Xenia creates Community Improvement Corporation to boost economic development

The City of Xenia has approved establishing a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to “encourage and facilitate economic, industrial and commercial development in the city,” the Dayton Daily News reports. City Manager Brett Merriman said the CIC “will help fix up blighted properties or aid properties that are currently underused,” according to the article, noting the corporation’s flexibility to do things that the city cannot, such as “acquire and sell land and get financing for real estate.” The Xenia CIC will also “play a role in establishing a downtown Main Street program.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

PACE funding will help $45M Fairview Park project redevelop former NASA buildings

Fairview Park City Council recently passed three ordinances that will allow Ceres Enterprises to use $15 million in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing on its $45 million redevelopment of two historic NASA buildings, West Life News reports. The mixed-use development will include a boutique hotel, an apartment complex, an event space, offices and conference rooms, according to the article. A third, new building will house a restaurant and additional hotel rooms. The project was previously awarded an Ohio Historical Preservation Tax Credit. Mayor Patrick Cooney called the project “a gateway to our city” and said it will bring jobs and new residents. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Cincinnati City Council member would like to add TDDs to toolbox for infrastructure

Transportation development districts (TDDs) could be an effective tool for Cincinnati as well other Ohio communities to fund public transportation infrastructure projects, Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor writes in an opinion article for the Cincinnati Business Courier. Pastor “researched how other cities solve their transportation infrastructure problems,” and found TDDs can “[f]und, promote, plan, design, construct, improve, maintain and operate one or more projects or assist in doing so,” according to the article. He cited a Missouri TDD that funded the expansion of U.S. Route 36 to four lanes across four rural counties, using “revenue from a half-cent sales tax.” Pastor’s hope is that the Ohio General Assembly will “pass legislation that gives communities the opportunity to create TDDs so they have another tool to grow, prosper and sharpen our competitive edge.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Ohio could benefit from more utility-scale solar projects, trade group says

The recently formed Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition (USSEC) “sees great potential for Ohio to build many more utility-scale solar energy projects” that could bring economic growth, jobs and diversification to the state, The Toledo Blade reports. The organization issued a report saying “it sees a market for 54,113 one-time construction jobs and 618 annual operations and maintenance jobs” from such projects, defined as generating 50 megawatts (MW) or greater, according to the article. Jason Rafeld, USSEC executive director, said, “Ohio is undergoing a major energy transition,” with nine coal-fired power plants closing in the past decade and the cost of solar decreasing 70 percent during that same period, while corporations “are demanding more utility-scale solar energy.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

U.S. DOE report says Columbus-Pittsburgh corridor “key” to region’s economic development

The U.S. Department of Energy’s recent Appalachian Energy and Petrochemical Renaissance Report cites the Columbus to Pittsburgh Corridor project “as one that would support economic growth and diversification in the Appalachian Region when completed,” the Coshocton Tribune reports. The Columbus-Pittsburgh Corridor Association (CPCA) hopes this finding “will help to drive a new feasibility study on the proposal” to have the 160-mile stretch between the two cities “be four lanes the entire way,” according to the article. The report notes, “[w]hile the emergence of the shale gas industry has created extraordinary opportunities, it has also placed significant unanticipated stress on the highway infrastructure and on many secondary roads. Further expansion of the petrochemical and manufacturing sectors would benefit from a greater level of transportation infrastructure.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Columbus residents to vote on community choice aggregation in November

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and other city, community and energy leaders recently announced “the selection of a preferred electricity supplier, kicking off the community choice aggregation initiative” that will be on the November 3 ballot, Columbus Messenger reports. The program is part of the city’s goal “for 100 percent clean energy by 2022 and to be carbon neutral by 2050,” according to the article. AEP Energy was selected through a public, competitive bidding process “due to their ability to meet the goal of clean, renewable energy from local renewable resources.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

OhioSE expands team, announces new engagement effort

Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern, eastern, and southeastern Ohio, recently announced “a new engagement effort as part of a larger statewide initiative to increase knowledge and reach of economic development,” The Highland County Press reports. OhioSE has expanded its team, adding Destiny Bryson as Manager of Engagement & Partnerships for 13 counties in the southern part of its region, according to the article. Ed Looman is now the Manager of Engagement & Partnerships for 12 eastern counties; together, they will “work closely with local economic development organizations, elected officials and other partner organizations in each county, offering support through information, technical assistance, training, education, research and programs for funding that can support job creating projects through the entire region.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Fuel cell company awarded Job Creation Tax Credit for Dayton-area expansion project

New York–based Plug Power Inc., a company that “designs, develops and manufactures fuel cell systems for electric lift trucks and materials handling equipment,” was awarded a seven-year, 1.4% Job Creation Tax Credit by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority for its plans to expand in the Dayton area, the Dayton Business Journal reports. Plug Power’s new location in West Carrollton will be “more than six times larger” than its current 5,000-square-foot plant, which it will also continue to operate, according to the article. The company plans to add 25 new full-time jobs with $1.5 million in annual payroll, while retaining $1.5 million in existing payroll. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Cleveland Flats East Bank project could be first to secure rare TIF extension

Developer Scott Wolstein is hoping his downtown Cleveland Flats East Bank project could be one of the first to take advantage of a recent change in Ohio law that lengthened the potential lifespan of tax increment financing (TIF) incentives, Crain’s Cleveland reports. The Flats project “is 11 years into an existing, 30-year TIF agreement with the city and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District,” according to the article. Under the extension, the current terms would remain in place until 2040, at which time the school district would stop participating and would receive “payments based on the full value of the $500-million-plus project.” The extension would enable Wolstein to “refinance existing bond debt on the project in order to catch up on payments to public and civic lenders.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

OSU and Nationwide Children’s reach deal on site for gene therapy manufacturing

Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University have agreed upon a west campus site for Andelyn Biosciences Inc.’s planned “$74 million biotechnology manufacturing facility for genetic material used in research and clinical trials,” Columbus Business First reports. The 8-acre site at Lane Avenue and Carmack Road “was identified in Columbus City Council documents for an economic incentive approved in February,” according to the article. Andelyn, a for-profit affiliate of Children’s, plans to build an 85,000-square-foot facility, and according to the proposed incentive, “pledged to create 170 new jobs” with an annual salary range of $69,000 to $280,000. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates
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