The Liberty Center, which will encompass more than 1 million square feet of "retail and dining, residential and office space,” has been designed with future expansion already in mind that could “more than double the floor space,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. “It’s projected that within the next 10 to 15 years, this will be a top 10 metro area within the U.S.,” Hinson said in the Journal-News article. For more, read the full Journal-News and Bloomberg Businessweek articles.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jan 08, 2015

$1 million economic development pilot program will support “stage two” businesses

A new pilot program aimed at supporting middle-range businesses was amended into a lame duck sales tax holiday measure, according to a recent Gongwer report. The Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program “aims to provide eligible businesses assistance with market research and marketing as well as creating connections with trade associations, academic institutions, business advocacy groups, mentor programs and other businesses,” during its two-year pilot operation. Rep. Michael Stinziano, who “sponsored measures to create the program,” said that “while the state works to attract and retain big businesses through JobsOhio and provides assistance to budding entrepreneurs through numerous programs, the economic gardening program will support middle-range or so-called ‘stage-two’ businesses that aren’t new but also don’t necessarily have significant national or international reach.” To be eligible for the program, businesses must have been located in Ohio for the last two years, employ between six and 99 employees, and generate revenue between $750,000 and $25 million. Additionally, companies must have “recorded increases in gross revenue and the number of full-time Ohio employees during three of the past five years.” Stinziano said research into similar programs in Indiana, Michigan and Florida “supports his theory that the program could increase jobs and revenue among Ohio’s stage two businesses and those who work for them.”

Posted by R. McCarthy in  State Updates   |  Permalink


Dec 12, 2014

Promised job-creation program funded by sales-tax increase unveiled

When Franklin County commissioners voted to raise the county sales tax in 2013, they promised to use some of the money for a new job-creation program. In October of this year, they launched “the first part of that program, the Franklin County Infrastructure Bank,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The bank will “make low-interest loans available to other local governments for road, bridge, sewer, lighting and other improvements designed to make them attractive to businesses.” James Schimmer, Franklin County’s economic-development and planning director, said the bank will provide financing that “will leverage other dollars” from sources including private investment or state and federal programs, to “get projects done when they otherwise would come up short.” An initial investment of $3.5 million collected from the additional sales-tax revenue will start the fund, and the county will “add a similar amount for the next four to five years,” with the hope that the bank eventually becomes self-sustaining, as money paid back from successful projects funds future loans. Commissioner John O’Grady said the fund will benefit all residents of Franklin County, because, “[i]f we want to continue to grow the economy . . . we can’t have crumbling infrastructure. When local governments are looking to improve their communities through new development, they have to look at new infrastructure.” For more, read the full article.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Dec 04, 2014

New development chief for Cincinnati ready to build on city’s momentum

Oscar Bedolla, Cincinnati’s new development director, “may be City Manager Harry Black’s most important hire” in terms of keeping Cincinnati’s growth momentum going, according to a recent Cincinnati Business Courier article. Bedolla has “worked on major projects in Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Washington D.C. and Louisiana,” according to the article, and Black says, “[h]e’s got a very broad scope of experience.” As trade and development director, Bedolla will be involved in major development and real estate deals to bring companies to Cincinnati, especially projects that involve tax incentives. Bedolla says deals like the new General Electric U.S. Global Operations Center coming to Cincinnati create momentum and breathe life into the city that can be leveraged to attract more businesses. Speaking of what attracted him to the position here, he said, “I think the key to development is strong partnerships. And here one of the key things they have is the relationship with the business community as well as the neighborhood communities.” Long-term, he says, he’d like “to be a part of the thought leadership associated with how cities grow from an economic development standpoint.” For more, read the full article.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink






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