New authority formed to own and operate Dayton Convention Center

The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners agreed to create a new joint city and county entity to own and operate the Dayton Convention Center, a move “hailed as an important step to ensuring the convention center will have the funding needed to make capital investments to keep the facility competitive and attract more business,” the Dayton Daily News reports. The Montgomery County Convention Facilities Authority “has the power to increase the lodgings tax to pay to upgrade the aging facility,” according to the article. A task force that studied the convention center “estimated it needed between $20 million to $28 million in improvements.” The new authority will also “help the community compete for convention groups . . . and many other types of business that will bring outside dollars and visitors in,” Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau President Jacquelyn Powell said. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

JobsOhio “2.0” strategy to focus on talent, sites and innovation

JobsOhio recently rolled out its new “2.0” strategy “that could help generate significantly more jobs and investment throughout the state,” focusing “on three key areas: talent, sites and innovation,” the Dayton Business Journal reports. The group plans to “align the tech talent supply with corporate demand,” and create “a better overall availability of in-demand workforce,” according to the article. Other goals are to “scale up Ohio site investments through additional grant funding” and establish additional innovation districts, according to the article. Combined, these efforts could lead to an additional 18,000 to 27,000 jobs per year, the organization believes. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Amendment introduced would prohibit foreign ownership in critical Ohio infrastructure

Introduced on October 26, 2019, House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR 2), titled the “Ohio Critical Infrastructure Protection Amendment,” seeks to place a constitutional amendment before Ohio voters prohibiting foreign businesses and individuals from having a majority ownership interest in critical infrastructure located in Ohio. HJR 2 is a state legislative proposal that could profoundly affect business in Ohio. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Columbus setting the “PACE,” according to Kalvas in Columbus Business First article

Not only is Ohio a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) leader among other U.S. states, but, as of mid-2019, the Columbus region “had the largest total commercial PACE investment of any single metropolitan region in the nation.” According to public finance attorney and PACE advisor Colin Kalvas in his article “Columbus setting the PACE nationally for commercial energy efficiency and sustainability financing,” PACE is a winning option for a variety of stakeholders, including property owners, tenants and lenders.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Dayton Arcade developer seeking critical state tax credits for next phase

Developer Cross Street Partners of the Dayton Arcade redevelopment says state historic tax incentives are “hugely critical” to the project going forward, the Dayton Daily News reports. The second phase, to rehab the north arcade and create “new housing, offices and a shared-use commercial kitchen,” could be “a $28 million to $30 million investment,” said Dave Williams, Cross Street’s senior director of development. Williams said like the $90-million first phase of the project, historic tax incentives are required for the next phase to be economically feasible, according to the article. Failure to win tax credits in the current round of awards would “likely delay the financing package” by about six months. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Municipal Light Plant creative redevelopment “rapidly coming together”

The Municipal Light Plant in Columbus’s Arena District is starting to shine again, after more than a year of work on the 1903-built portion of the building, which was “falling apart” and on a brownfield site when work began, Columbus Business First reports. Developer Brad DeHays called it “one of the most complex kinds of construction projects possible,” according to the article. As construction wraps up on “some of the key pieces of the 24,000-square-foot 1903 portion of the building,” work will begin on the 36,000-square-foot, seven-story structure next door, which will be “built out into a creative office space, including two parking decks.” The state awarded approximately $2 million in historic tax credits for the project. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Downtown Toledo TIF proactive step to fund improvements

City officials in Toledo are looking at establishing a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) area downtown that “could help pay for infrastructure improvements” in the Central Business, UpTown and Warehouse districts, The Toledo Blade reports. Toledo has implemented TIFs in the past for large development projects, but this TIF would be “the first time that we’re putting it in proactively hoping that it will generate revenue,” according to Brandon Sehlhorst, commissioner of economic and business development. Infrastructure improvements would be prioritized based on the transportation and downtown master plans, and could include sidewalk improvements, planting trees and curb construction, among others. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance

Fairborn joining PACE program to add to economic development toolbox

The city of Fairborn recently “declared its intent to participate in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program” as another incentive to attract businesses and jobs, the Dayton Daily News reports. Assistant City Manager Mike Gebhart said there are already “businesses interested in taking advantage” of the loan program that “finances up to 100% of energy efficient construction or remodeling for commercial and industrial property owners,” according to the article. Fairborn has not yet identified a specific project for the program, but once it has, the city will establish an Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) to make PACE financing available. For more, read the full article.  

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Bricker & Eckler partners with Ohio advancement groups to host economic development seminars

Bricker & Eckler is partnering with APEG, JobsOhio and OEDA, with assistance from Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association and Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, to offer two economic development training events: October 25 in Piketon, Ohio, and November 20 in Cambridge, Ohio. These events, titled ED NOW!, will empower participants to guide their communities’ futures with cutting edge economic development insights and strategies. For more information, visit the event page

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Three developers chosen for reboot of $250M Scioto Peninsula

Columbus Downtown Development Corp., “the master developer” for the $250-million Scioto Peninsula project, has chosen Columbus companies Daimler Group and Rockbridge and Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins to “start the development with strength,” Columbus Business First reports. Amy Taylor, COO of the development corp., said the firms have “extensive experience in this kind of development,” according to the article. 

Daimler Group is the “third-largest commercial real estate developer in the city,” with projects such as 80 on the Commons and 250 S. High St. mid-rises. Easton-based hotel developer Rockbridge “has invested in more than 240 hotels in 38 states with more than $7.8 billion in transaction value. Rockbridge CEO Jim Merkel said, “the amount of investment made in the riverfront and Franklinton gave us the opportunity to create a whole neighborhood in the heart of a vibrant, growing city.” Flaherty & Collins “has been a specialist in urban infill projects for years”; its residential component is “designed to match COSI and many other projects in the area.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates
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