Columbus creates EV parking ordinance with neighborhoods and businesses in mind

A recent amendment to the Columbus Zoning Code will encourage electric vehicle (EV) charging stations “at commercial and residential developments,” according to a post on smart.columbus.gov. Columbus City Council passed the ordinance that “off-street parking spaces dedicated to EV charging and located outside special parking areas will count as a required parking space and not count toward the maximum number of parking spaces” developers are required to include based on a business’s industry, location and size, according to the article. Prior to this ordinance, dedicated EV parking spaces did not count toward parking space calculations. The goal is to avoid “too few or too many parking spaces that could impede other businesses and residents.” For more, read the full article.

Smart Cities, State Updates

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

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

Smart Columbus’s plans to solve transportation challenges through technology

Columbus is a well-known test market and the fastest-growing city in the Midwest; since winning the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge in 2016 (see our June 21, 2016 blog post), it has also become “the place where innovative transportation technologies are tested,” statescoop.com reports. Smart Columbus, “a regional smart-city initiative” co-led by the city and Columbus Partnership, “has facilitated testing of intelligent transportation services, new mobility service models and new behaviors” to solve transportation challenges, according to the article. The Smart Circuit program, Ohio’s first self-driving shuttle, began with a deployment in the Scioto Mile area; Smart Columbus will apply research from that deployment to a new route designed to provide transportation solutions for Linden residents to have better access to fresh food, childcare, and other community resources. For more, read the full article.

Smart Cities, State Updates

NASA study finds huge solar potential for Cleveland

A 5.4-square mile section of Cleveland has the potential to generate 100,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually — enough to power 10,000 homes — through widespread deployment of rooftop solar systems, NASA researchers found, according to a recent U.S. Energy News article. The analysis, from NASA’s DEVELOP program, “used aerial images to calculate rooftop solar capacity” and found that 85% of the 100,000 megawatts “could be generated on a fifth of the buildings” within that area, according to the article. These findings “could help inform the city’s strategy as it aims to achieve 100% renewable energy” as well as net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

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 Centerville. 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

Air Force awards $7.4M grant to UT for solar cell project

The University of Toledo (UT)’s “long commitment to solar power” has led to a $7.4 million grant “to have its physics and astronomy department try to develop lighter and more efficient solar cells for the Air Force,” The Toledo Blade reports. The department is being asked to produce tandem technology cells “out of lighter and more flexible materials than glass, such as certain ceramics” and to try to “stack them in a way in which more wavelengths from sunlight can be absorbed,” according to the article. Such cells could become a “primary source of energy used to keep satellites in orbit” or to “help power manned fighter jets used in combat, or large military drones used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.” U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), called UT “a worldwide leader driving innovation in photovoltaics research, education and application.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohio Supreme Court holds that right to sue does not automatically transfer to purchasers of distressed bonds

In the Ohio Supreme Court’s opinion in Paul Cheatham I.R.A. v. The Huntington National Bank, the Court held that the right to sue a bond trustee does not automatically transfer to a buyer of the bond. In that opinion, issued August 22, 2019, the Court held that absent an express assignment of claims, purchasers of distressed bonds do not have a right to sue the bond trustee for compensation of investment losses of prior bondholders. For more, read our full article, Ohio Supreme Court rejects bondholders suit against trustee for compensation of losses.

 

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
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