Port authority approves financing for Bridgeworks project in Cleveland

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority board recently approved bond issuances that will provide “about $3 million in upfront cash” for the 16-story mixed-use Bridgeworks tower in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, Crain’s Cleveland reports. The bond issuances “will allow the developers to save about $2.3 million in sales taxes on construction materials,” according to the article. The port “agreed to issue $4.13 million in taxable revenue bonds through its bond fund” that will be offered on the open market. The bonds are “tied to a tax-increment financing (TIF) arrangement, a 30-year structure that will redirect a portion of the new property-tax revenues generated by the development to paying off project costs.” Bridgeworks will include 140 apartments, 70 of which will be income-restricted “workforce housing,” a restaurant, a 130-room Motto by Hilton hotel, lower-level retail and structured parking. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

$31.8M for affordable housing will have ‘profound impact’ on Cincinnati

Developers of “shovel-ready” affordable housing projects in Hamilton County “now have access to more than $31 million” in funding opportunities, WCPO.com reports. County commissioners and the Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) are “using money from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA)” to finance “the production, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable housing units,” according to the article. Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus said “the investment will help stabilize neighborhoods and offer more opportunities for families to generate wealth.” Housing projects that may qualify for the funding include multi-family rentals; homeownership, “including single-family and owner-occupied multi-family”; and permanent supportive housing “to improve access to stable, affordable housing among individuals who are homeless.” The county encourages developers to apply for the initial round of funds through May 16. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Solar company investing $13.5M in expansion in Henry County

APA Solar Racking will invest “$10 million for equipment and $3.5 million in property” to expand its Henry County operations to add a manufacturing division, The Crescent-News reports. The expansion plans include creating “110 new jobs while retaining 90” current jobs, with payrolls for these positions topping $10 million, according to the article. JobsOhio is providing a $2 million loan and a $250,000 grant for the project; additional funding sources include “a Port Authority loan and Henry County’s revolving loan fund,” the article reports. Henry County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) Executive Director Jennifer Arps called the plans a “great expansion and growth.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Solar, State Updates

Automotive supplier investing $2M in Ross County expansion

Pegasus Industries, LLC, “an automotive supplier and contract manufacturer specializing in Class VII heavy duty truck parts,” announced it will invest “roughly $2 million” to expand its Ross County operations in Chillicothe, the Chillicothe Gazette reports. The company’s expansion plans, announced “in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) and the Greater Chillicothe and Ross County Development,” are “to prepare an additional 200,000-square-feet in the building it currently leases” so it can “expand its role in the Kenworth supply chain” as Kenworth increases its daily truck built rate, according to the article. JobsOhio “supported the project with a $200,000 JobsOhio Economic Development Grant and Ohio Southeast Economic Development assisted the company with the grant process.” The Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development Department “is offering assistance through an Opportunity Fund.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

First-round awards in Appalachian Community Grant Program total $17M

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor John Husted recently announced “the first-round recipients of the Appalachian Community Grant Program [see our September 21, 2022 blog post], which includes the planned renovations of The Athens Armory,” as well as The Logan Theater, The Space at the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce, The Somerset Builder’s Club, and the Coshocton Collaborative, The Athens News reports. The projects “are ‘lynchpin’ projects, which will breathe new vibrancy into long-neglected downtown districts, and will serve as catalysts for further improvements and development,” according to the article. The Athens Armory “was funded as part of a larger four-county initiative called At Work in Appalachia,” which “establishes coordinated, interconnected remote work and entrepreneur hubs, and locally-designed health and workforce development programming through a series of public and private partnerships.” Plans for The Athens Armory include a community gathering space open to organizations and the general public, shared workspace and permanent offices for the Athens County Foundation. The At Work in Appalachia initiative was awarded $17,674,641 in total from the Ohio Department of Development and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia through the Appalachian Community Grant Program. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel awarded $9.1M in TIF bonds from port authority

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has approved “$9.1 million in tax increment financing [TIF] to help the owner of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel-Marriott complete its years-long renovation,” the Cleveland Business Journal reports. The port authority approved the TIF bonds for the Toronto-based developer Skyline International Development that acquired the historic hotel in 2015 for almost $20 million, according to the article. Selling TIF bonds to investors “provides up-front money for developers who ‘repay’ investors over time by paying higher taxes in their improved property.” The $9.1 million in TIF bonds was “in addition to up to $20 million in TIF bonds” the port authority approved “almost a year ago.” Renovation costs have increased to $74 million on the project “as new features have been added, including new windows.” The hotel is expected to be rebranded as Hotel Cleveland when it reopens, in a return to its former name “that once was marked by an iconic sign on top of the building.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Local government incentives available under Inflation Reduction Act

Federal energy policy is making many new incentives available for local governments to fund energy-related assets. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enacted in 2022, established a set of energy-related asset categories that are now being directly subsidized by the federal government. Under the IRA, nearly any advanced or renewable energy asset constructed by a local government is eligible for some kind of federal cash subsidy. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Solar

Manufacturer will invest $10M in Monroe County facility, add 15 jobs

American Heavy Plate Solutions LLC plans to invest $10 million “to purchase machinery and equipment designed to increase production throughput and expand the range of products the company can manufacture” at its Hannibal Industrial Park facility in Monroe County, The Marietta Times reports. The expansion, which is expected to add 15 jobs over three years, was announced by the company, JobsOhio, the Monroe County Port Authority and Ohio Southeast Economic Development, according to the article. JobsOhio “supported the project with a $100,000 JobsOhio Revitalization Grant,” while the port authority, which owns the industrial park, will provide the additional funds needed to repair “about 17,000 square feet of the roof” to facilitate the expansion. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

New Community Authority could provide money for new development in Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon City Council is considering adding a New Community Authority (NCA) to help fund the infrastructure needed for new development projects without adding to the existing community’s tax burden, Knoxpages.com reports. An NCA “is a separate government entity that has development powers,” that can “put in infrastructure and acquire land for development as well as levy a special tax in that development only to pay for the project,” according to the article. J. Caleb Bell of Bricker & Eckler spoke to council members, explaining that combination of powers “makes this tool very special,” saying, “it’s a way of getting an additional revenue stream from new development.” Bell “said the NCA tool targets new developments or undeveloped areas that are going to be developed and puts a charge or assessment on those properties only,” creating an “independent revenue stream that comes just from new development.” Assessments run for a specified period of time such as 20 years, the article reports, and NCA money “can be used for land acquisition, infrastructure, roads, sanitary sewer, a new fire station, and community facilities” including “day care centers, pools, parks, educational facilities, lighting, pedestrian underpasses, recreational facilities, and other amenities.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Cincinnati brewery will transform Brentwood Bowl to production and taproom space

HighGrain Brewing is building a second production brewery along with a taproom in the former Brentwood Bowl bowling alley in Springfield Township, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. HighGrain, a local craft brewery, will also have event spaces that can be rented out, “a large kitchen for a restaurant concept,” a covered patio connected to green space, and a “small outdoor space adjacent to the beer garden that can also be rented out,” according to the article. Construction is expected to begin in March 2023 and last about five months; the total project cost "will be between $3.2 million and $3.4 million.” Grants from state and local agencies have provided $1.1 million for resurfacing the parking lot, demolition and construction. The remaining financing “is coming from Northside Bank and Ohio PACE financing, which offers loans for energy efficient building improvements.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates
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