On Thursday, Jan. 5, at 1 p.m., the City of Urbana Community Development Office and the Champaign Economic Partnership will host a stakeholder meeting with downtown property owners, downtown business owners, and other interested parties. This meeting will be an opportunity to determine the feasibility and interest in applying for CDBG Downtown Revitalization Program funding through the Ohio Development Services Agency. Furthermore, this meeting will be held in the fire training room on the second floor of the Urbana Municipal Building, 205 S. Main St.
This grant program is competitive statewide, and projects funded through the program are designed to improve central business districts through targeted investment in facade improvements, remediation of building code violations and/or investment in streetscapes or other public infrastructure.
At the present time, no specific projects have been identified that could benefit from this program. However, this meeting will be opportunity for all stakeholders to gauge interest in the program and to seek input on the feasibility and suitability of making an application to this program in 2017 or in the future.
Please plan to attend and participate in this forum. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Doug Crabill, community development manager for the City of Urbana, by calling 652-4305, or Marcia Bailey, economic development director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, by calling 653-7200.
City of Urbana Community Development Manager;
Economic Development Director of the Champaign Economic Partnership
By Casey S. Elliott, Urbana Daily Citizen
Navistar is seeking a tax abatement to create a new facility on Phoenix Drive which will consolidate operations and bring in new jobs.
On Tuesday, Navistar Inc. and Damewood Enterprises filed a Community Reinvestment Act tax abatement request for a new warehousing facility at 915 Phoenix Drive. The abatement would need to be approved by both Urbana City Council and Urbana City Schools for it to move forward.
The application asks for a 100 percent, 10-year tax abatement for 24 acres on the property, currently classified for agricultural use. The land is currently owned by Damewood Enterprises Limited. Navistar will lease operations on the property out of a new 355,522 square f! oot warehouse facility on the site. The new facility will allow Navistar to consolidate existing operations in Urbana and Xenia as part of a joint venture with General Motors, according to the tax abatement application. The new facility is estimated to cost $12 million to build and will house $16 million in inventory.
An estimated 114 employees will be moved from Navistar’s existing Edgewood Avenue facility in Urbana to the new site. Approximately 27 employees will be moved from the Bellbrook Avenue, Xenia, Ohio, facility, and an estimated 39 full-time employees are predicted to be hired for the new warehouse, according to the application. Current estimated payroll at the Urbana site is $4.954 million; current payroll for the jobs moving to Urbana from Bellbrook is estimated at $1.263 million; and the company anticipates the new employees will have $572,000 in payroll; for a total of $6.789 million in payroll at the new site, according to the application.
Champaign County Economic Development Director Marcia Bailey told the Urbana school board Tuesday the company is looking at other sites for this new facility, so she is hopeful the city and school board will approve the abatement to bring new construction and jobs to Champaign County. Bailey also brought the abatement request to city council for their consideration Tuesday night.
"This is an opportunity for our growth, and not lose this to another community," Bailey told the school board.
Urbana Schools Superintendent Charles Thiel said he thinks this might be good for the commun! ity and the schools.
"In my mind, it makes sense," he said.
City Council is expected to vote on the abatement at its Feb. 21, 2017 meeting. Thiel said the school board will discuss, and potentially take action on, the abatement at its January meeting.
If approved, the project is estimated to begin construction in March 2017 and be completed in December 2017.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.
Navistar announced a second deal with GM for a total of 600 new jobs and downtown Springfield has seen significant projects from a new brewery to artist studios and a new seniors center to EF Hutton America relocating its headquarters there. Local leaders also came together to form a nonprofit to target investments downtown.
“It’s changed the landscape of downtown,” Assistant City Manager Tom Franzen said.
And in Champaign County, KTH Parts Inc. moved forward with a major expansion, one of several significant local projects in the auto manufacturing industry, and created a new economic development partnership.
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