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West Milton village, school officials discuss proposed Stillwater Crossing
Officials from the Village of West Milton and the Milton-Union school district recently met to discuss a proposed residential and commercial development that could bring jobs and millions of dollars in investment to the community, but would require infrastructure construction and improvements, the Troy Daily News reports. Developer Equity Inc. of Columbus “is expected to invest between $60 million to $70 million” in the Stillwater Crossing development, which would include “a Randall House assisted living facility and senior cottages, commercial spaces, and 132 single-family homes,” according to the article. The project would require “an estimated $12-15 million” in improvements, including “fiber optics, roads, and sewer systems.” If a tax increment financing (TIF) plan is approved, new property taxes generated by the development would help fund public improvements. Stillwater Crossing is “estimated to create more than 200 new jobs and bring in new businesses including a gas station and car wash, a coffee shop, and possibly a medical facility.” School officials “asked for more information, including estimates on the number of students that could move into the district,” expressing concerns about the impact on the district’s expenses due to increased enrollment. For more, read the full article.
Ohio U and Dublin plan “bustling district” for city’s last large undeveloped area
The City of Dublin is working with Ohio University (OU) on plans for the 1,100 acres in the West Innovation District; those plans would create “a bustling district of people studying, researching, inventing, working and living,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Dublin and OU teamed up after OU received a $105 million gift, its largest ever, “with a mandate to build an extension of its osteopathic medical school in central Ohio,” according to the article. The plan calls for three phases over the next 30 to 50 years, creating “2.25 million square feet of building space” including a destination “main street” with “shops, cafes, galleries and the like at ground level” and possibly “classrooms or apartments above.” Dublin’s director of economic development, Colleen Gilger, said, “I think universities are inherently a big player in economic development. They’re intense job creators; they spin out new companies.” For more, read the full article.
Interest from outside investors a sign of strong Columbus economy
Investors from other states are “literally buying into” Columbus, a sign of the city’s “sound economy,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Several recent “major acquisitions of commercial office space by out-of-state investors” have reinforced that reputation, according to the article. New York-based real-estate investment Group RMC Corp. “bought a group of nine Dublin office buildings” for $77 million, while another New York company, DRA Advisors LLC, purchased “a collection of 12 warehouse/industrial buildings in the Columbus area” for “a combined $113.7 million.” Kansas City developer VanTrust Real Estate opened a $15-million distribution center in the Rickenbacker area “‘on spec’ — without signed tenants at the time construction started.” Brokerage Marcus & Millichap predicted in a recent report that the Columbus office market would have a “second consecutive year of strong rent gains,” calling the city “one of the top performing Midwest markets.” For more, read the full article.
Southeastern Ohio Port Authority exceeded 2016 goals, looks to future
A crowd of “more than 80 business owners, local government representatives and development directors” gathered for the annual meeting of the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) to recognize a successful 2016 and look to “the future of industry in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” The Marietta Times reports. Jim Black, SOPA’s executive director, said, “[w]e exceeded 2016 goals for leads and inquiries, site placements and expansion visits,” and said there is “cautious optimism” for 2017. “We continue to hear from industries looking to expand that the biggest challenge for coming here has been the provision of infrastructure,” Black said. The port authority has seven goals for its focus on infrastructure in 2017, including preventing “losses of major area employers,” sponsoring “one bond issuance and two tax increment financing plans” and bringing “eight new businesses to Washington County.” For more, read the full article.
Ohio, Cincinnati, Portsmouth all rank high on annual “industry scoreboard” report for economic development
There is plenty of good news for Ohio in Site Selection magazine’s yearly report on economic development: the state ranked second in the nation, and several cities in the state also received high rankings in their categories. The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Greater Cincinnati ranked 5th among “metro areas with a population of more than 1 million” with 127 projects “that met one of the list’s three criteria — capital investment of at least $1 million, creation of at least 20 new jobs or the addition of at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.” Only New York City, Chicago, Dallas and Houston ranked higher than Cincinnati, while Ohio “trailed only Texas.” Findlay “was first among the nation’s 575 micropolitan areas,” while Portsmouth and Scioto County placed 10th nationally on the Top Micropolitans list, the Portsmouth Daily Times reports. According to the Daily Times, “Site Selection’s yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as ‘the industry scoreboard.’” For more, read the full Cincinnati Business Courier and Portsmouth Daily Times articles.
Columbus 2020 likely to exceed goals if trends continue
Even with a “modest decline” in 2016, Columbus 2020 “remains on track to exceed its 10-year goals for jobs creation, capital investment and rising incomes in 11 Central Ohio counties” by the year 2020, according to CEO Kenny McDonald in a recent Columbus Business First article. As of December 2016, the region has seen 116,000 net new jobs, “on pace to hit 168,000, surpassing the goal of 150,000.” Capital investment totals as of February reached “$7.6 billion of an $8 billion goal . . . on pace to hit $10.7 billion.” Similarly, per capita income has risen 21.5 percent from 2010-15, on pace to hit 47.6 percent, exceeding the goal of 30 percent. So far in 2017, “15 companies have committed to new locations or expansions in the region, creating 700 jobs and $125 million in buildings and equipment.” For more, read the full article.
Athens County adopts strategic plan to guide economic development efforts
The Athens County Commissioners recently adopted an economic development strategic plan outlining five-year goals to add “2,500 new high-wage jobs,” cut child poverty by 5 percent, and increase “per capita incomes by 15 percent,” the Athens Messenger reports. One of the plan’s features is the “creation of an Athens County Community Fund with private and public contributions” that would “provide a funding source for emerging entrepreneurs and companies,” according to the article. Lenny Eliason, County Commissioner and chairman of the Athens County Economic Development Council, said the plan represents “the first time we’ve actually tried to write down what the vision is, where we want to go, what we want to do and how we want to get there.” For more, read the full article.
Ohio gained more than 1,000 solar industry jobs last year
A new report from The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit promoter of solar energy, found that “Ohio’s solar industry added more than 1,000 jobs last year,” Columbus Business First reports. According to the report, “Ohio’s solar industry rose to 5,831 jobs from 4,811 in 2015, a 21 percent increase.” Nationwide, solar employment increased 25 percent, and 44 states saw an increase in solar jobs last year. A solar job “is one in which an employee spends at least half of their time on work related to the renewable energy source.” For more, read the full article.
Port authority proposes assistance to bring $107 million project to Scioto County
The Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) is hoping that an offer “to assist with paying the costs” will bring a $107 million project with 60 jobs to Scioto County, the Portsmouth Daily Times reports. An Inducement Resolution outlining the assistance to be offered reads in part, “the Port Authority will undertake to authorize and issue the Bonds, in one or more series, in a principal amount not to exceed $85 million for the purpose of financing the Project.” SOPA Executive Director Jason Kester said, “SOPA is making the offer of assistance to PureCycle, LLC in order to incentivize the company to locate in Scioto County.” The project is expected to create high-quality jobs “with an average hourly rate that is 12 percent above the median household income” in the county. For more, read the full article.
City hopes Lakewood Hospital site will become “community gathering space”
The City of Lakewood is seeking proposals for redevelopment of the old Lakewood Hospital site into the city’s “finest multi-functional outdoor community gathering space,” Cleveland.com reports. City planning and development Director Bryce Sylvester said an August 2015 community meeting “showed residents favored employment opportunities, diverse housing options, shopping and services.” The “idea of forming a community gathering space” also arose from that meeting, according to the article. Physical work on the site must wait until the new Cleveland Clinic family center and emergency department opens its new location; the “best-case scenario” would be for groundbreaking to happen in fall 2019. For more, read the full article.