First-round awards in Appalachian Community Grant Program total $17M

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor John Husted recently announced “the first-round recipients of the Appalachian Community Grant Program [see our September 21, 2022 blog post], which includes the planned renovations of The Athens Armory,” as well as The Logan Theater, The Space at the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce, The Somerset Builder’s Club, and the Coshocton Collaborative, The Athens News reports. The projects “are ‘lynchpin’ projects, which will breathe new vibrancy into long-neglected downtown districts, and will serve as catalysts for further improvements and development,” according to the article. The Athens Armory “was funded as part of a larger four-county initiative called At Work in Appalachia,” which “establishes coordinated, interconnected remote work and entrepreneur hubs, and locally-designed health and workforce development programming through a series of public and private partnerships.” Plans for The Athens Armory include a community gathering space open to organizations and the general public, shared workspace and permanent offices for the Athens County Foundation. The At Work in Appalachia initiative was awarded $17,674,641 in total from the Ohio Department of Development and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia through the Appalachian Community Grant Program. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel awarded $9.1M in TIF bonds from port authority

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has approved “$9.1 million in tax increment financing [TIF] to help the owner of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel-Marriott complete its years-long renovation,” the Cleveland Business Journal reports. The port authority approved the TIF bonds for the Toronto-based developer Skyline International Development that acquired the historic hotel in 2015 for almost $20 million, according to the article. Selling TIF bonds to investors “provides up-front money for developers who ‘repay’ investors over time by paying higher taxes in their improved property.” The $9.1 million in TIF bonds was “in addition to up to $20 million in TIF bonds” the port authority approved “almost a year ago.” Renovation costs have increased to $74 million on the project “as new features have been added, including new windows.” The hotel is expected to be rebranded as Hotel Cleveland when it reopens, in a return to its former name “that once was marked by an iconic sign on top of the building.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Local government incentives available under Inflation Reduction Act

Federal energy policy is making many new incentives available for local governments to fund energy-related assets. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enacted in 2022, established a set of energy-related asset categories that are now being directly subsidized by the federal government. Under the IRA, nearly any advanced or renewable energy asset constructed by a local government is eligible for some kind of federal cash subsidy. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Solar

Manufacturer will invest $10M in Monroe County facility, add 15 jobs

American Heavy Plate Solutions LLC plans to invest $10 million “to purchase machinery and equipment designed to increase production throughput and expand the range of products the company can manufacture” at its Hannibal Industrial Park facility in Monroe County, The Marietta Times reports. The expansion, which is expected to add 15 jobs over three years, was announced by the company, JobsOhio, the Monroe County Port Authority and Ohio Southeast Economic Development, according to the article. JobsOhio “supported the project with a $100,000 JobsOhio Revitalization Grant,” while the port authority, which owns the industrial park, will provide the additional funds needed to repair “about 17,000 square feet of the roof” to facilitate the expansion. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

New Community Authority could provide money for new development in Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon City Council is considering adding a New Community Authority (NCA) to help fund the infrastructure needed for new development projects without adding to the existing community’s tax burden, reports. An NCA “is a separate government entity that has development powers,” that can “put in infrastructure and acquire land for development as well as levy a special tax in that development only to pay for the project,” according to the article. J. Caleb Bell of Bricker & Eckler spoke to council members, explaining that combination of powers “makes this tool very special,” saying, “it’s a way of getting an additional revenue stream from new development.” Bell “said the NCA tool targets new developments or undeveloped areas that are going to be developed and puts a charge or assessment on those properties only,” creating an “independent revenue stream that comes just from new development.” Assessments run for a specified period of time such as 20 years, the article reports, and NCA money “can be used for land acquisition, infrastructure, roads, sanitary sewer, a new fire station, and community facilities” including “day care centers, pools, parks, educational facilities, lighting, pedestrian underpasses, recreational facilities, and other amenities.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Cincinnati brewery will transform Brentwood Bowl to production and taproom space

HighGrain Brewing is building a second production brewery along with a taproom in the former Brentwood Bowl bowling alley in Springfield Township, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. HighGrain, a local craft brewery, will also have event spaces that can be rented out, “a large kitchen for a restaurant concept,” a covered patio connected to green space, and a “small outdoor space adjacent to the beer garden that can also be rented out,” according to the article. Construction is expected to begin in March 2023 and last about five months; the total project cost "will be between $3.2 million and $3.4 million.” Grants from state and local agencies have provided $1.1 million for resurfacing the parking lot, demolition and construction. The remaining financing “is coming from Northside Bank and Ohio PACE financing, which offers loans for energy efficient building improvements.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, 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

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

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
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