Columbus offers White Castle incentives for $65M mixed-use development

The site of White Castle’s headquarters near downtown Columbus could get a drastic makeover if plans for a $65 million mixed-use development fall into place, Columbus Business First reports. Columbus City Council is considering “creating a tax-increment financing district [TIF], in which White Castle pays the city for infrastructure in lieu of taxes,” according to the article. A new corporate office for the family-owned burger chain “would be among users of 150,000 square feet of Class A office and 300 apartments on 15 acres.” White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson said, “[o]ur hope is to increase the commitment and size of our operation in Columbus,” saying the TIF is one of the first steps in the process of redeveloping the site. For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Canton’s innovation district also getting privately funded incubator

More big news for Canton: its innovation district is also getting a business incubator “and a healthy dose of private investment in infrastructure,” Crain’s Cleveland reports. Agile Networks co-founder and chief technology officer Kyle Quillen said his company plans “to invest seven figures” in the district and will privately fund the incubator. Canton announced in May that the city set up an innovation district that overlapped its redevelopment district (see our May 26, 2017 blog post), believed to be the first such combined district in the state. Quillen said Agile, which is located in the district, “will work to get the district the 100GB of internet speed it needs.” Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce vice president of economic development Mike Gill said the district’s improvements will help develop two markets, the “incubator market with people working on IT applications,” and “businesses that need high-speed connectivity that are already established and will benefit.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Commercial buildings in NOPEC member communities eligible for PACE financing

Many commercial buildings have outdated lighting, windows, doors, HVAC or other features that, if updated, would dramatically reduce energy costs.  But how do you finance these improvements? If your project is in one of NOPEC’s 219 member communities, NOPEC may be able to help.  

Whether your project involves less expensive smaller improvements (like lighting) or more expensive larger improvements (like HVAC systems), property owners can access financing through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for a single property or multiple sites. NOPEC provides the upfront financing to complete the improvements based on project costs and an energy assessment/audit that identifies savings opportunities.

The borrower repays the loan through an assessment that’s been placed on the now-improved property. It’s paid twice a year and is listed on the tax duplicate as an assessment. The assessment period will be based, in part, on the projected savings and useful life of the assets financed.

This fixed-rate loan program is available for many types of commercial property: for-profit (including retail and office) and non-profit, industrial, commercial housing and government facilities. Eligible facilities can be owner-occupied, rental properties or vacant, if future tenants are secured.  And there are no job creation requirements. This financing solution is available for projects from $100,000 to $500,000 in NOPEC’s member communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about NOPEC’s energy efficiency financing, contact Norma Fox Horwitz, Special Projects Manager, at or call 440.249.7829.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates

Whitehall approves tech park CRA in return for $8M investment and 75 jobs

Construction on a new industrial building at the Airport South Commerce & Tech Park in Whitehall is expected to begin soon, after City Council approved the site as a community reinvestment area (CRA), ThisWeek Community News reports. The 260,000-square-foot building is “a second phase of a collaboration with developers Mark F. Taggart and Fed One Dublin,” according to Whitehall Development Director Zach Woodruff. The CRA is a 15-year, 100 percent property tax abatement; Whitehall will reimburse the city’s school district “50 percent of the amount of income-tax revenue the city receives during the term of the CRA,” Woodruff said. Developers are “expected to invest $8 million to $12 million in the second phase of the development” and are required to “create at least 75 jobs with an annual payroll of $2 million within three years.” For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Editorial: Capital Crossroads & COTA deal could be key to revitalizing downtown

A proposal to provide thousands of downtown Columbus employees with free bus passes could be the answer to multiple issues challenging the growth of the Downtown area, according to a recent editorial in The Columbus Dispatch. The lack of parking or affordable mass transit options is hampering commercial office brokers from leasing office space, hotels from retaining employees, and corporations from moving Downtown, according to the editorial. A proposal to provide “43,000 Downtown employees with free bus passes” will go before “the board [of the] Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District [SID]” in August. The SID “conducted an 18-month test program” that saw the number of employees at participating companies riding the bus double, to 12 percent. For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Greenworks offering PACE financing for energy upgrades to Ohio businesses

Connecticut-based finance company Greenworks Lending is expanding into Ohio to offer commercial building owners Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing for energy upgrades, reports. Aaron Kraus, director of market activation for Greenworks, said PACE is “very low-cost capital over a length of time that you would not be able to get in any other manner” because loans are repaid through assessments added to property taxes. Greenworks is “looking for owners of medium and small buildings who want to cut their energy bills” without having to make a down payment, according to the article. The company’s first financing project in the Greater Cleveland area is the “$82,500 energy-efficient ‘cool roof’” on the headquarters for Mammana Custom Woodworking. Bricker & Eckler served as PACE counsel for the project. For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

Hall of Fame Village could get more public funding

Ohio’s proposed state budget could result in an increase in public funding for the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton, reports. The bill “clarifies how a Tourism Development District can provide revenue for construction, particularly as it relates to lodging tax and contributions from Stark County government,” according to the article. The special tourism district, the only one in Ohio, was created specifically “to help Village developers pay for the $700 million project.” The possible changes outlined in the state budget bill include increasing the permitted size of such a district, and allowing county lodging tax to be used not only for the stadium but for “tourism facilities.” Additionally, the bill specifies that “[a]ny lodging tax collected from hotels” with the district “must go toward promoting tourism.” For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Dayton’s economic development incentives return $78M, 2,760 jobs

The city of Dayton is seeing big results from the approximately $4.5 million in economic development incentives awarded to private companies the past few years, the Dayton Daily News reports. Those incentives “have resulted in or will result in more than $78 million in private spending, and those employers have pledged to create or retain 2,760 jobs,” according to the article. City officials say the incentives “have persuaded large and important employers to remain or expand in Dayton, including some which have been courted by other communities.” Dayton’s director of economic development, Ford Weber, said, “[w]ith the economy improving, there’s more need for economic development incentives. As the economy strengthens, the projects get bigger — even though our incentives are increasing, we’re leveraging more money than we have in the past.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Tax credit awarded to Claritas for plan to add $3.6M in payroll, 40 full-time jobs

A “fast-growing” market research firm in Montgomery has been awarded a state tax credit to “create 40 new full-time jobs,” reports. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved “a 1.716 percent, seven-year job-creation tax credit for Claritas,” according to the article. The new jobs are expected to add $3.6 million in annual payroll, and the California-based company is “also expected to retain $2.1 million in payroll as a result of its expansion.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Cliffs Natural Resources plans to build $700M iron processing plant in Toledo

Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources, an iron ore and mining company, has chosen Toledo as the location for a $700-million facility that would be the first of its kind in the Midwest, Crain’s Cleveland reports. The new iron processing plant “will have the capacity to produce 1.6 million tons of hot briquetted iron (HBI) per year” to be used in steel making. The project is “under consideration to receive about $30 million in grants and [other incentives] from JobsOhio,” while the city of Toledo will “provide a Toledo Expansion Incentive of 30% for ten years.” Cliffs would create 130 permanent jobs as well as “1,200 construction jobs over the next two years” if the project is confirmed; the plans are contingent on receiving final approvals for financial incentives. For more, read the full article

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