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

Eleven large Central Ohio projects seek $107M in TMUD tax credits

As the State of Ohio prepares to award a second round of tax credits designed to incentivize large mixed-use projects, 11 “high-profile Central Ohio projects are seeking about $107 million” to help make their projects possible, Columbus Business First reports. To be eligible for the transformational mixed-use development (TMUD) tax credits, projects are “expected to catalyze development and the economies in their areas” and must include “a combination of retail, office, residential and other uses,” according to the article. The tax credit can help bridge the gap between a project’s cost and its value. 

Local projects applying for TMUD credits include Rockbridge, requesting a $34 million credit for its nearly $345 million Merchant Building tower, while The Galaxy at Polaris developers are requesting a $12.3 million credit for the $156 million project. Direct Retail Partners requests $6.2 million in tax credits for the $140 million High North project in Worthington. Thrive Cos. is asking for $6.3 million for its $506 million Grandview Crossing project and $6 million for the $251 million redevelopment of the Mount Carmel West campus. Developers of the $70 million Golden Bear redevelopment are asking for $6.9 million in tax credits. The Bernstein Cos. is requesting $6.6 million for the $89 million Continental Centre redevelopment. Developers of the $145 million Kroger Bakery project are asking for $13 million. Continental is requesting $3.8 million for its $121 million Arlington Gateway project. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required). 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Public-private partnerships revitalizing communities across Columbus

In several neighborhoods around the Columbus area, the key to transformation shares “a common theme: partnership,” specifically public-private partnerships, Columbus Business First reports. Linden is seeing signs of revitalization thanks to this type of partnership. Nonprofit The 614 for Linden, funded by a $5 million investment from JPMorgan Chase, has support from Community Shelter Board, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, Saint Stephen’s Community House, Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families and Community Development for All People. Since 2019, “all the organizations involved brought 514 affordable housing units,” preserved an additional 233 units, provided 57 micro-loans to local entrepreneurs, provided “consulting and other assistance to over 119 small businesses,” and “increased ‘wraparound’ health services, including the opening of the Linden Fresh Market and Charitable Pharmacy.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, State Updates

Bricker & Eckler launches Megaproject resource center

Bricker & Eckler has launched a Megaproject resource center on its website to showcase its experience advising clients on laws governing project finance, economic development and construction related to Ohio's growing number of Megaprojects. Visit the resource center >> 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance

Study shows Granville could reap benefits from CIC, CRA, and JEDD

Officials in Granville are considering creating a community improvement corporation (CIC) and a joint economic development district (JEDD) as part of their plans to coordinate economic development efforts, the Newark Advocate reports. A coalition formed by Granville Township, the Village of Granville and the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce worked with Jim Lenner of Neighborhood Strategies, who presented an 80-page plan “to provide ways the Granville area can reap some of the benefits of the development coming to the central Ohio area” and diversify the local tax base to reduce public entities’ reliance on residential property taxes, according to the article. 

Lenner suggested creating a CIC specifically focused on the Granville area to “make it easier for businesses coming to the area because they would be working with one entity instead of going to the village, township and chamber all separately to get information about available spaces, infrastructure and other information.” A JEDD would allow the township to collect income tax on commercial properties to be used for water, sewer or other infrastructure improvements.” Granville Village Manager Herb Koehler said conversations about the CIC and JEDD recommendations are ongoing. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

New details of $500M Appalachian Community Grant Program released

The Ohio Department of Development’s Governor’s Office of Appalachia recently released new details for a program that will infuse up to half a billion dollars into the 32-county region (see our September 21, 2022 blog post), Gongwer reports. The Appalachian Community Grant Program, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, is “part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s ‘Ohio Builds — Small Communities, Big Impact — A Plan for Appalachia,’” according to the article. Up to $30 million “will support project planning and technical assistance, and the remaining $470 million will be awarded to implement development projects” that “incorporate infrastructure, workforce, and healthcare.” Appalachian Technical Assistance Grants of $250,000 will be awarded to each county from the $30 million. Those grants “cover the county’s cost of helping lead applicants with planning and design of eligible projects and coordination.” In a statement, Governor DeWine said, “[t]here has never been a better time to live in Ohio, and we’re making sure that our Appalachian communities also experience the economic growth that we’re seeing across the state.” Applications for grants open November 2, 2022. 

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Honda announces new Ohio $4.4B EV battery plant

A joint venture between Honda Motor and LG Energy Solution is bringing a new “multibillion-dollar plant to produce batteries for electric vehicles” to Ohio, CNBC.com reports. The new facility “is expected to cost $3.5 billion, with overall investment by the unnamed joint venture eventually reaching $4.4 billion,” according to the article. The plant, about 40 miles southwest of Columbus, is expected to begin construction in early 2023, “followed by mass production of lithium-ion batteries by the end of 2025,” employing 2,200 people. Honda “expects to begin production and sales of EVs in North America in 2026” as part of its plans to “phase out traditional internal combustion engines” and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Ashtabula County and port authority teaming up on economic development projects

An agreement between the Ashtabula County Port Authority and the county would “allow the port authority to borrow $2 million of the county’s ARPA funds” to use for important economic development investments, the Star Beacon reports. Mark Winchell, executive director of the port authority, said there are “strategic and high-level projects” that “will create jobs and tax revenue, and will support long-term development opportunities,” according to the article. The money, which the port authority will repay to the county, will be used for land acquisition and job creation, Winchell said, putting “parcels that are currently either productive or under-productive into a higher level of productivity, in terms of jobs, tax revenues generated, and just overall economic development energy and spending.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

The Fort developers propose Steelton Village mixed-use district as part of $350M project

A new mixed-use district called Steelton Village could bring 1,000 apartments, dining and entertainment spaces to a site just south of downtown Columbus, Columbus Business First reports. Developers behind The Fort, who converted the 130-year-old former Seagrave Co. fire manufacturing building into a home for “furniture makers, coffee roasters, architects, web designers and photographers,” want to create the new district “as part of a $350 million project,” according to the article. Honest Friend, a brewery and taproom, and City Winery have signed on to open locations at Steelton Village. Residential buildings will be new construction, but most of the commercial space will be in existing buildings. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates
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