Upper Arlington to get a community center in Kingsdale redevelopment project

Voters in Upper Arlington recently passed Issue 2 in support of building a community center, allowing city officials to “issue $55 million in bonds” to construct the 95,300-square-foot facility as part of the Kingsdale Macy’s redevelopment project (see our January 21, 2021 blog post), ThisWeek Community News reports. Continental Real Estate will construct three buildings, housing “458 apartments, 104 senior-housing units, 6,000 square feet for restaurants and a 2-story parking garage,” according to the article. City Manager Steve Schoeny said the bulk of the debt from the project “would be paid with about $1.6 million in annual revenues” generated from tax-increment financing deals, with the remainder paid by a combination of bed-tax revenue, naming rights and an estimated $450,000 in yearly income tax revenue expected from the redeveloped site. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Waterville considers downtown redevelopment district to promote economic development

Officials in Waterville are “considering establishing a downtown redevelopment district” that would function similar to a tax-increment financing district “to encourage economic development within its historic structures,” The Toledo Blade reports. Revenue from property taxes would be invested back into the district; the city would control the funds. Jon Gochenour, Waterville municipal administrator, said there are about 10 historic buildings in the city’s downtown area, and the “goal would be to encourage the owners of historic properties that aren’t in current use to invest in those buildings and stimulate economic growth,” according to the article. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Forge Biologics Inc. raises $120M in largest Series B ever in Ohio

Grove City biotech firm Forge Biologics, which launched in July 2020, “announced a $120 million venture capital round toward expanding its manufacturing capacity,” the largest Series B ever in Ohio, Columbus Business First reports. Forge has already “started production and landed research clients for its manufacturing division,” which “makes modified versions of non-disease causing viruses that insert corrected copies of missing genes to treat rare inherited conditions,” according to the article. Michael Triplett, CEO of Armatus Bio Inc., a new gene therapy company in Columbus, said “Forge’s success attracting experienced biotech investors RA Capital and Perceptive to Central Ohio, as well as prompting Drive Capital to invest for the first time in Columbus, represents a ‘significant catalyst’ for the region.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Path Robotics expanding AI-powered welding with $56M raised in Series B round

With $56 million raised in Columbus-based Path Robotics Inc.’s Series B round, the company plans to “perfect the engineering of its AI-driven autonomous welding robot and aggressively expand sales to manufacturers across the country,” according to a recent Columbus Business First article. The company grew rapidly through the second half of last year, and this year’s revenue “could be four to five times that of 2020,” cofounder and CEO Andy Lonsberry said in the article. The Path robot can load and unload parts and make adjustments if there is a slight warp in the metal; Lonsberry said, “[w]e’re really trying to add that layer of intelligence to robots that allows them to learn from failure” as well as see what they’re looking at and have the ability to add context to the operation they’re performing. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Mondrian could be Franklinton’s tallest tower at 15 stories, adding affordable housing

Developer Brian Higgins’ next project in East Franklinton could become that Columbus neighborhood’s tallest tower, with 15 stories of residential units, commercial space, parking and a top-floor “signature” restaurant, NBC4i.com reports. The project, located on parcels assembled at 567–595 W. Broad St., is to be called the Mondrian. It would incorporate some historic properties on the site and add a 15-story mixed-use building with 70% of its 206 apartment units being made “affordable to those making 80% to 100% of the area’s median income,” according to the article. The project will seek Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits; if it wins these credits in the fall, the project is likely to break ground in 2022. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Construction of 750,000-square-foot Owens Corning Heath warehouse begins

Fiberglass insulation and roof shingles manufacturer Owens Corning has begun construction on a 750,000-square-foot warehouse in Heath, as the company “looks to consolidate much of its central Ohio warehouse space to serve its Newark factory,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The city of Heath approved a 15-year, 100% tax exemption on improvements to the site on the city’s west side; in exchange, “the property owner must pay $105,000 a year” during the abatement period, for a total of $1.575 million, according to the article. That money will help fund improvements to Thornwood Drive and Central Parkway. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Richland County approves enterprise zone agreements, creates economic development office

Commissioners in Richland County “took a couple of steps forward” in economic development efforts recently, approving “revised and new enterprise zone agreements for a Bellville area company” and voting “to seek proposals for a director for a newly created county development department,” the Mansfield News Journal reports. The new enterprise zone agreement, for Major Metals, “provides a 50% abatement for 15 years for an expansion project,” while the amendment corrects a clerical error on a previous agreement, according to the article. The commissioners also voted to advertise “for proposals for economic development services from an individual or an organization to operate an economic development office for the county.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

PureCycle will invest $363M in Ironton factory, create more than 50 jobs

Polypropylene plastic recycling company PureCycle will invest $363 million to construct a facility in Ironton that “will serve as the company’s operational center in North America and will create more than 50 full-time, high-paying jobs,” the Ironton Tribune reports. PureCycle will “revitalize three buildings comprising 185,000 square feet” where it will “recycle over 100 million pounds of polypropylene plastic annually,” according to the article. “State, regional and local economic development officials in southern Ohio worked closely with PureCycle to provide funding for infrastructure,” including tax abatements and a $750,000 JobsOhio Revitalization Grant. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Recycled materials manufacturer Ardagh Group investing $411M in Huron facility

Ardagh Group, a “worldwide manufacturing company specializing in producing recycled materials,” is expanding operations into Ohio with a $411 million capital improvement investment in the former International Automotive Components building in Huron, the Sandusky Register reports. The investment will expand and update the building “with proper infrastructure, equipment, utilities and other necessities” to produce “recyclable beverage cans and tops of multiple sizes,” according to the article. Erie County Economic Development Corp. executive director Abbey Bemis said the project demonstrates “confidence in the trajectory of Erie County’s $1.6 billion manufacturing economy.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Partnership will provide Columbus Chamber of Commerce membership to 30 Black-owned businesses

The Columbus Urban League and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce are collaborating on a program “to benefit 30 Black-owned businesses in the city,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. CARES Act funding will support one-year chamber memberships for the businesses, including “access to high-level consulting, marketing support and other benefits,” according to the article. Chamber President and CEO Don DePerro said the Urban League had “tremendous presence in the Black business community,” while the Chamber needed help with membership diversity. The program “continues the work of the league’s Minority Small Business Resiliency Initiative,” created to help Black business owners “level the playing field through access to capital.” The initiative has “secured $7.6 million in funding and saved or created approximately 1,250 jobs.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates
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