You’re probably familiar with the old saying – when buying or selling a house, it’s all about “location, location, location.” The same is true when buying and selling properties to businesses.
Economic developers cannot do their jobs without a wide selection of available sites. Already this year, REDI Cincinnati received 44 percent more site searches than we saw in 2016 – and we’re only half way through the year.
What does this mean for the Cincinnati region? A bigger supply of ready sites means more opportunities to attract growing companies.
Access to solutions
As a network partner REDI Cincinnati works closely with JobsOhio, a private non-profit designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts.
We work together to pioneer new business-attraction strategies, including resources to bring sites closer to being construction-ready.
Site redevelopment pilot program
Kicked off in 2016, the program targets underdeveloped, underutilized sites with no identified end-user. The goal is to encourage proactive property rehabilitation, which will ultimately bring more user-ready properties to market. To qualify for this program, sites must also be “game changers” – or have the potential to attract new jobs and capital investment.
In the Cincinnati region, the first round of approved sites was zoned manufacturing, but office and urban sites may also qualify. Eligible expenses that can be submitted to the program include remediation, demolition and utility extension.
“Site certification” is a term that’s often tossed around the economic development world, but often does not have a clear meaning. In fact, this term will differ widely depending on which state a business is working in.
In Ohio, the SiteOhio authentication program sets strict criteria to guarantee all qualifying sites are ready for near-immediate development. To be considered for authentication, sites must undergo a comprehensive usability audit to gather:
- Accurate descriptions of the property’s attributes
- Due diligence reporting
- Identification and mitigation of risks and barriers
- Verified access to and capacity to include all utilities (such as water, electricity, sewer, etc.)
SiteOhio authenticated sites, as seen on the JobsOhio website (right).
Communities in the Cincinnati region work hard to validate and promote their available properties, and a new site selection tool will ensure those properties are easy to find.
ZoomProspector quickly sorts sites by requirements like acreage, square footage, location, zoning, etc. Viewers are also able to access commonly requested information, such as labor force, local educators and available transportation routes. Users can even compare sites within Ohio.
Moreover, JobsOhio made a concerted effort to ensure ease of access to this information; therefore, external viewers can be directed immediately to the appropriate local and regional economic developer for each site.
ZoomProspector tool on the JobsOhio website.
Interested in learning how your site can participate in one of these programs? Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513) 686-2986.