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

Cincinnati City Council member would like to add TDDs to toolbox for infrastructure

Transportation development districts (TDDs) could be an effective tool for Cincinnati as well other Ohio communities to fund public transportation infrastructure projects, Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor writes in an opinion article for the Cincinnati Business Courier. Pastor “researched how other cities solve their transportation infrastructure problems,” and found TDDs can “[f]und, promote, plan, design, construct, improve, maintain and operate one or more projects or assist in doing so,” according to the article. He cited a Missouri TDD that funded the expansion of U.S. Route 36 to four lanes across four rural counties, using “revenue from a half-cent sales tax.” Pastor’s hope is that the Ohio General Assembly will “pass legislation that gives communities the opportunity to create TDDs so they have another tool to grow, prosper and sharpen our competitive edge.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, 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

NOPEC $35,000 grant will fund Lakewood’s fifth EV charger

Lakewood Mayor Meghan George recently announced a $35,000 Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) grant to support electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure will finance the city’s fifth EV charging station, reports. NOPEC “offered the grant in gratitude for advice and support provided by the city regarding its own EV charging program initiative,” the mayor said, according to the article. The city has installed two EV chargers, with a third expected to be operational soon, and a fourth earmarked for next year. George called the charging stations “an important infrastructure need” as Lakewood encourages the use of electric vehicles. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Project Finance, State Updates

Canton establishes ESID, approves tax exemption for Hall of Fame Village Hotel II project

Canton City Council has approved a tax-exemption deal that will allow the owners of Hall of Fame Village Doubletree Canton “to make service payments rather than pay real estate taxes” on the taxable value of physical improvements to the hotel, reports. To “lay ground work for the tax-exemption ordinance,” city officials established a Canton Regional Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) as “part of the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) legislation,” according to the article. Property owners within the ESID are able to finance energy efficiency improvements through assessments against the property. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

DriveOhio outlines statewide strategy for EV charging

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)’s DriveOhio initiative “has finalized a study to expand electric vehicles (EV) access” throughout the state, identifying “key steps” needed to expand Ohio’s EV impact, Knox Pages reports. A key recommendation is to install EV charging stations “at least every 50 miles at strategic locations along interstate, state and US route corridors,” according to the article. In coordination with this study, the Ohio EPA is accepting applications for $3.5 million in grants to fund publicly accessible chargers in 26 counties (see our July 27, 2020 blog post); another $5 million in grants for Direct Current Fast chargers will be released in early 2021. Jack Marchbanks, Director of ODOT, said by working toward EV-friendly corridors, “Ohio will continue leading the way in the changing landscape of transportation.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Project Finance, State Updates

Volkswagen settlement money funding Ohio EPA grants for EV charging stations

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for “$3.25 million in grants for publicly accessible electric vehicle [EV] charging stations,” according to a recent news release. Funding for the grants “comes from dollars allocated to Ohio from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund,” which requires states to develop a plan identifying how the money will be allocated for “10 allowable uses that can reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and offset damages,” according to the release. Eligible applicants “include public or private entities in the 26 counties that Ohio EPA has identified as eligible to receive funds”; applications will be accepted through September 30, 2020. For more, read the full news release.

Environmental, Project Finance, State Updates

Columbus ESID closes over $100 million in funding

On July 17, 2020, the Columbus Regional Special Improvement District (ESID)'s PACE financing program, administered by the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, announced that they have now closed over $100 million in funding for local energy-related projects. Since 2015, the Columbus Regional ESID has provided a 32 percent average utility bill reduction and annual energy savings of $1.4 million in Franklin County. Congratulations to the ESID and Finance Authority teams, and a special congratulations to Jeremy Druhot for his hard work in making our local PACE financing program a nationally recognized success. For more, read the full press release.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance

NOPEC grants fund Painesville Township energy efficiency improvements

Energy improvements including new air conditioners, furnaces, ceiling insulation and LED lighting in Painesville Township administrative and departmental buildings might not have been possible without Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) grants, Township Administrator Michael Manary said in a recent News-Herald article. The township has received NOPEC grants, which “can be used strictly for energy improvements,” in 2018, 2019, and 2020, according to the article. Manary noted that two of Painesville’s three fire station were built in the 1960s and “have not had any significant investments in energy improvements” before the grant-funded projects; as a result of the improvements, utility bills have been decreasing over the past few years. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Lower Price Hill mixed-use project wins federal tax credits and loans for construction

A mixed-use development project that will bring “47 units of affordable housing and renovated commercial space” to Cincinnati’s Lower Price Hill has landed approximately $846,000 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Authority (OHFA), CityBeat reports. Lower Price Hill nonprofit Community Matters “is partnering with Over-the-Rhine Community Housing (OTRCH) on the project,” called LPH Thrives, according to the article. The tax credits “can be used to attract investors to finance construction”; in return, the property owner must “keep the residential units affordable and reserved for low and moderate income households.” OHFA also approved federal loans to help finance project costs. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates
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