Cincinnati named to top 25 most environmentally friendly U.S. cities

Insider included Cincinnati in its top-25 ranking of the most “eco-conscious destinations across the country,” Soapbox Cincinnati reports. Insider consulted sources including Siemens’ Green City Index and WalletHub’s 2017 list of America’s greenest cities that “compares 100 of the largest cities in the US across 22 ‘green’ indicators like median air-quality and number of jobs accessible by public transit.” Insider reports that in 2012, Cincinnati “became the largest US city to offer its residents 100% renewable electricity.” For more, read the full article or click here for the full list of cities.

Environmental, Renewable Energy

Coca-Cola to build new facility in Greater Cincinnati area, create 430 jobs

The former Showcase Cinemas site in Erlanger will become the home of a new Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated 300,000-square-foot facility that will create 430 new jobs, reports. The project is part of the company’s $30 million investment in the Cincinnati region; Coke Consolidated has already invested $12 million in improvements and upgrades to its Madisonville, Ohio manufacturing facility. The new Erlanger facility, expected to open by late summer 2019, will create positions in “distribution, sales, and warehouse functions.” Coke Consolidated vice president of communications Brian Nick said the company anticipates “investing additional and substantial capital in this market unit because of the growth of our business in this region.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development

Battery storage could propel wind and solar to power half the world

Falling battery costs will have a “huge impact” on the world’s electricity mix in the coming decades, and “could help wind and solar rise to 50% of the world’s electricity generation by 2050,” reports. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)’s annual “long-term analysis of the future of the global electricity system, New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2018,” predicts $11.5 trillion in new power generation capacity investments between 2018 and 2050, with $8.4 trillion in wind and solar power. Seb Henbest, lead author of NEO 2018, said, “[t]he arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy

West Chester investing $5M for trade center that could bring 1,000 jobs

West Chester Township approved “more than $5 million in tax increment financing [TIF] funds to create the public infrastructure needed to facilitate development of a light industrial/office park with the potential to create 1,000 new jobs,” the Journal-News reports. NorthPoint Development will construct the 1.8-million-square-foot, $75-million West Chester Trade Center on more than 100 acres along Ohio 747, according to the article. Tenants “would likely deal in light assembly, warehouse storage, distribution or office space,” NorthPoint project manager Jeremy Michael said. The TIF funds will be used for infrastructure work including bridge and road improvements, signalized intersections, and water and sewer. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

NOPEC offering USDA low-interest loans for small business energy upgrades

Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is the first organization in Ohio to offer new U.S. Department of Agriculture low-interest loans designed to “help small businesses lower their energy consumption and costs through energy-efficient upgrades,” The Morning Journal reports. Owners of commercial property within a NOPEC member community are eligible to apply for financing for projects ranging from $5,000 to $100,000; the program is open to “private sector office, retail and industrial and public-sector facilities — such as government, health care, education” and apartment buildings with more than four units. Energy upgrades that qualify include HVAC, interior and exterior lighting, insulation, windows and doors, and other renewable energy projects such as solar water heating systems. For larger projects, NOPEC offers financing up to $500,000 through its Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, program. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Dollar Tree $125M distribution center will bring 400 jobs to Morrow County

A new Dollar Tree distribution center in Bennington Township will be the second-largest employer in Morrow County when it is completed next year, as it will bring 400 new jobs to the area, The Morrow County Sentinel reports. Dollar Tree Inc. “plans to invest more than $125 million” into the 1.2-million-square-foot facility that will begin construction summer 2018 and be operational by summer 2019. Ted Griffith, JobsOhio managing director for logistics and distribution, said the project “was a collaborative effort with Columbus 2020, Morrow County and Dollar Tree that will grow this successful company’s presence in Ohio.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Interactive Map: Ohio PACE Programs

For your reference, our team recently developed a comprehensive Ohio map featuring all active and inactive PACE programs in the state. Scroll over each dot for additional information, including jurisdiction name, ESID and management identification, and the number of closed projects.

Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Harrison County power plant will bring jobs, tax revenue

The Ohio Power Siting Board recently authorized construction of the 1,050-megawatt, natural gas-fired Harrison Power Plant in Cadiz, according to an article in the Nick Homrighausen, executive director of community & economic development for Harrison County, said the board’s approval was “great news,” calling the power plant “a once-in-a-generation chance to use it to grow,” according to the article. Homrighausen estimates the plant’s construction will bring 500 to 700 construction jobs to the area over a three-year period, in addition to the 25 to 30 high-paying jobs once the plant is operational. Additionally, the plant will “boost income tax collections for the village of Cadiz” and help diversify the local economy. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development

Root Insurance plans move to Columbus Commons, add 463 jobs

Two-year-old Columbus-based Root Insurance Co. plans to move its headquarters to the 80 on the Commons mixed-use building in downtown Columbus this fall, as part of a move that will ultimately add 463 new jobs, Columbus Business First reports. The auto insurer “offers paperless signup and management of a policy through a mobile app,” selling policies online without agents; the app “also measures driving habits so only safe drivers can enroll,” according to the article. The city’s downtown office incentive “would pay the company as much as $2.4 million over five years — half of income tax withholding on new jobs — while generating the same amount of new taxes for the city in that span.” The agreement with Root calls for the company to retain 79 jobs and add the expected 463 new positions; estimated total new payroll is $47 million. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives

TJX seeks tax abatement for $160M distribution center in Lordstown

A property tax abatement for TJX Companies Inc. to build a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Lordstown could help the local school district avoid seeking a levy, The Business Journal reports. TJX is seeking a “10-year, 75% property tax abatement for its proposed $160 million” distribution center that would serve its HomeGoods chain, according to the article. The school district would receive a share of the income tax generated by the facility. Lordstown school board president Bill Catlin said the property for the proposed project currently generates $7,600 in property taxes annually, but based on the projected payroll of $27 million, “the village income tax would generate about $270,000 annually.” The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a Job Creation Tax Credit for the project that is “potentially worth more than $3.5 million” to TJX. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives
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