$72M One Lakewood Place expected to get green light

Lakewood City Council is expected to approve a major mixed-use project for the city-owned former Lakewood Hospital site that could begin construction this summer, Cleveland.com reports. The proposed $72 million One Lakewood Place “calls for 100,000 square feet of office, 80,000 square feet of retail, 200 housing units with both lease and for-sale options, a .5-acre public plaza, parking garage and the historic renovation of the Curtis Block,” according to the article. City Council President Sam O’Leary said, “[w]e’re at the final approval stage for basically what amounts to a rezoning of the property to a planned development (PD) district designation in our code.” When completed, the project will “provide more than $1.5 million annually to the city and schools” in property and income taxes. For more, read the full article.

 

Economic Development, State Updates

Ohio Supreme Court decides: FirstEnergy grid modernization rider unlawful

On June 19, 2019, in a 4-3 decision favorable to Ohio consumer interests, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) order that allowed FirstEnergy to collect between $168 million and $204 million per year through the controversial Distribution Modernization Rider (Rider DMR). For more, read the full story.

State Updates

South Field Energy $1.3B investment benefits community, school district

South Field Energy LLC’s project to build “a modern, technologically sophisticated combined-cycle electrical generation plant” in Wellsville, Ohio, is “one of the largest single construction projects” as well as one of the largest single investments the region has seen, The Business Journal reports. Operating Engineers Local 66 business agent Carlton Ingram said the project “expects to have more than 1,000 tradesmen at the site” during peak construction, according to the article. South Field has paid $1.7 million to the Wellsville School District during the construction phase, and will pay the district $1.3 million annually for 15 years when operational. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Coal “no longer dominant source” of electricity in Ohio

As coal competes with cheap, abundant natural gas for power generation in Ohio, it has “gone from powering 87 percent of the state’s homes, stores, offices and factories to 47 percent” in “just a dozen years,” according to a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch. Natural gas “generated 34 percent of the state’s power last year,” an increase of 10 percentage points in one year, the article reports. Columbus-based American Electric Power, one of the largest power companies in the United States, “has slashed its carbon dioxide emissions 59 percent since 2000 with a goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050 as the company moves away from coal to natural gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar.” Natural gas has surpassed coal nationally as the top source of power, at 35.1 percent compared to coal’s 27.4 percent. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Delaware County 2,000-acre Berlin Business Park would focus on commercial, light industrial

Officials in Delaware County are working on plans for a “massive new business park” in Berlin Township, on “about 2,000 acres of mostly rural land,” Columbus Business First reports. Bob Lamb, the county’s economic development director, said “the intent is for commercial and light industrial businesses to occupy major parts of the land, with some room for retail and medical offices.” Delaware County is planning to invest “in major infrastructure work to support the development”; once the site is ready to be developed, the county “will roll out a host of incentives” including a Community Reinvestment Area tax credit and access to bond financing, among others. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Winston named as new president and CEO of Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s board of directors voted unanimously to promote current vice president of administration and chief financial officer Thomas Winston to its top leadership role, The Toledo Blade reports. President and CEO Paul Toth will retire after leading the authority since 2009, and Winston will assume that role beginning September 1, 2019. The port board formed a search committee late last year, but “quickly identified Mr. Winston as its top candidate and scrapped plans to conduct a national search,” according to the article. Port board vice chairman Sharon Speyer said Winston is passionate about the community and has the skill set and vision to execute today and “in the next 10 years from an economic development standpoint.” DevelopOhio and Bricker & Eckler LLP congratulate Thomas Winston on his new position. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Ohio House energy reform bill: “most significant rewrite” of energy laws in over a decade

A bill to create the Ohio Clean Air Program would enact the biggest changes to the state’s energy laws in more than 10 years, providing “incentives to build and maintain power plants that have zero or reduced emissions of carbon dioxide,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. House Bill 6 “would impose a monthly fee of 50 cents in 2020 and $2.50 after that on the electric bill of residential consumers,” with commercial and industrial users paying more. The bill “would eliminate charges averaging $4.39 per month” designed to help consumers reduce electricity consumption, thereby resulting in net savings for those customers. The new monthly fees would generate an expected $300 million annually by 2021; the Ohio Air Quality Board “would determine how the money is shared among the state’s power companies.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, State Updates

Delphos kicks off Energy District with city project

Businesses, government, healthcare, and educational facilities in Delphos have access to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing now that the city is an Energy District, the Delphos Herald reports. Safety Service Director Shane Coleman “signed the paperwork for an $8,000 loan . . . for an energy-efficient lighting project at the water treatment plant,” kicking off the Energy District, according to the article. The district is sponsored by “the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority through its Betterbuildings Northwest Ohio [BBNWO]”; financing will come from the BBNWO’s PACE program. Eligible projects include upgrades to energy efficiency for lighting, HVAC, and refrigeration, among others. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

New mixed-used Weston development to replace dormant Westland Mall

A “major hurdle” to transforming the “long-dormant” Westland Mall property has been cleared, as LGR Weston recently purchased “the Sears portion of the mall,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. That “$3.15 million purchase gives LGR and its sister company, Plaza Properties, control of the entire 88-acre mall site,” allowing them to move forward with plans to redevelop the property, according to the article. Developers plan to demolish the 1-million-square-foot mall and replace it with “a mixed-use development, ‘complementary’ to Hollywood Casino across Georgesville Road to the east.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Brecksville considers TIF for mixed-use project

The City of Brecksville is considering a TIF agreement to help finance the mixed-use Valor Acres development project proposed for the former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Brecksville hospital site, Cleveland.com reports. The 103-acre Valor Acres “may include stores, restaurants, apartments, hotels, hospitals, manufacturing plants, offices and-or laboratories,” according to the article. New property taxes generated from the development would fund infrastructure improvements; Mayor Jerry Hruby said in an email to Cleveland.com, “[w]e believe (a TIF) is the best option to develop the (Valor Acres) property and the area infrastructure.” Brecksville-Broadview Heights schools would not lose any existing property taxes under the TIF. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates
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