New tax abatement policy aims to increase affordable housing in Columbus

Columbus City Council recently approved an updated residential tax abatement policy that “aims to increase the number of affordable units built in all neighborhoods,” Columbus Business First reports. The policy will affect every developer “seeking an abatement with permits granted after Sept. 1, 2023,” and increases the requirements for those abatements, according to the article. Since 2018, the program offered a 100%, 15-year abatement for projects that priced “10% of units for residents making 80% of the area median income and 10% for those making 100% of the area median income in ‘market-ready’ and ‘ready-for-revitalization’ areas (see our June 8, 2022 blog post).” The new policy “requires developers to either go deeper” with 10% of units priced for residents making 60% of the area median income or “go wider” with 30% of units “priced for those at 80% of the area median income. The option to pay a fee instead of designating a percentage of units as affordable remains, but increased 300%, Columbus Development Director Michael Stevens said. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required). 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Economic development strategy helps bring $13M in federal funding to Dayton region

A recently approved economic development plan “has already helped net more than $13 million in federal funding” and establishes equity and inclusiveness goals for the 13-county Dayton region, the Journal-News reports. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) was “developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA),” and is “required to access certain federal funds and technical assistance,” according to the article. The plan “sets economic development goals, strategies for achieving them, and an evaluation framework” for the region. EDA funding is competitive, but the CEDS “will be a very effective tool in giving us a significant leg up” when competing for national grant funds, Troy City Director Patrick Titterington said. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

DSW parent company’s request to cancel tax incentive approved

Columbus City Council approved a request from Designer Brands Inc., owners of DSW, to dissolve a Jobs Creation Tax Credit agreement because of pandemic-related changes to its workforce, Columbus Business First reports. As part of the five-year agreement that went into effect in 2017, DSW agreed to “invest $3.6 million in improvements for an 82,000-square-foot space at 4314 E. 5th Ave.,” retain 840 jobs and create 100 additional jobs, the article reports. The company “exceeded the hiring goal in the incentive deal with its more than 1,000 local associates in 2018 and 2019, but it did not hit those goals in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.” While DSW said it still employs more than 1,000 associates locally, a shift to more remote positions means a portion of those positions are “no longer at the facility that received the incentive.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Expansion projects in Allen County seek tax abatements

Allen County Commissioners are expected to vote on two tax abatement proposals that could help bring millions in investment to the area, hometownstations.com reports. Nutrien “is asking for 50% tax abatement for 10 years on the construction of a storage building and office space” for contractors at their facility, according to the article. Lakeview Farms in Delphos is considering a “100,000 square foot expansion of their plant to add a new production line and warehouse space” at a cost of $35 million–$40 million. Lakeview is requesting a 90% tax abatement on the expansion for 10 years, according to the article. Both companies have other locations, so tax incentives could be the deciding factor in where they invest in expansion. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

State awards tax credits for $27M redevelopment of historic Cincinnati buildings

The Ohio Department of Development awarded “a more than $1.4 million Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit” to non-profit Cincinnati Center City Development (3CDC) for the Robert Mitchell Furniture Co. buildings in the Central Business District, as well as more than $1.2 million for the three adjacent Ophthalmic Hospital buildings in Over-the-Rhine, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The projects are expected to be a combined investment of “nearly $27 million,” according to the article. The developer plans to convert 61,900 square feet of the Robert Mitchell Furniture Co. buildings into “35 apartments with three street-level commercial spaces.” The project will create 200 full-time jobs during construction and four full-time operations jobs. The Ophthalmic Hospital project “is expected to create 128 full-time construction jobs in the first year and another 32 in the second year,” as well as four operations jobs when complete, and bring a commercial tenant that will add 15 full-time jobs. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Google’s new $300M Columbus data center begins construction

Tech giant Google is bringing more jobs to the Columbus area. Construction on “a $300 million Google computing center” south of I-270 along Route 23 began ahead of schedule and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Columbus City Council approved “$54.3 million in tax incentives for the project” that will employ 20 people when the facility is operational, as well as 20 to 70 contractors and “numerous construction jobs that will be on site for the next couple of years,” according to the article. The data center is Google’s latest investment in central Ohio; last year, the company announced it would also invest “an additional $1 billion into its data center operations in New Albany.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Columbus’s incentive strategy attracted $4B in projects in 2021

The City of Columbus “signed its largest-ever economic development agreement this year,” for the Ohio State University Innovation District project that is expected to create 12,000 new jobs, add 1,500 residential units and contract with minority- and women-owned construction companies, Columbus Business First reports. Columbus signed “24 incentive agreements with companies that pledged 13,800 new jobs and promised $4 billion in capital projects” in 2021, according to the article. For the Innovation District, City Council approved a 40% abatement on income taxes and a tax increment financing (TIF) district to fund infrastructure including water and sewer lines, sidewalks and green spaces. Michael Stevens, the city’s economic development director, said the city’s economic development strategy is to make sure “the right jobs are coming to Columbus, then invest in housing and infrastructure for people to get to those jobs.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Owners of former Columbus Castings site plan $100M investment in three new buildings

The South Side Columbus property that was home to Buckeye Steel Castings and later Columbus Castings for over 130 years could get a $100 million redevelopment, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Atlanta-based Stonemount Financial Group plans to invest “at least $100 million to build three light-industrial buildings that would bring new life” to the neighborhood, according to the article. Dusten Estes, vice president of Stonemount, said the company plans to break ground “within 90 days, contingent on tax breaks from the city of Columbus.” Estes said the company tries “to create class A industrial buildings” and puts time and attention “into site planning and tenant-friendly amenities.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Guernsey County Port Authority allocated $2M grant for economic development

A $2 million federal grant will help with the construction of development sites in a 45-acre parcel to help attract new businesses to Guernsey County, according to April 4, 2022 and June 14, 2022 articles in The Daily Jeff. Dr. Glenda Bumgarner, president of the Appalachian Partnership, sponsored the grant “and will work with the [Guernsey County Port Authority] in the application process” for projects to be funded, according to the June 16 article. The grant “will require an additional nearly $2 million in matching funds” from sources including additional grants and local dollars. Ten projects “have been identified and each will be fully researched to be included in a grant application that will enhance revitalization, cultural, and recreational areas throughout the county.” For more, read the full April 4, 2022 and June 14, 2022 Daily Jeff articles. 

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Carnation Mall redevelopment moving forward with TIF approval from Alliance

Alliance City Council recently passed multiple ordinances to help the Carnation City Mall redevelopment project move forward, including a tax increment financing (TIF) program, The Alliance Review reports. Mayor Alan Andreani said, “[m]any people think TIFs are pure abatements, (but) what happens is that the entities still pay their taxes but they go to a service fund,” which will be set up by the county, according to the article. Council also approved an agreement with Meijer for that company’s plan to construct a nearly “160,000-square-foot store on 25 acres of the former mall site.” City officials “hope the redevelopment project will bring new activity to the mall property.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates
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