COVID-19 hasn’t stopped development, investor interest in Licking County

Licking County “continues to enjoy major investment and interest from the manufacturing and logistic/fulfillment sectors,” despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Newark Advocate reports. Nate Strum, executive director of Grow Licking County, expects the county “will continue to grow in population over the next 30 or so years, and continue to reap commercial development benefits owing partly to geography and surrounding transportation routes,” according to the article. He said Licking County “has four of the largest users of renewable energy in the world" with facilities by Amazon, Facebook, Google and Owens Corning. Strum also noted four companies, three of which are international, have made site visits recently. Additionally, Grow Licking County has two tax incentive offers going before state officials for final consideration, and hopes to have two or three more by the end of the year. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Beachwood considers expanding CRA to promote economic development

Beachwood City Council “is favoring the idea” of expanding its current Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) “as a means of attracting or keeping businesses,” Cleveland.com reports. Mayor Martin Horwitz said the proposed expanded area would “basically be all of our commercial property,” according to the article. James Heller, economic development consultant for the city, said, “[i]t’s important to have (a CRA) in place when a developer is looking” as incentives are one of the first things developers ask about when planning a project, and Beachwood is in competition with other cities that have CRAs. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

GM to repay $40M in tax credits for shuttered Lordstown plant

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) has ordered General Motors (GM) to “repay $28 million of the $60.3 million in tax credits the company received in 2008,” after the company failed to meet the terms of the agreement when it closed its Lordstown Chevy Cruze plant in 2019, Cleveland.com reports. GM also agreed “to make $12 million worth of grants in the Mahoning Valley by the end of 2022,” according to the article. The Business Journal reports “state and local officials largely hailed” the TCA’s decision; Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said the authority probably weighed GM’s investment in the $2.3 billion Ultium Cells battery plant in Lordstown, and said he was happy the company hadn’t completely left the community. For more, read the full Cleveland.com and Business Journal articles. 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, 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

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

Amazon plans to invest another $250M in Central Ohio for fourth distribution center

New Albany City Council approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a community reinvestment area (CRA) agreement with Amazon.com Inc. for a planned $250 million fulfillment center, The Columbus Dispatch reports. New Albany “is offering a 15-year, 100% real-property-tax abatement” for the project, according to the article. Columbus Business First reports that Amazon “plans to create 1,000 new jobs by the end of 2024” with a “minimum estimated aggregate payroll of $31.2 million.” The distribution center would be Amazon’s fourth in the Central Ohio area, joining facilities in Obetz, Etna and West Jeffferson. For more, read the full Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First articles. 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Columbus develops UTC to simplify EV adoption for fleets

One of the goals of Smart Columbus is to “introduce 300 EVs [electric vehicles] into public fleets by 2020,” and the City of Columbus has created a Universal Term Contract (UTC) to facilitate the EV adoption process for public entities, according to a recent Smart Columbus Playbook. The city created “a request for proposal (RFP) that allowed bidders to offer innovative financial arrangements in their proposals,” according to Smart Columbus. Columbus then developed an innovative program that allowed the city to “lease vehicles for a short period followed by a title transfer to the city, attain vehicle pricing at triple-net dealer invoice, and capture a portion of the federal EV tax credit.” The program, a UTC for vehicle procurement, can be used by any local public entity in the state. For more, read the Smart Columbus Playbook.

Environmental, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Cleveland should continue tax abatement program, but with modifications, report says

A study launched in 2018 recommends that Cleveland’s property tax abatement program should continue but add a $300,000 cap for single-family homes and establish limits for high-end multifamily projects, Cleveland.com reports. The study’s report “found that abatements granted on property taxes only involved about 2.5% of parcels” but also that a “growing percentage of abatements issued” are going to areas where development is driving up prices, according to the article. Crain’s Cleveland reports that residents aren’t opposed to incentives for new housing, but “they want to see more help for longtime homeowners struggling to maintain older homes,” while builders say tax abatement “is critical for landing buyers and increasing against suburbs” increasingly offering their own tax breaks. For more, read the full Cleveland.com and Crain’s Cleveland articles. 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates
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