To address a lack of sites ready for industrial, R&D and office projects, JobsOhio is preparing to launch the Ohio Site Inventory Program.  Draft guidelines were recently released by JobsOhio that provided details for what could be the final rules to allocate $50M annually over five years in funding for site development costs.  JobsOhio announced that project awards will be capped at $2-$5 M with awards to include grants and loans; awards for public agencies, not-for-profit and private companies.  This program is focused on speculative site development projects but projects with end user in JobsOhio targeted industries are likely to be a priority.  Also, projects at greenfield and brownfield sites at least 30 acres in size will be a priority but smaller urban sites will be permitted based upon a redevelopment component. 

JobsOhio noted that participation of an experienced developer is critical and the prime industry targets are light to heavy industrial, warehousing and distribution, office & R&D; however, mixed use will be permitted in office projects if residential/multi-family is not more than 20%.  End uses such as recreational parks, residential, retail, hotels, hospitals, parking lots/garages and entertainment venues are ineligible for Ohio Site Inventory Program funding.  Eligible uses of funds include site preparation, public infrastructure, land acquisition, building construction, demo, environmental remediation, testing and lab fees, building reno, waste disposal, asbestos and lead based paint abatement with a capital stack approach requiring a local investment/match required.

Based upon an analysis by the consulting firm McKinsey, JobsOhio also announced what could be a controversial notion that the Ohio Site Inventory Program will focus on defined gaps in the site inventory market at an industry and geographic level.

JobsOhio Ohio Site Inventory Program Geographic Industry Targets

Urban Centers

  • Cincinnati – Aerospace R&D, Healthcare R&D, Food General Manufacturing, Financial Services Office Space, Tech Office Space
  • Cleveland – Aerospace R&D, Healthcare R&D, Food General Manufacturing, Financial Services Office Space, Tech Office Space
  • Columbus – Advanced Manufacturing R&D, Healthcare R&D, Financial Services Office Space, Tech Office Space
  • Dayton – Aerospace R&D, Financial Services Office Space, Tech Office Space
  • Toledo – Automotive General Heavy Manufacturing

Regional

  • Southwest – Aerospace Manufacturing, Energy Heavy Manufacturing, Food General Manufacturing, Logistics & Warehousing
  • Central – Automotive R&D, Advanced Manufacturing R&D,
  • Western – Aerospace Manufacturing R&D, Advanced Manufacturing Heavy, Food General Manufacturing
  • Southeast – Advanced Manufacturing Light, Food General Heavy Manufacturing, Financial Services Office Space, Tech Office Space
  • Northwest – Automotive General Heavy Manufacturing, Advanced Manufacturing Heavy, Energy Heavy Manufacturing, Food General Heavy Manufacturing, Logistics & Warehousing
  • Northeast – Automotive General Manufacturing, Energy Heavy Manufacturing, Financial Services Office Space, Tech Office Space

However, JobsOhio has not outlined how these geographic and industry restrictions will work in the practical world.  As example, when an industrial park is developed, typically, the developer is unsure whether manufacturing or logistics facilities will locate at the park.  Restricting uses even further down to targeted industries within manufacturing may gain JobsOhio funding but likely will leave many speculative industrial parks without jobs and capital investments.  The Ohio Site Inventory Program guidelines are draft in form and those wishing to communicate with JobsOhio regarding potential enhancements to the program should contact David Robinson at the Montrose Group at drobinson@montrosegroupllc.com.