Warren County lays groundwork for CRA to draw “top companies”

Commissioners in Warren County voted to establish a tax abatement zone on large parcels of undeveloped land in order to help draw “top companies shopping for new places to bring expansions and quality jobs,” the Dayton Daily News reports. Commissioner Dave Young “expressed reluctance about setting up the community investment area [CRA]” before the vote but agreed “the county needed the economic development tool in its toolbox,” according to the article. Projects to bring industrial or commercial developments to the CRA along Interstate 75 between Cincinnati and Dayton could receive tax abatements “of up to 75 percent for 15 years” and would likely be offered in conjunction with a joint economic development district that would enable Turtlecreek Township to collect income tax.  For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Better energy polices could help bring $25B and 20K jobs to Ohio

New energy technologies “could lead to $25 billion” in investment and 20,000 new jobs for Ohio, according to a Powering Ohio report from Synapse Energy Economics and Case Western Reserve University’s Great Lakes Energy Institute, Columbus Business First reports. The report says “[t]he changing transportation industry could bring major jobs and investment to Ohio if the state has an energy policy in place to promote it,” according to the article. Recommendations include “nine points of policy improvement, including growing electric vehicles and clean energy workforce and attracting more manufacturing, enhancing the grid and smart transportation infrastructure.” The Smart Columbus program “has been a major leg up for this,” but a larger statewide strategy for energy policy “remains a key sticking point.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, Smart Cities, State Updates

Lorain Port Authority new 5-year plan includes name change and business financing

A “slight name change” reflects the goal of the Lorain Port Authority’s new five-year strategic plan: to continue to do what the agency does well and expand its role in business financing for the area, The Morning Journal reports. The plan has three visions that reflect the new name, the Lorain Port & Finance Authority. The visions include the Port establishing itself “as the community and economic development leader in Lorain,” and utilizing “the finance capacity allowed under Ohio law to development finance programming and investment,” according to the article. The plan “was developed over 10 months with the Council of Development Finance Agencies, or CDFA, a Columbus-based nonprofit group.” Port Executive Director Tom Brown said the “Port has touched the surface of business financing and will do more of that with the help of the CDFA.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Exelon files complaint and injunction motions against FirstEnergy Solutions in bankruptcy case

On November 26, 2018, Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon) filed a complaint in U.S. bankruptcy court for the Northern District of Ohio for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, along with a motion for preliminary injunction, against FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), to enforce a purchase agreement for the sale of FES' retail electric business to Exelon. Exelon, a Fortune 100 energy provider, alleges that FES is in material breach of the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) “through its failure to use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain a Sale Order by November 6, 2018.” The alleged breach comes after Exelon was the only successful bidder, agreeing to buy bankrupt FES’ retail electric assets for $140 million in cash plus other consideration. Exelon has also asked the court to grant an emergency motion due to a fast approaching end-of-year deadline. 

Renewable Energy

Amazon HQ2 bid process “built Columbus’ muscles” to compete for big projects

The City of Columbus made it to the top 20 finalists for Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters project (see our January 18, 2018 blog post), and while Amazon chose other cities in the end, the bid process brought its own “wins” for central Ohio, Columbus Business First reports. Local “government agencies, businesses and colleges amped up their collaborative tradition” and “built up knowledge and tactics being applied right now in talks with other major employers, several officials said,” according to the article. An editorial in The Columbus Dispatch said the “Columbus region already won just by being among the elite top 20 finalists out of 238 cities to bid on the project,” receiving “global attention” from media reports about Amazon’s search. The Dispatch article also noted Amazon has “announced $2 billion in Ohio projects since 2011.”  For more, read the full Columbus Business First and Columbus Dispatch articles. 

Economic Development, State Updates

Fortune 500 company could bring $147M project to Dayton area

An unidentified Fortune 500 manufacturing company is “considering multiple Dayton-area locations for a $147 million project” that would create at least 80 new jobs, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The company is looking at Dayton, Union and Brookville for the massive project proposal, called “Project Nora,” to construct “a 300,000-square-foot facility that could expand to 1.1 million square feet over time,” according to the article. Each city is planning to offer a 15-year tax abatement as well as proposing “a $500,000 Economic Development/Government Equity (ED/GE) grant from the county” to help offset development costs. Because the project is “highly competitive,” incentives “and a move-in ready site are key to ensuring it is located in Montgomery County.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Forbes magazine says C-PACE financing is “Poised for Breakout”

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing may still be “a well-kept secret,” but Forbes magazine reports that the “recent sale of a $103 million bond backed by C-PACE assets to institutional investors” may raise the program’s profile and lead to a breakout. Greg Saunders, CEO of CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, the lender that originated the bond offering, “expects Wall Street’s acceptance of the deal to bring more attention to the tool and, ultimately, more securitizations,” according to the article. Saunders said C-PACE financing “has topped $700 million since inception and will surpass $1 billion by next year” as property owners increasingly find C-PACE “to be a superior long-term option for major upgrades.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Project Finance

Kettering mayor’s economic development initiatives attract businesses

Don Patterson, the mayor of Kettering since 2005, has had a “mission of developing the city’s economic base,” and his efforts have transformed the city into “a community of opportunity,” the Dayton Business Journal reports. His initiatives have included the $10-million Wilmington Pike Improvement Plan to “revitalize run-down properties” and “overall redevelop the space” to create opportunity for growth, and the $1.5-million purchase of “almost 300 acres of unimproved land at the Miami Valley Research Park,” according to the article. That land is now home to companies such as Kodak and Reynolds and Reynolds. A new $50-million facility by Community Tissue Services could bring 200 to 300 new jobs to Kettering, while manufacturer Tenneco Inc. plans to invest $61 million to expand its Kettering facility, bringing in another 300 jobs. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Community leaders form Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance to save Ohio’s nuclear plants

A “broad-based coalition of community leaders and organizations” have joined to form the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance, a group “seeking a public policy solution” that will allow the state’s two nuclear energy plants to remain in operation, The News-Herald reports. The coalition “will engage legislators, policymakers and the public to highlight the employment, economic, environmental and grid reliability benefits” provided by the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear plants, the article reports. Lake County Commissioner Jerry Cirino said the plants contribute “over $500 million annually to the state’s economy — over 4,000 jobs are at stake.” Members of the alliance include the Perry Economic Development Council, members of the North Perry Village Council and the Mentor Council, the superintendent of Perry Local Schools and other community leaders. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Lebanon plans CRA that would provide incentives for $18M development

Lebanon City Council plans to create a new community reinvestment area along the city’s North Broadway corridor that would allow a proposed $18-million residential and commercial project to receive tax abatements, the Dayton Daily News reports. That development, at the site of the city’s maintenance garage, would include “18 town homes, 86 apartments, a brewpub and two restaurants,” according to the article. The city projects the development will help generate $65,000 in annual income tax and $1.1 million in “annual total spending power.” Developer Jim Cohen’s proposal said the project will provide parking and other amenities, and will facilitate commercial and residential development close to the downtown area. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives
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