Posts Authored by Robert F. McCarthy

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

Fitzgerald named new Economic Development executive director for ACEDC

The Athens County Economic Development Council (ACEDC) has appointed Mollie Fitzgerald as its new economic development executive director, the Athens Messenger reports. Fitzgerald has served ACEDC as assistant director since August 2019, and was previously the executive director of Athens-based nonprofit Live Healthy Appalachia. She “has played a key role in the ACEDC’s on-going projects and holds a strong understanding of the local, regional and state economic development programs, partners and networks,” according to the article. She is an Ohio University graduate and holds her Master of Public Administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs. For more, read the full article (subscription required).

Economic Development, 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

Xenia creates Community Improvement Corporation to boost economic development

The City of Xenia has approved establishing a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to “encourage and facilitate economic, industrial and commercial development in the city,” the Dayton Daily News reports. City Manager Brett Merriman said the CIC “will help fix up blighted properties or aid properties that are currently underused,” according to the article, noting the corporation’s flexibility to do things that the city cannot, such as “acquire and sell land and get financing for real estate.” The Xenia CIC will also “play a role in establishing a downtown Main Street program.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, 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

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

U.S. DOE report says Columbus-Pittsburgh corridor “key” to region’s economic development

The U.S. Department of Energy’s recent Appalachian Energy and Petrochemical Renaissance Report cites the Columbus to Pittsburgh Corridor project “as one that would support economic growth and diversification in the Appalachian Region when completed,” the Coshocton Tribune reports. The Columbus-Pittsburgh Corridor Association (CPCA) hopes this finding “will help to drive a new feasibility study on the proposal” to have the 160-mile stretch between the two cities “be four lanes the entire way,” according to the article. The report notes, “[w]hile the emergence of the shale gas industry has created extraordinary opportunities, it has also placed significant unanticipated stress on the highway infrastructure and on many secondary roads. Further expansion of the petrochemical and manufacturing sectors would benefit from a greater level of transportation infrastructure.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

OhioSE expands team, announces new engagement effort

Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern, eastern, and southeastern Ohio, recently announced “a new engagement effort as part of a larger statewide initiative to increase knowledge and reach of economic development,” The Highland County Press reports. OhioSE has expanded its team, adding Destiny Bryson as Manager of Engagement & Partnerships for 13 counties in the southern part of its region, according to the article. Ed Looman is now the Manager of Engagement & Partnerships for 12 eastern counties; together, they will “work closely with local economic development organizations, elected officials and other partner organizations in each county, offering support through information, technical assistance, training, education, research and programs for funding that can support job creating projects through the entire region.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, 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
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