$500M in Ohio Appalachian grants provides “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity

Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 377 into law this summer, providing “$500 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)” for transformative projects in Ohio’s 32 counties in the Appalachian region, The Daily Record reports. Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA) Executive Director Jeannette Wierzbicki said the program is not for “individual community development projects” but rather “projects that are transformative” or projects that partner with adjacent counties “to make a lasting difference for generations to come,” according to the article. Wierzbicki said the three primary areas the grants target are “Main Street or downtown redevelopment,” “workforce development such as public-private partnerships designed to build and coordinate technical, educational, clinical and workforce infrastructure,” and health care, especially investments in school or community-based services to address children’s physical and behavorial health needs.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Central Ohio projects compete for new transformational mixed-use development tax credits

Developers for 11 Central Ohio projects have applied for the state’s new “transformational mixed-use development tax credits [TMUD]” program that “provides tax credits to help finance new construction or renovation of vacant buildings in mixed-use projects that are expected to catalyze development and the economies in their areas,” Columbus Business First reports. Teams behind 36 projects in Ohio applied for a combined $318 million. Among the Central Ohio projects, Thrive Cos. submitted for its Grandview Crossing project, seeking $6.3 million in credits, and also its redevelopment of the former Mount Carmel West site in Franklinton, asking for $6 million. Developers of the North Market tower redevelopment are seeking $34 million in tax credits. Arlington Gateway developers requested $3.8 million; Bernstein Co. asked for about $6.7 million for the Continental Centre downtown. Casto, the Kelley Cos. and the Robert Weiler Co. applied for $13 million for the Kroger Bakery project. Additional projects applying for the tax credits include the Front & Fulton project at the former L. Hoster Brewing Co. building, the Golden Bear redevelopment in Upper Arlington, the High North redevelopment of the Shops at Worthington Place, The Galaxy at Polaris, and the new Tru Hotel by Hilton in Delaware. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, 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

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

Grant and TIF package approved for Worthington’s High North project

Worthington City Council has approved “an economic-development grant and tax-increment-financing package to facilitate” the High North project proposal to “rebrand and redevelop the Shops at Worthington Place mall” into a mixed-use commercial space, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Council “earmarked a $2.5 million grant to help developer Direct Retail Partners with construction,” to be paid in “five installments of $500,000” toward the six-story, 75,000-square-foot class-A office building, according to the article. Economic development director David McCorkle said the grant is a payroll grant based on the expectation that the office building “would generate at least $30 million in annual payroll,” which would generate $750,000 per year in income-tax revenue for the city. Council approved a tax increment financing (TIF) package to divert a portion of the developer’s property taxes each year “to help pay for the [public parking] garage, which is expected to cost about $12.1 million.” For more, read the full article

 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Developer seeks state tax credit for $107M downtown Cincinnati project

NewcrestImage LLC, the developer that wants to transform the three-building Fourth & Walnut Centre complex in downtown Cincinnati into a dual-branded hotel, is seeking a second $5 million Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit for the $107 million project, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. NewcrestImage was awarded $5 million in tax credits for the project in December 2018, according to the article. Cincinnati City Council “unanimously approved a property tax abatement” for the project in January 2019. Fourth & Walnut includes a 19-story tower “designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham’s Burnham & Associates” that dates to 1903, “a four-story building built in 1937 and a six-story building built in 1961.” The state historic tax credit “would allow NewcrestImage to move forward with plans.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Downtown Sandusky’s Hogrefe Building to celebrate opening in March

Hogrefe Building owners Meghan and Rick Hogrefe will celebrate the grand opening of the mixed-use development “five years in the making” with a celebration to unveil the project to the community on March 19, the Sandusky Register reports. Of the total $12 million investment in the site, the Hogrefes contributed $8.5 million personally, and secured state and local government funding sources for the remainder (see our August 27, 2021 blog post for more). Meghan said the new building represents “economic development and the next wave of entrepreneurs building their own legacies in the downtown Sandusky historical footprint.” The space will house “retail, office and residential uses” and will “connect to the adjacent Marketplace at Cooke complex.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

CFFA’s “strong year” in 2021 included more than a half billion in financing

The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority (CFFA)’s recently released annual report pronounced 2021 a “strong year,” in which the organization “provided $587.42 million in development financing — double the total for the previous year.” The CFFA noted several “firsts” for 2021, including “projects in Fairfield, Knox, and Madison Counties; tax-exempt PACE [Property Assessed Clean Energy] financing for Alvis (nonprofit); a construction loan for industrial cold storage; and a small business loan for manufacturing equipment.” The CFFA was also one of six qualified Ohio Port Authorities that “sponsor five regional investment-grade bond funds” to partner with JobsOhio “to establish the $50 million JobsOhio debt service reserve.” Bricker & Eckler was privileged to serve as counsel to CFFA for many bond fund and energy loan projects in 2021. For more, read the full report

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Port Authority tops $200M in deals for Dayton area in 2021

The Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority had “a record year of successful funding opportunities” with “$218.8 million in capital lease bond transactions” supporting projects including new NorthPoint Development industrial buildings near Dayton International Airport, the Dayton Daily News reports. Capital lease transactions “allow the Port to shield new construction projects from sales taxes on the purchase of construction materials,” the article reports. The Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority jointly operates the Southwest Ohio Regional Bond Fund with the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority; the fund supported projects for Economy Linen & Towel Services, White Castle, the 130 West Second St. office building, and the Dayton-Phoenix Group, Inc. in 2021. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

ARPA final rule – The “B-sides collection”: Funding capital projects

Much has been written by various prognosticators regarding the January 6, 2022, release by the U.S. Treasury of its final rule as to the use by state and local governments of federal stimulus funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). One head-turning change under the new guidance is the Treasury presuming up to $10 million in revenue has been lost by each local government due to the public health emergency.

Rather than rehash key takeaways from the Final Rule (radio’s “A-side” singles), we share this first of a series regarding lesser publicized aspects of the new ARPA guidance (the “B-sides”). Here, we focus on funding capital projects.

For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Project Finance
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