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TIF Agreements to Drive Decade of Private Investment in Job Creation and Housing in Columbus’ Key Economic Corridors

Plans Negotiated Historic New Commitments to Affordable Housing and Minority Contracting


[COLUMBUS, OH] On November 23, 2020, Columbus City Council will consider Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreements which were negotiated to not only accelerate private investment in key jobs growth areas like Rickenbacker, Easton, Polaris and Downtown, but also include unprecedented elements to drive new investment in affordable housing.  In total, the legislative package will help drive $1 billion in new private investment, create approximately 20,000 new jobs and generate more than $146 million in estimated net new tax revenue to the City over the next 30 years.  As non-school TIFs, the projects will increase funding to area schools.

“These agreements will bring the City of Columbus hundreds of new units of workforce housing, substantial commitments to work with women and people of color owned businesses, new flexible dollars for housing assistance, and pay for themselves through thousands of new jobs,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “These are good deals for Columbus that will grow the economy and provide clear public benefit.”

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a public financing tool that finances infrastructure improvements that support commercial development and residential rehabilitation.  Council will vote on the legislation at the November 23, 2020, regular meeting.

The job centers that will benefit from this economic development tool are Easton, Polaris, Downtown, Rickenbacker and Confluence Village in the Arena District. The TIF agreements do not impact school funding. The local districts will receive due property taxes.

“Continuation of these TIF agreements will help spur job creation, affordable housing and minority contracting opportunities, paving the way for a strong and equitable economic recovery,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.

“In the City of Columbus, where we have a strong, diverse and capable workforce, inclusion is not only a requirement but a given,” said Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy.  “With 30% participation commitments, the City’s approval of the TIF extensions will generate a return on investment that will translate into millions in revenue to our minority and women-owned businesses.”


Easton Agreement
(Ordinance 2601-2020 and 2621-2020)

Easton serves as one of the largest economic engines in the City of Columbus. In 2019, it generated nearly $200 million in revenue for the City, state, county and our local school districts. The new agreement will support the critical infrastructure improvements needed for the continued development of this vital job center within the City. Furthermore, the developer also commits to a goal of at least 30% (in total value) of construction contracts to qualified minority and women-owned businesses. Approximately $750 million in new investment and 15,000 jobs will be added to the Easton area over the next 30 years.

“The collaborative support of the City of Columbus has been critical to Easton’s growth since its opening in 1999. Employment at Easton has grown to over 25,000 jobs and more than $400 million in tax revenue has been generated for the City,” said Adam Flatto, President and CEO of The Georgetown Company, co-developer of Easton. “With over 200 acres left to develop, the extension of the TIF paves the way for strategic expansion that will fuel increasing tax revenues well into the future.”

The TIF extension agreement also paves the way for hundreds of affordable housing units to be built in the area. Easton and Georgetown will donate real property to an affordable housing developer, Homeport, to create 200 affordable housing units in the area.

“We applaud the City for making affordable housing a priority. Our partnership with Homeport will allow Easton to deliver 200 residential units to help meet the demand Easton employers and their employees have for nearby affordable housing,” Flatto continued.

“Homeport is very pleased to work with The Georgetown Company to make 200 new units of affordable housing available in the Easton area,” said Bruce Luecke, President and CEO of Homeport. “Not only does this assist the 54,000 low to moderate income households in Central Ohio who pay more than 50% of their income for rent, more specifically it provides needed new housing for the thousands of individuals who currently live and work in the Easton area. It is another positive example of the City of Columbus’s commitment to the stability and diversity of its neighborhoods.”


Polaris Agreement
(Ordinance 2600-2020 and 2622-2020)

Like Easton, Polaris is one of the City’s significant employment centers with hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue generated annually for the City, Delaware County, the State Ohio and the Olentangy School District. This legislation will sustain and build on this economic engine.

Polaris will extend its current TIF agreement and include minority participation and workforce development components into future capital development projects. Polaris commits to at least 30% (in total value) of construction contracts to qualified minority and women-owned businesses and commits to 20% workforce development apartment units.

“The public-private partnership that has existed for over 25 years continues with the City showing great leadership in recognizing the importance of the Polaris TIF as a funding mechanism for public infrastructure without impacting its capital improvement budget while at the same time sustaining one of the City’s critical employment centers and incentivizing workforce housing for years to come,” said Franz A. Geiger, Managing Director of N.P. Limited Partnership.


