Airstream investing $40M in expansion of Jackson Center facility

The “most significant plant expansion” in Airstream Inc.’s company history will bring 280 new jobs to Jackson Center, Ohio, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The recreational vehicle manufacturer “is investing $40 million in a new, 750,000 square-foot facility” that “will enable increased production, support improved product quality and improved experiences for Airstream associates, customers and visitors,” according to the article. The new plant “will consolidate multiple production spaces into one facility, bringing assembly of the company’s travel trailers under one roof.” Airstream president and CEO Bob Wheeler said the company “couldn’t be happier reaffirming our 65-plus-year commitment to Jackson Center. In addition, the state of Ohio is a great place to do business and their continued commitment to Airstream made this an easy decision.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Four companies bringing 475 jobs, $24M payroll and $41M investment to Ohio

Central Ohio will add 195 new jobs “as a result of state incentives” the Ohio Tax Credit Authority recently approved for three companies; the state also awarded incentives to another company bringing an additional 280 jobs to Western Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Sedgewick, a claims-processing company, will add 109 to its Hilliard location as part of an expansion due to “rapid growth of the company’s client base.” Information-technology company Veeva will create 46 jobs with a total annual payroll of $3.5 million “as part of its plan to set up its second North American operations and service center” in Dublin. Automotive supplier Veeva “plans to add 40 jobs with an annual payroll of $1.4 million in East Liberty to increase its capacity for strut manufacturing and bumper assembly.” Airstream, travel-trailer designer and manufacturer, “plans to add 280 jobs with $14.8 million in annual payroll in Jackson Center” as part of an expansion to add a new production facility. For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Columbus lauded as “punching above its weight” in its internet sector

A new study detailing “the size and impact of the internet sector on cities throughout the United States” lists Columbus as one of four cities that “punch above their weight,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Columbus has 1,500 internet businesses — compared to the average city’s 600 — and 25,400 internet-sector jobs, almost three times the average city’s 9,000. Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City, Missouri joined Columbus as cities chosen as “innovative models of how places and policymakers can evolve in the dramatically shifting economic and cultural currents of the past two decades,” the report said. Tom Walker, president and CEO of venture-capital and business-incubator Rev1 Ventures, said “the report is no surprise because Columbus has been focused on making progress in the internet sector for more than a decade,” according to the article. The study cited Columbus’s “victory in the Smart City challenge” as a moment the city “became known, almost overnight, as an innovation hub.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, Smart Cities, State Updates

Columbus State and Cameron Mitchell plan new $33 million culinary gateway

A new $33-million project at Columbus State Community College “will boost its culinary and hospitality program to new heights” and also serve as “a gateway to its Downtown campus,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants will partner in the project, pledging “$2.5 million toward the new hospitality and culinary building,” which will include “a professionally managed, student-staffed restaurant and bar,” a 400-seat banquet and conference center, four teaching kitchens and food-production gardens, according to the article. Project leaders said the new building and gateway “will fuel improvement in the Cleveland Avenue area as well as spotlight the Columbus food scene,” in addition to creating “more opportunities for Columbus State students.” Cameron Mitchell, founder and CEO of the restaurant group, said, “this project is catalytic to further development of the hospitality and food scene here in Columbus.” For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

State approves two “huge solar energy farms” that will be largest in Ohio

The Ohio Power Siting Board recently approved two projects that when completed will become “the largest solar farms in the state,” Columbus Business First reports. Together, the two solar-powered electric plants will generate 275 megawatts (MW) of energy, according to the article. Blue Planet Renewable Energy got approval to construct its 125-MW Hillcrest Solar I farm on 1,100 acres east of Cincinnati. The company “estimates that it will add 644 construction jobs and $43.3 million in earnings during construction and create 17 jobs and $1 million a year in earnings during operations.” Hardin Solar Energy received approval “to build a 150-megawatt energy plant” near Bowling Green. Hardin Solar “estimates the project will create 768 jobs that will generate $45.6 million in earnings during construction, and 13 long-term jobs that will generate $758,000 in annual earnings during operation.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Ohio project could become tri-state regional hub for ethane storage

