Bell announced as board member for relaunched PACENation initiative

Caleb Bell, PACE attorney and chair of the firm’s Public Finance practice, was announced as one of nine board members for PACENation, a recently relaunched nonprofit organization that advocates for expanded access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing. The elected board is made up of distinguished clean energy finance and policy leaders from around the country.

As part of its relaunch, PACENation publicized that it is now an independent, membership-funded nonprofit organization that will provide public officials, other stakeholders and its members with resources and educational materials related to PACE financing. Some specific initiatives include a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, a webinar series for state and local officials, and industry insights and market data. The organization – as well as its newly-elected board members – will continue its mission of helping property owners improve the efficiency and resiliency of their homes and businesses with PACE.

Economic Development, Miscellaneous, Project Finance

Proposed $146 Centerville Place a “game-changer” for city

Austin Landing developer Larry Dillin’s proposed $146 million mixed-use Centerville Place plan “will bring new energy” to Centerville, city leaders said, according to a recent article in the Dayton Daily News. Dillin presented the project that will include “retail, restaurant, office and residential space, plus other new building structures connected by heavily landscaped sidewalks and parking, along with public parks and water features” to Centerville City Council, the article reports. City Manager Wayne Davis called the investment a “game-changer,” and said it will bring economic opportunities and become a gateway to Centervillle. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Cpass program has increased bus ridership among downtown Columbus workers

A program that provides free Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) bus rides for downtown Columbus workers has increased ridership and helped downtown businesses attract and retain employees, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Columbus Foundation funded a study that shows ridership among surveyed employees grew from 5% before the Cpass program started in June 2018 to “between 10% and 14% in June 2019,” according to the article. Additionally, “34% of the companies surveyed said that Cpass helps them recruit and retain employees, and 17 companies said it played a role in their renewal or signing of a lease in a Downtown building.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Columbus first non-attainment area in nation to meet ozone air quality standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio EPA recently announced “the Columbus area is the first non-attainment area in the nation to meet the most recent federal air quality standard for ozone,” according to a news release. Recent air monitoring data “show the Columbus area now meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone in addition to all other federal air quality standards set to protect public health,” the release reports. With that designation, businesses in the area “will face fewer air permitting restrictions paving the way for infrastructure investment and economic development that will create jobs.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates

Parma considering TIF for Midtown Plaza redevelopment

Akron-based LRC Realty is asking Parma City Council to approve a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement to help finance the “transformation of Parma’s Midtown Plaza into the modern-looking Quarry Square,” an $8.5-million project, reports. LRC is hoping to use the TIF “to borrow money and pay it back to the lender via a property tax assessment,” according to the article. The TIF “is covering $2.5 million in loan payments over 30 years,” but does not include “the $48,204 in property tax Parma City Schools receives annually from Midtown Plaza or Quarry Square going forward.” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said, “[w]e want to invest in our city using this economic development tool that allows us to keep the schools whole.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance

Zoning changes approved for Trolley Barn redevelopment project

The transformation of Columbus’s historic Trolley Barn site into a $29-million mixed-use development is one step closer after Columbus City Council approved zoning changes the developer called “critical” to the project, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Brad DeHays plans to convert the “small complex of buildings dating back to the 1880s” into “offices, a market housing independent food vendors and 13,000-square-foot Columbus Brewing Co. brewpub,” according to the article. A $15-million, 102-unit apartment complex would be situated across the street from the Trolley Barn site. DeHays has secured state Historic Preservation Tax Credits (see our August 1, 2018 blog post) as well as federal historic tax credits for the project. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

United Candle Company creating 100 new jobs in Muskingum County

A new company formed by USA Tealights, LLC, will lease the former Lumi-Lite Candle Company’s building in Muskingum County and bring 100 new jobs totaling $4 million in payroll to the area, according to a recent news release from the Zanesville Muskingum County Port Authority. United Candle Company LLC “is buying Lumi-Lite’s equipment, leasing their building and moving manufacturing from New Jersey to Ohio,” according to the release. The company “will create 100 new jobs with $4M in new payroll” and invest $1,815,000 in fixed assets and building upgrades. JobsOhio and the State of Ohio “are supporting the project with a $125,000 JobsOhio Grant and a 6-year Jobs Creation Tax Credit.” For more, read the full release at

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Proposed $30M redevelopment would revive historic Dayton high-rise

Columbus-based developer The Windsor Companies has plans for a $30-million transformation of Grant-Deneau Tower, Dayton’s first modern skyscraper, into luxury apartments, a hotel, office and retail space, Columbus Business First reports. Eric VanZwieten, head of marketing and public relations for Windsor, “said there is no specific timeline for the project, as financing must be secured before it can fully move forward,” according to the article. Grant-Deneau is eligible for federal and state historic credits, and it is located in the downtown Dayton Community Reinvestment Area, making it eligible for a property tax abatement. Securing financing “through these means will likely be critical for the project’s success.” The building resides in an Opportunity Zone (see our April 5, 2019 blog post) as well. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Developer proposes mixed-use project near Columbus airport

An affiliate of Westerville-based Donald R. Kenney & Company Realty, Metro Development LLC, “wants to build a mixed-use development on 41 acres near John Glenn Columbus International Airport,” Columbus Business First reports. The project, to be located on Cassady Avenue at Ackley Place, would include “apartments, an ambulatory care facility, hotel and commercial space,” according to the article. The Northeast Area Commission recently voted to approve the application on the condition that the retail not include liquor sales and small cellphone stores. A rendering submitted with the plan shows the care facility, office buildings, and a hotel, as well as smaller commercial buildings along Cassady Avenue. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Columbus approves incentives for $500M in major downtown projects

Arena District, North Market, and Franklinton development projects that will bring “much-needed additional housing and office space” to the downtown Columbus area recently received incentives from City Council, Columbus Business First reports. A $210 million expansion of the Arena District, featuring offices, apartments, and parking will include “a new headquarters for Chipotle Mexican Grill” that will create and retain nearly 400 jobs, according to the article. Columbus “will extend the existing TIF [tax-increment financing district] for the area to cover the project site” and provide $20 million in infrastructure support for construction for the project. The “$120 million expansion of the Gravity project in Franklinton” was granted a TIF and $2 million for parking components and streetscape improvements. Columbus will provide $2 million for the public plaza at the $192 million North Market mixed-use tower, and “will set up a North Market Capital Maintenance Fund with 75% of the bed tax collections from the hotel portion of the project for 30 years.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives
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