Plans to transform Columbus’ Cooper Stadium into mixed-use development move forward

The Columbus Development Commission approved plans to turn the former home of the Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team, Cooper Stadium, into a “mixed-use development, with apartments, outdoor event space and retail,” Columbus Business First reports. Developer Arshot, through the LLC Sparc Holding, submitted plans to the city showing a residential building “that could be up to six stories tall”; the first phase of residential development will include at least 100 units, according to the article. The completed project could have up to 550 residential units. Plans also include a dog park, a pool and a fitness facility. The project “is not yet on a city council agenda.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, State Updates

Beachwood developer plans $200M mixed-use redevelopment

Developer Chad Kertesz presented a $200 million proposal to Beachwood City Council’s Special Committee outlining plans for four new buildings including apartment units, office and retail space, a boutique hotel and parking both above and below ground at 3663 Park East Drive, reports. Kertesz had previously outlined a $125 million plan for the site that would have redeveloped the existing former hotel building and located all parking at surface-level. Mayor Justin Berns and City Planner George Smerigan said the new plan addressed concerns with the previous proposal, according to the article. The improved plan includes a two-story retail pavilion and a large public outdoor space that “could be used to hold programming,” as well as demolishing the existing hotel building and replacing it with new construction. For more, read the full article.


Economic Development, State Updates

$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

Columbus Downtown Development Corp. in talks to buy historic YMCA building

The YMCA of Central Ohio and the Columbus Downtown Development Corp. (CDDC) are negotiating a deal for the CDDC to buy the historic Downtown YMCA building at 40 W. Long Street, Columbus Business First reports. The YMCA said the building, which opened in 1924, “is too costly to maintain,” according to the article. YMCA CEO Tony Collins said his organization chose to work with the CDDC instead of a private developer because “[w]e believe this is an entity that has the community in mind.” CDDC has been a driver of the Scioto Mile, Columbus Commons, and the ongoing “$250 million mixed-use project currently rising at the Scioto Peninsula and 100 affordable housing units being constructed at Topiary Park.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, State Updates

Accelerator program for minority or small developers selects first class

The Affordable Housing Trust (AHT) for Columbus & Franklin County’s Emerging Developers Accelerator Program (EDAP) has selected its inaugural class of 10 participants, Columbus Business First reports. The six-month program, funded by the City of Columbus, Franklin County and JP Morgan Chase, “is aimed at helping small or minority developers break into the industry with experience, support and access to capital,” according to the article. AHT CEO Lark Mallory said the program will “eliminate some of the barriers to success that have traditionally impacted women and people of color.” Classes will “cover everything from project feasibility and proformas to zoning and obtaining financing.” Participants “can receive loans from the trust to build affordable housing” after completing the program and will “be mentored by industry experts during the development process.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, 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

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, 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
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