How Fayette County landed the $3.5B Honda battery plant

How did Ohio secure a multi-billion-dollar investment from Honda Motor Co. to build its electric battery plant near Dayton? Economic development teamwork. What started as a project request for a “possible $4 billion manufacturing facility” for a then-anonymous company led to a coordinated effort between JobsOhio, the Dayton Development Coalition, Fayette County and AES Ohio (formerly Dayton Power & Light) that landed the “largest foreign investment in Ohio’s history,” the Dayton Business Journal reports. Two major hurdles to the future site of the plant were water and power; the electric battery plant “requires 1.6 million gallons of water each day” as well as “an advanced electric grid to supply the necessary energy,” according to the article. The water issue was solved through plans to run a 20-mile water line to Caesar Creek, which required “approvals from many Ohio entities.” AES Ohio will build “12 miles of high-gauge transmission lines” plus a “Fayette County electric substation” to provide sufficient power for the plant. The battery plant, once operational, is expected to create 2,500 jobs. Batteries produced at the facility will supply Honda auto plants across North America. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, State Updates

Senate Bill 33 changes to Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax incentives cut red tape for projects, expand opportunities to limited home rule townships

2023, the year of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, may well turn out to be the year of the CRANE (Community Reinvestment Areas in Need of Expertise) in Ohio. On January 2, 2023, Governor Mike DeWine signed Substitute Senate Bill 33, which, in large part, modifies not only the establishment and management of Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs), but also the agreements for commercial and industrial projects that seek to take advantage of the property tax incentives the CRA program can offer. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Several large-scale Central Ohio industrial projects to watch in 2023

The Columbus metropolitan area ranked in the top 10 for industrial project completions since 2010 in a recent report by 42Floors, a commercial real estate listing service, Columbus Business First reports. Central Ohio’s industrial market is “red-hot,” according to the article, with several projects that broke ground in 2022 expected to “make significant progress in 2023.” DBT-Data, a real estate investment firm based in Washington, D.C., is constructing a $1 billion multi-building complex for “a confidential end user” at the New Albany International Business Park. Near that same business park, developers are building the $400 million Silicon Heartland Innovation Park that will include multiple buildings on 190 acres forming a technology and logistics park. Two spec buildings “measuring nearly 300,000 square feet and totaling $28 million in investment are under construction at Delaware’s Sawmill Pointe Business Park.” Winchester 527 will be a “more than 527,000-square-foot spec building” that will “feature 60 dock doors and 40-foot clear height” on more than 42 acres. The mixed-use, $275 million Alton Place in Hilliard will include 77 single-family homes, a city center “featuring shops, restaurants and other businesses,” walking and bike paths, and lakes, wetlands and grasslands. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, State Updates

Great Lakes Authority established to promote economic, environmental development

The eight states surrounding the Great Lakes have a new federal commission to “govern the economic and environmental challenges” they face, The Chronicle-Telegram reports. Proposed by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), the Great Lakes Authority “will oversee Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New York in trying to advance the Great Lakes,” the article reports. The authority “can use grants to fund workforce training, employment-related education, entrepreneurship, technology and business development in the eight states, as well as projects benefitting transportation, telecommunications and public infrastructure.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, Federal Updates, State Updates

Two central Ohio projects win TMUD state tax credits

In the second round of the state’s new transformational mixed-use development tax credits, two local projects out of the eleven that applied (see our November 15, 2022 blog post) were awarded credits, Columbus Business First reports. Rockbridge’s North Market tower project known as The Merchant Building “won a $34 million tax credit for the nearly $345 million project,” according to the article. Thrive Cos.’s The Grandview Crossing development “was awarded $6.3 million for the $506 million project.” The two projects “promise to add nearly 1,500 apartments, hundreds of thousands of square feet of office and retail and several hundred hotel rooms to the region.” Both projects “scored high in the following categories: committed financing, end-use commitment, walkability, job creation and community impact.” A recent presentation at the Tax Credit Authority showed the state “had a preference for projects with more committed tenants or end users, projects in areas of walkability and those creating more payroll or economic activity.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required). 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Collins named new development director for Centerville

