COTA to buy downtown Columbus Greyhound bus terminal for $9.5M, create mixed-use development

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) will spend $9.5 million to buy the 2.45-acre site of the Greyhound bus terminal at 111 E. Town Street in downtown Columbus “so it can demolish it to make way for a multi-use redevelopment that will include a central COTA bus center,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Terry Foegler, COTA’s chief development officer, said the transit function will be a “secondary aspect” of the redevelopment, saying the site “warrants more development” as a mixed-use project, according to the article. The new facility “will serve as a hub for COTA, including the planned Northwest Corridor that includes Olentangy River Road and the East-West Corridor along East and West Broad and East Main streets.” The Greyhound bus service “will move to COTA’s terminal in the Columbus Commons parking garage between East Rich and Main streets.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

White Castle plans $27M Dayton-area expansion, 30 new jobs

Columbus-based fast food chain White Castle will invest $27 million to add about 75,000 square feet to its frozen-food manufacturing plant near the Dayton International Airport, nearly doubling its current size, Columbus Business First reports. JobsOhio recently provided “a $2.5 million growth fund loan” for the project, which will “add 30 jobs to the plant over a three-year period” that are “expected to generate $900,000 in annual payroll,” according to the article. Another 162 existing jobs will be retained at the facility. Jamie Richardson, White Castle vice president of marketing and public relations, said, “[w]e’re especially grateful to JobsOhio, the Ohio Development Services Agency and the Dayton/Montgomery County Port Authority for thoughtful collaborative leadership that provides a path forward to make the vision for this investment opportunity a reality.” For more, read the full article


Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Downtown Columbus “will bounce back” from pandemic, CDDC leaders say

Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) leaders are focusing on key developments they say will help the city’s downtown area resume the “upswing” it was experiencing when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Columbus Business First reports. Greg Davies and Amy Taylor, newly named CEO and president, respectively (see our June 11, 2021 blog post), “said they believe they will have a better understanding of what the downtown landscape will be like after Labor Day,” when many employers plan to resume requiring employees to work in downtown offices, according to the article. The CDDC is focusing on the Scioto Peninsula development, the Topiary Park Crossing apartments, and downtown strategic planning. One component of that strategic planning will be affordable housing, and Taylor said the CDDC is interested in hearing from the community as they explore how to best support that goal. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Pataskala approves CRA, TIF for large-scale facility

An agreement between the City of Pataskala and developer TPA Group LLC “clears the way for a new distribution-style facility’s construction in the Mink Street and Refugee Road area of the city,” the Newark Advocate reports. Pataskala Council approved a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement and Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) for the “1.2 million square foot warehouse/distribution facility” and site improvements, according to the article. City Administrator Tim Hickin said the TIF agreement “will allow TPA to recoup costs related to public infrastructural improvements” in the area that is “prime for development.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Sandusky approves TIF for $8.8M Hogrefe Building project

City commissioners in Sandusky recently approved a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement “to help stabilize the fiscal foundation” of two developers’ multimillion-dollar investment in the Hogrefe Building downtown, the Sandusky Register reports. Rick and Meghan Hogrefe originally budgeted $3 million to restore the historic Cooke Building at Columbus Avenue and Market Street, but the building was found to be unsalvageable, and costs escalated, according to the article. The Hogrefes have applied for a $1 million grant from the state of Ohio, and have committed to putting up $7.8 million of the expected $8.8 million cost for the mixed-use project. As part of the TIF agreement, they will make payments in lieu of taxes of at least $200,000 each year, with at least $25,000 per year going to Sandusky Schools. The remaining money will be used to service debt on the project and to finance planned public infrastructure. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Grant money available for Ohio small businesses hurt by pandemic

Small and medium-sized Ohio businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for grants up to $30,000 under programs funded by federal aid, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Programs will provide a total of $155 million to businesses that opened in 2020, lodging or entertainment venues, and food and beverage establishments, according to the article. Information on the grant programs is available at BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov, and Ohio Small Business Development Centers and Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers “have advisors who can help businesses with the application process.” The federal money is first allocated among the state’s 88 counties; any money not claimed within a county by July 31 will become available to businesses statewide. For more, read the full article

State Updates

New Ohio Economic Dashboard tracks statewide economic indicators

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation has launched the Ohio Economic Dashboard, an online “data visualization tool” that tracks “statewide vital economic indicators, including metrics related to labor force participation, new business starts and population growth,” Crain’s Cleveland reports. The dashboard was created “to help policymakers, business leaders and the public understand the state’s economic health by providing a snapshot of current market conditions along with historical trends,” according to the article. It links to the Prosperity Pulse Index, which measures “the economic health of Ohio companies based on the future outlook of five key indicators: profits, employment levels, unfilled openings, capital expenditures and overall economic optimism.” For more, read the full article (subscription required).

Economic Development, State Updates

Newark Arcade’s $15M restoration granted $1.1M in state historic tax credits

The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) “approved the Newark Development Partners’ [NDP] application” for “about $1.1 million in historic preservation tax credits for a $15 million restoration of The Arcade,” a building that dates to 1909, the Newark Advocate reports. The project, which is expected to take approximately two years, “has received about $4 million in federal and state tax credits,” and has raised $9 million in donations pledged or paid, according to the article. NDP plans to rehabilitate 15 apartments on the eastern part of the project and create spaces for new commercial tenants on the ground floor. Terrazzo floors, historic storefronts and decorative plaster will be repaired. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

New $313.9M Crew stadium opened doors for women- and minority-owned businesses

The construction of the Columbus Crew’s $313.9 million, 20,000-seat Field in downtown Columbus was “completed with the help of 54 minority-owned enterprises and 27 women-owned enterprises in central Ohio, throughout the state and beyond,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The City of Columbus “set a 30% utilization rate of MWBE [Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises],” and achieved “25% for the stadium and 34% for the training facility” upon completion, according to the article. A total of 117 contracts were awarded to MWBEs, “amounting to over $74 million in spending.” Kathy Tatum, president of Tatum Landscaping in Westerville, said partnering with billion-dollar BrightView commercial landscaping company on the project has already led to discussions with project lead Turner Construction Co. about other possible opportunities. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Centerville considers TIF for $2M development

The City of Centerville is considering a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for a potential $2 million mixed-use development on city land, the Dayton Daily News reports. Centerville Development Director Michael Norton-Smith said the city is negotiating with “a first end user” of the 7.5 acres at the corner of Yankee Street and Social Row Road for a project that would involve “a mix of office and commercial uses,” according to the article. Plans “show two buildings — including one labeled as a possible restaurant — for the site,” which can accommodate 75,000 square feet according to city records. The TIF would generate revenue for public improvements. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates
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