Former Kroger bakery near downtown Columbus could become apartments

Three developers are working on a joint venture to turn the former Kroger bakery building on the north end of downtown Columbus into 448 apartment units as part of a mixed-use development, NBC4i.com reports. A joint venture of Casto, Kelley Companies and The Robert Weiler Company “bought the property for $8.15 million” after Kroger closed the bakery, with plans to restore the two existing buildings, which are almost 100 years old, and add three more apartment buildings, according to the article. The project would also include restaurant and retail space, as well as outdoor amenities. The developers said they expect renovations would need Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Bridge Park more than halfway done; expected to reach $600M in investment

Dublin’s Bridge Park mixed-use development, which began construction in 2016, is more than half finished and has already seen about $420 million in investment, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Matt Starr, vice president of commercial real estate for developer Crawford Hoying, “said about 20 of the district’s 32 acres are developed” and the next phase, Block G, should be finished in two years, according to the article. Block G includes “115,000 square feet of office space, 84 condominium units and 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.” When finished, total private investment in Bridge Park is expected to reach $600 million. Bricker & Eckler LLP serves as bond and development counsel to Crawford Hoying on the Bridge Park project. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

West Jefferson expands CRA to two additional properties

West Jefferson Village Council recently added a 2.4-acre parcel on Enterprise Parkway and a 180-acre property along U.S. Route 40 to a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) agreement that provides a 100 percent property tax exemption for the next 10 years, the Messenger reports. Core 5 Industrial Partners “plans to build three buildings on the 180-acre property” and also “plans to extend U.S Route 29 to the end of their property,” according to the article. Core 5 recently purchased a property already covered by the CRA and adjacent to the 2.4-acre property; extending the CRA “allows Core 5 to expand into the area.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Black-owned development firm plans $4M project that will bring jobs to Walnut Hills

Sanders Development Group LLC, a Black-owned commercial real estate firm launched by Robert Sanders of Cincinnati, is working on a redevelopment project that will include a new headquarters for TriVersity Construction Co. in Walnut Hills, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Sanders Development is partnering with Terrex Development & Construction LLC “on the redevelopment of three parcels located near the neighborhood’s historic Peebles Corner,”  according to the article. Sanders “said the project is expected to bring dozens of jobs to Walnut Hills and be a total investment of about $4 million.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Historic Cleveland building redevelopment awarded $1.5M tax incentive

Cleveland City Council and Mayor Frank Johnson approved “a tax incentive package valued at more than $1.5 million” for the $13 million redevelopment of the historic Western Reserve Building downtown, Cleveland.com reports. The project is expected to bring 85 new jobs into the building, preserve 90 existing jobs, and bring the occupancy rate up from about 50 percent to about 90 percent, according to the article. The tax incentives will not affect tax revenues for Cleveland schools; increases in property tax “are expected to generate about $76,600 a year for Cleveland schools,” while the city expects to collect “about $117,500 a year in new income taxes.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

OU employee placed in Coshocton County working to promote economic development

After receiving a $2.2 million federal grant, Ohio University (OU) has placed an employee in the Coshocton County Port Authority to help “retain and build business in the county,” The Post reports. The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the grant, part of the RISE Ohio project, “to be used to help finance economic development in Coshocton and the surrounding Appalachian region,” to OU’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, according to the article. OU employee Sherri Gibson works as an economic recovery specialist placed within the port authority, in a role geared toward “helping current businesses to expand, providing resources for new businesses and even creating internship opportunities for local high school students” to “help create a pipeline for local employers.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Bricker & Eckler’s Bell to present PACE financing at Smart Columbus Energy webinar

Learn more about PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing at Smart Columbus Energy’s online event featuring a presentation by Bricker & Eckler’s Caleb Bell. A new initiative through Smart Columbus enables Central Ohio energy buyers to collaboratively purchase cost effective, Ohio-based renewable energy. Bell will discuss how Midwest property owners can use PACE financing to unlock energy-saving and renewable energy opportunities with no upfront costs. The presentation will include an overview of PACE programs available throughout Central Ohio and example transactions. To register for this event, click here.

Economic Development, Project Finance, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Developers propose $265M mixed-use development south of Austin Landing

The Springboro Planning Commission recently reviewed designs for the proposed $265 million Easton Farm development on 105 acres south of Austin Landing, WCPO.com reports. The “sprawling community of new residences and business spaces” combines “updated ideas for streetscapes, parks, open spaces and walkability with the historic charm of Ohio’s small villages,” according to the article. Developer Doug Borror said, “[w]e are creating a unique destination for the Springboro community” that will blend urban and suburban features. The project will include multi-family and single-family units, town homes and upscale apartments as well as nearby parks and mixed-use development. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

New rubric outlines Cincinnati’s development project priorities

Cincinnati City Council recently approved a rubric to outline and show developers the city’s priorities for new development projects, WVXU.org reports. Council Member Greg Landsman, who proposed the rubric (see our February 23, 2021 blog post), called it “the biggest change in the development process in a long time,” according to the article. Landsman said, “[t]his will be the first time we give developers and communities a comprehensive and clear sense of our collective priorities, from housing, to local jobs, to local minority inclusion.” The rubric “doesn’t mandate anything and isn’t enforceable,” with some critics saying it doesn’t go far enough. Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney acknowledged those concerns, saying the adopted rubric “isn’t a stopping point” and is “just one small step.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Columbus City Council considers incentives for $300M data center on south side

A speculative build $300 million data center “on the scale of those that Google, Facebook and Amazon are building around Central Ohio” could begin construction on the Hartman Farms site on the Far South Side of Columbus this summer, Columbus Business First reports. Columbus City Council is considering “a 15-year 100% abatement of property taxes,” saving the operator $54.3 million over the life of the agreement “while netting $750,000 in new income taxes for the city,” according to the article. The operator negotiated an annual payment of at least $600,000 to Hamilton Local School District in lieu of its share of property tax. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates
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