An Ohio ethane storage project could “generate up to 100,000 jobs and $36 billion in investment” in the petrochemical industry in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Columbus Business First reports. An IHS Markit report released last year “showed the potential for at least four more” ethane cracker plants “based on the supply of natural gas liquids in the Marcellus and Utica shales,” but that would necessitate “large-scale storage of ethane” and other byproducts of natural gas production, according to the article. Mountaineer NGL Storage “recently completed a 6,800-foot test well in Monroe County, Ohio,” a “$20 million investment” demonstrating the possibility of creating a large-scale hub for the tri-state region. Mountaineer NGL president David Hooker said the company plans to “develop this facility based on market need, and as the market continues to develop, we will continue to expand . . . and hopefully we can be that storage hub.” For more, read the full article


Regional Updates, State Updates

Big development projects have positive effects on Butler County region

Liberty Center, Amazon’s fulfillment center, and the AK Steel Research & Innovation Center are among the big commercial developments creating positive impacts on Butler County, the Journal-News reports. Over the past five years, “[t]he value of commercial building in Butler County has increased more than 125 percent,” according to the article. The $350 million Liberty Center project has generated jobs and increased sales tax revenue that now supports “a big chunk of the county’s operational fund” to pay costs of key public “services like public safety, the courts and other county services.” Officials said Liberty Center “is delivering about $2 million” in annual sales tax revenue. The Amazon Fulfillment Center being built in Monroe will “have a profound impact — 1,000 full-time jobs — on the region as a whole (see our September 8, 2017 blog post),” the Journal-News reports. Middletown “has seen the biggest jump in commercial growth” due to the $13 million AK Steel research facility and the $20 million Kettering Health Network facility, among others. For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

BGSU will open new firefighter training center in Piqua

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) plans to open a new firefighter training center in Piqua this fall, the Dayton Daily News reports. BGSU “entered into a three-year agreement” with the city to use the former water treatment plant that closed last fall, the article reports. Bricker & Eckler LLP assisted Piqua with the structure of that agreement. Assistant city manager and economic development director Justin Sommer “believes the center will become something of a regional center for all of southwest Ohio,” and said the project is “huge” for the city because it will drive traffic to local businesses. Sommer said training sessions “typically include anywhere from 60 to 500 people.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Several big projects “reshaped” Dayton’s downtown in 2017

With more than $900 million in development projects including the first new hotel in decades, rehab of the Dayton Arcade and the new Levitt Pavilion (see our November 21, 2017 blog post), downtown Dayton was “reshaped” in 2017, the Dayton Daily News reports. The Water Street District “helped make downtown one of the hottest destinations and places to live in the region” with “an office building and 215 apartments along the Mad River,” plus “133 new apartments in the new Delco Lofts building,” the article reports. The main downtown Dayton Metro Library underwent a $64 million overhaul creating “four times the amount of public space” formerly available, “state-of-the-art technology and systems,” and increased meeting spaces. The Levitt Pavilion is “expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors downtown annually for its free concerts,” while the RiverScape River Run “has helped transform the Great Miami River into a paddling destination.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Economic development groups “doubling down” to keep expanding companies in Northeast Ohio

JobsOhio, Team Northeast Ohio and the Greater Cleveland Partnership want to make sure local companies who want to grow “do so here rather than elsewhere in the United States and beyond,” Crain’s Cleveland reports. The three groups will add up to a dozen staffers between them “who will be calling on companies” in Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake counties “to identify those that are evaluating the long-term location strategies for their businesses,” according to the article. The organizations want “to be ready with financial incentives or sites available for expansion before the businesses decide to expand a plant at a location out of state, or leave the region altogether.” Kristi Clouse, executive director of operations for JobsOhio, said the increased involvement in retention and expansion is “because the bulk of the job creation, about 80%, comes from the expansion of existing businesses.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, JobsOhio/ODSA, Regional Updates, State Updates
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