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

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

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

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

State awards $205M in incentives to Ford’s $1.5B expansion to Avon Lake plant

Ford Motor Company will receive $205 million in combined incentives over several decades if the company’s plans to “build a new electric vehicle aimed at commercial customers” at its Ohio Assembly Plant bring an expected 2,000 jobs and $108 million in new payroll to the state, Cleveland.com reports. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a performance-based “30-year tax credit worth $70 million,” meaning Ford will have to hit the $108 million in added payroll and “operate the assembly plant for at least 33 years to receive the full credit,” according to the article. JobsOhio is planning $135 million in grants for the project. Ford’s Avon Lake facility currently employs about 1,650 people. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, 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

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, hometownstations.com 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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