Infill and urban development is becoming increasingly popular as the Millennial generation choses to live and work in walkable, new urbanist communities. Despite that trend, a greenfield site is much easier to sell and less costly to develop than a brownfield-infill site. A greenfield site with all the infrastructure in place may sell for $45,000 an acre while a competing brownfield site may need to sell for twice that much to cover the considerable costs of environmental assessment and remediation and demolition. In many instances a public-sector partner is needed to help drive down the costs of the brownfield site to make it compatible cost-wise with a greenfield site.
JobsOhio, the private sector economic development corporation for the state of Ohio, has helped many companies, developers, and public agencies develop brownfield sites through its JobsOhio Revitalization Loan and Grant Program, and its JobsOhio Revitalization Phase II Grant Program. From June 2016 through May 2017, JobsOhio invested $19,200,000 of loan proceeds, $23,107,858 in grants, and $1,230,928 in Phase II grants into 56 projects that leveraged $239,956,277 of private capital investment. Because of these investments 2,194 jobs will be created with a cumulative payroll of $105,487,317 and the retention of 10,344 jobs.
JobsOhio Revitalization Loan and Grant Program projects must have an end user in mind that is willing to commit to the creation of jobs and payroll, the retention of jobs and payroll and capital investment. Loans range anywhere between $500,000 and $5,000,000 and grants can be up to $1,000,000. The Phase II environmental assessment program is a grant program that can cover some of the costs of the environmental assessment.
Through the JobsOhio Revitalization Loan and Grant Program companies, developers and public agencies can turn former productive facilities into job generating, revenue generating and tax generating operations. Through this program JobsOhio is helping to solve one of the main issues and challenges with redeveloping brownfield sites, the considerable cost.