The City of Centerville named longtime Montgomery County official Erik Collins as its new Development Director, the Dayton Daily News reports. Since 1999, Collins has “led the day-to-day functions of building regulations, community development, planning and economic development” in his role as the county’s director of Community and Economic Development, according to the article. Collins “helped to develop the county’s BusinessFirst! retention and expansion program, which since 2001 has been implemented in 30 communities and counts more than 10,000 local companies visited and approximately 100 regional resource partners.” In a release, the city said Collins’s career demonstrates “exceptional service, developing millions of square feet of manufacturing, e-commerce, retail and service space” as well as crafting “an internationally-recognized” business retention program. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Downtown Dayton approaches $3B in investment since 2010

In the last 12 years, greater downtown Dayton has “seen $2.18 billion worth of projects completed,” and another $848 million in projects currently in the pipeline could push that total to surpass $3 billion, the Dayton Daily News reports. New “amenities and new commercial, restaurant and retail projects are in various stages of development, and some leaders believe 2023 could be a really big year for the urban center,” according to the article. The downtown core has seen “about $628 million worth of projects” completed in the past 12 years and has “$330 million worth of projects in the works.” Among those projects, Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development are working to open the 124-unit Monument apartment complex and the 71-unit Sutton apartment building. The developers are also constructing a new hotel expected to open in early 2023. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, State Updates

Proposed $26M Springfield sports and event center could have major economic impact in Miami Valley

A proposed $26 million Big Four Sports and Event Center in Springfield that would “attract regional sports tournaments and other events” is expected to bring a 2-to-1 return on investment to the community, the Dayton Business Journal reports, meaning “the project could result in a $52 million economic impact” on the city. The 100,000-square-foot facility “would play host to youth and amateur athletic tournaments while also flexing to accommodate conferences, meetings and other special events” in addition to serving as a wellness center and “place for local sports teams to play,” according to the article. The Convention Facilities Authority of Clark County “is applying for $2.5 million in funding” through the Dayton Development Coalition’s Priority Development and Advocacy Committee. The center is “anticipated to create one to two dozen new jobs” while sustaining “up to 100 permanent jobs.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Six new members join Team NEO board

Nonprofit economic development organization Team NEO has elected six “prominent executives in the Northeast Ohio business community” to be new members of its board of directors, The Business Journal reports. The new members are Chris Bast, The Davey Tree Expert Company vice president, treasurer and corporate officer; Dr. Michael Baston, Cuyahoga Community College president; Robert Davis, president, Aqua Ohio Water and Wastewater Utility at Essential Utilities Inc.; Charles T. George, CEO of Hapco Inc., Strangepresse and Triptech; Jeroen Diderich, senior vice president and general manager of Label and Graphic Materials, North America Avery Dennison; and James Gasior, Farmers National Bank senior executive vice president and corporate development officer, according to the article. Team Neo said in an announcement, “each of the board members bring specific expertise and experience that will help Team NEO advance its four core strategies: addressing the talent supply gap, growing a diverse base of industries, growing the pipeline of competitive sites, and engaging and promoting the region.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

New Albany looks at expanding CRA, Opportunity Zone

An area in New Albany “positioned for new development through economic incentives” could soon add another 500 acres, Columbus Business First reports. New Albany City Council is “considering a resolution to amend the Oak Grove II Community Reinvestment Area [CRA],” which if approved would expand the CRA by “about 527 acres,” according to the article. The resolution would also “expand the Oak Grove II Economic Opportunity Zone to include this area.” The CRA enables New Albany to offer property tax exemptions on construction of new commercial and industrial structures or remodeling of existing structures “consistent with applicable zoning regulations.” The city “also wants to expand the opportunity zone so that the boundaries of the CRA also apply” to the zone. City documents “state the goal of this expansion is to encourage commercial and industrial developments that would help generate economic stability, maintain property values and create new employment opportunities.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates
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