Downtown Agreement
(Ordinance 2619-2020 and 2620-2020)

Two new TIF districts will be created within the Downtown, most notably, around the underutilized PNC Plaza located at 155 and 195 East Broad Street. The development will include new Class A office space, residential units, public greenspace and improvements to the above-ground pedestrian walkway for residents and employees traversing downtown. The adjacent Gilbert Building will be converted to residential, with 20% of the building’s units designated for affordable housing.


Rickenbacker Agreement
(Ordinance 2563-2020)

Rickenbacker is one of the City’s largest job centers.  The expansion of the TIF area will help finance infrastructure improvements necessary to facilitate future developments.  This expansion will specifically contribute to finance future road, sewer and water infrastructure.


Confluence Village Agreement
(Ordinance 2545-2020 and 2571-2020)

As part of the development agreement approved by Council in 2019, this is the final TIF agreement to be modified to facilitate the Confluence Village Mixed-Use Development and stadium near the western terminus of Nationwide Boulevard and the Olentangy River.

Due to the modification of this TIF and the four Arena District TIFs that were restructured in 2019, the City anticipates over $1 billion in new real property investments in the Arena District area over the next ten years with the development or redevelopment of at least ten other sites in the broader Arena District. This will add approximately $768 million in new real property investment that could create 750,000 square feet of new Class A commercial office space in the City.  The addition of the new office space would accommodate more than 3,200 net new jobs that would generate more than $6.5 million per year in new income tax revenue to the City.

Since 1999, the Arena District has maximized more than $19 billion of public and private investment to bring approximately 12,000 new jobs to the area. The new agreements are expected to create more than 700 new full-time jobs and add 150,000 square feet of new Class A commercial office space to the Arena District.

Furthermore, the additional commitment of at least 30% minority participation in the construction of the stadium will continue to support small minority contractors and entrepreneurship within the City and throughout the region.




TIF Agreement Summary 


EASTON Agreement 

(Ordinance 2601-2020 and 2621-2020)

Agreement Highlights:    

• Developer supports the City's goal of at least 30% (in total value) of construction contracts to qualified minority and women-owned businesses. 

• The Developer and Georgetown will donate the property necessary for a 200-unit affordable residential apartment building to a not for profit or other affordable housing development entity.

• Developer will make an annual cash payment to the City of $750,000 ($5,250,000 total), which this amount will not be reimbursable under the Reimbursement Agreement or any subsequent amendments and may be used by the City for any City community development purpose, such as affordable housing, neighborhood redevelopment, and rental assistance.  


Polaris Agreement 

(Ordinance 2600-2020 and 2622-2020) 

Agreement Highlights:    

●      Developer commits to at least 30% (in total value) of construction contracts to qualified minority and women-owned businesses. 

●      Developer commits to 20% of the subsequent apartments to be subject to the City’s workforce housing restrictions on rent and income with 5% at 60% AMI, 5% at 80% AMI and 10% at 100% AMI for up to 1,000 apartments. 

●      Developer will allocate $500,000 per year to the City from TIF proceeds to eligible projects ($3,500,000 total) to be used for City community development purposes, such as affordable housing, neighborhood redevelopment, and rental assistance. 


Downtown Agreement

(Ordinance 2619-2020 and 2620-2020)

Agreement Highlights:    

●      Developer will invest in Class A mixed-use commercial and residential housing.

●      Developer will commit to 20% affordable housing units in the Gilbert Building.

●      Greenspace and pedestrian walkway will be developed and improved in and around the development.


Rickenbacker Agreement 

(Ordinance Number 2563-2020)   
Agreement Highlights:   

Rickenbacker is one of the city’s largest jobs centers.  The expansion of the TIF agreement will help finance infrastructure for future development within expansion areas.  This will help finance future road, sewer and water projects to facilitate future job creation opportunities. 


Confluence Village Agreement 

(Ordinance Number 2545-2020 and 2571-2020)   
Agreement Highlights:    

This is the final TIF modification as authorized by the Economic Development Agreement and Amended and Restated TIF Reimbursement Agreement in 2019. It is a Non- school TIF which means the schools will receive their full portion of property tax revenue. As per the Development Agreement the TIF revenue will be assigned to the Confluence Village New Community Authority.