Ohio Communities Accelerator Fund closes $7.5M transaction for sports complex

The Warren County Port Authority (WCPA)’s newly created Ohio Communities Accelerator Fund (OCAF) recently closed on its “first bond fund transaction,” a $7.5-million transaction for the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Warren County Sport Complex at Union Village, according to a news release. The Complex, scheduled to open in 2019, “will welcome over 700,000 visitors and sports enthusiasts annually” to the county. Tourism is Warren County’s largest industry, with “over $2 billion in annual economic impact,” according to the release. 

The bonds were “privately placed at a fixed rate of 3.36%; Bricker & Eckler LLP served as Bond Counsel. OCAF is a lending program “designed to make capital available to public communities and private parties that seek to develop new or support existing capital assets.” 

Economic Development, Project Finance

City of Dayton agrees to loan $10M for Dayton Arcade revival

The Dayton City Commission has agreed to loan up to $10 million to the Dayton Arcade LLC to complete the funding for a project that will become “another major downtown destination,” the Dayton Daily News reports. The revitalization of the nine-building complex “would have the same kind of dramatic and far-reaching impact as the opening of Fifth Third Field in 2000 and the Schuster performing arts center three years later,” Dayton officials and local economic developers leaders said in the article. The arcade will create jobs, increase the tax base for the city, draw new investment, and provide “affordable housing for young creative types and professionals and high-demand urban amenities, including restaurants and other retail.” The loan is one of the city’s largest economic development investments “since the construction of the Schuster Center and the ballpark where the Dayton Dragons play.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Power plant projects investing more than $4.6B in Mahoning Valley

Investment numbers for several new energy plants in the Mahoning Valley are “unlike any the region has witnessed in decades,” totaling more than $4.6 billion, The Business Journal reports. The abundance of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales “has emerged as the fulcrum” for the future of the energy industry, according to the article. Bill Siderewicz, president of Clean Energy Future LLC, said, “[w]hat’s happening in the industry right now is equivalent to the automobile replacing the horse and buggy,” as aging coal-fired and nuclear plants’ higher operating costs make it harder for them to compete with natural gas and combined-cycled plants. Clean Energy Future developed the Lordstown Energy Center and is working on a second Lordstown plant, both valued at about $890 million (see our October 13, 2017 blog post). Advanced Power “plans to invest $1.1 billion” in its South Field Energy plant in Columbiana County. Across Ohio, “11 new combined-cycle electrical generation plants worth an estimated $10.5 billion are either recently completed, under construction or in the planning or permit stages.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Amazon plans fourth central Ohio fulfillment center, adding 1,500 jobs

Online retail giant Amazon is planning another expansion of its presence in central Ohio with a fourth fulfillment center, this one in West Jefferson, Columbus Business First reports. The state-of-the-art, 855,000-square-foot sorting facility will create an additional 1,500 full-time jobs, according to the article. Kenny McDonald, president and CEO of Columbus 2020, said in a statement, “Amazon is quickly becoming one of the Columbus region’s largest and most important employers.” Amazon’s vice president of North America Customer Fulfillment, Mark Stewart, said the company’s growth in Ohio is “the result of an outstanding workforce and incredible customers.” For more, read the full article.  

Economic Development, State Updates

PUCO approves AEP plan to expand renewables, EV charging stations

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently approved AEP Ohio’s Electric Security Plan (ESP) that will allow the company to “expand access to electric vehicle (EV) charging and renewable generation,” nawindpower.com reports. AEP Ohio had previously committed to developing an additional 900 megawatts of renewable power generation in the state; the ESP “provides a method for AEP Ohio to request approval from the PUCO for the development of new renewable resources.” Additionally, a “program to expand EV charging station availability will be created as part of the Smart Columbus initiative.” Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer, said the plan allows the company “to bring these services, which also will support economic development in Ohio, to customers across the state.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities

Rev1 Ventures reaches $1.4B total economic impact in Central Ohio

Columbus venture capital firm Rev1 Ventures is drawing in revenue and new capital to Central Ohio by the millions, reaching a cumulative economic impact of $1.4 billion since 2013, Columbus Business First reports. Rev1 “invested in a record number of startups in 2017 and its portfolio companies brought a combined $201 million” in revenue and new capital last year, according to the article. The nonprofit firm invests in early-stage technology companies and “mentors entrepreneurs, rents them office space and hooks them up with discounted business services.” Rev1 is also the regional manager of Ohio Third Frontier funds, and has started launching privately financed venture funds. In 2013, under new CEO Tom Walker, Rev1 set a goal of $2 billion in economic impact by the end of 2018; COO Kristy Campbell said the company feels “very good” about its progress toward that goal and “the growth of the 83 startups we’ve invested in and supported over the past five years.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates