Posts by: Economic Development HQ.com

MassDevelopment Housing Tour Leads to Historic Shoe Factory Redevelopment

MassDevelopment, a Massachusetts economic development organization that administers finance programs and real estate development services, announced a $90,000 predevelopment loan for a redevelopment project in Haverhill, MA.

37 Washington Street in Haverhill, MA

37 Washington Street in Haverhill, MA (photo – massdevelopment.com)

The loan has been awarded to a subsidiary of Boston-based Traggorth Companies LLC (TCLLC) to help the company redevelop 37 Washington Street, a former shoe factory that was built in the late 1800s and has been languishing vacant for the last 50 years.

TCLLC plans to redevelop the 20,000-square-foot property into a mixed-use facility. The project will create 18 housing units, in addition to eight full-time retail jobs and 27 construction jobs.

The MassDevelopment funding will be used to cover the architectural and engineering costs.

TCLLC got interested in the property after it was shown to them during a Merrimack Valley housing tour in April 2013. The tour was organized by MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development (HED) Department.

TCLLC then set up a subsidiary (37 Washington Street LLC) to manage the redevelopment, and acquired the property in Sept 2013.

MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones said their developer tours show real-estate professionals properties and communities they might not see otherwise.

Jones added that the purchase of 37 Washington Street and its redevelopment is exactly the desired result, and MassDevelopment was pleased to participate in the building’s transformation from the beginning, and to fund the predevelopment work to get the project started.

The abandoned shoe factory at 37 Washington Street is close to other projects that have received funding from MassDevelopment, including the Haverhill Intermodal Parking Facility, Hamel Mill Lofts and the Hayes Building.

Dave Traggorth, founder of Traggorth Companies LLC, said they give tremendous credit to MassDevelopment for introducing them to the amazing success that downtown Haverhill represents, and for providing access to early funding for building on that success through 37 Washington Street’s revitalization into beautiful homes and retail space close to transit, parks and shopping.

During fiscal year 2013, MassDevelopment provided finance for or managed 350 such projects that represent an investment of $2.4 billion into the Massachusetts economy. These projects are expected to rehabilitate or build 800 residential housing units, and create more than 7,000 jobs.

Jacksonville, Florida Offer $2M Economic Development Incentives for Adecco HQ Relocation

Adecco, S.A. is relocating its North American headquarters to Jacksonville, Florida, aided by $2 million in state and local economic development incentives for job creation.

Downtown Jacksonville

Downtown Jacksonville (photo – coj.net)

Adecco Group North America is currently headquartered in Melville, NY. The company proposes to invest $3.4 million for the relocation, and will be adding 185 new jobs in Jacksonville by the end of 2016.

The new jobs will have average annual wages of $63,669, plus additional benefits. Even without the benefits, the wages work out to more than 150 percent of the state’s average annual wage.

Not to mention the fact that the relocation project helps retain the 354 existing Adecco employees in Jacksonville. These existing jobs are part of the MPS (Modis) Group which Adecco acquired in Jan 2010 and helped grow from 236 jobs to 354 full-time employees.

Zurich, Switzerland-based Adecco, S.A., the world’s leading provider of H.R. solutions, has more than 31,000 full-time equivalent employees across 5,100 branches in over 60 countries and territories around the world.

In order to secure the project, Florida and Jacksonville are offering Adecco an incentives package of around $2 million. This includes $1.1 million under the QTI (qualified target industry) tax refund program, with Jacksonville putting up $222,000 as a local match for the state contribution of $888,000.

In addition to this, Jacksonville is offering Adecco another $185,000 in local incentives under the Countywide Economic Development Fund (CEDF) Grant program.

Bob Crouch, CEO of Adecco Group North America, said they appreciate the efforts of Jacksonville and State economic development officials, who he said made this project possible.

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said that global corporations are increasingly considering Jacksonville as a great place for investing and doing business. Mayor Brown said that employees love to live, work and play in Northeast Florida, and the result is a growing and vibrant local and regional economy with good-paying jobs that benefit families and neighborhoods.

Fredrik Eliasson, board chair for the Jacksonville economic development partnership JAXUSA, said the move is yet another example of a large company relocating to Jacksonville after its initial exposure to the city.

Eliasson said headquarters relocation projects are at the very top of JAXUSA’s target list because they bring high-paying jobs and corporate decision makers who contribute to the community and improve the overall quality of life.

CT Funding for New Milford Brownfield Demolition to Generate Economic Development

The Connecticut State Bond Commission is all set to award the Town of New Milford $2.5 million to assist in the demolition of the former Century Brass mill site.

Century Enterprise Center site in New Milford, CT

Century Enterprise Center site in New Milford, CT (photo – epa.gov)

The $2.5 million in state funding for the $3.7 million project will be administered through the Connecticut economic development department (DECD).

This project is part of a wide-ranging local, state and federal effort to clean up and redevelop a 72-acre brownfield site called the Century Enterprise Center (CEC).

Millions of dollars in local, state and federal funds have already been spent on environmental assessments, cleanups and infrastructure improvements. However, the site still has the vacant brass mill which is contaminated with PCB and asbestos.

The mill has to be demolished and removed before New Milford can move on to the next phase of the redevelopment, which is to work with a developer and market the property for commercial or industrial usage that will generate revenues.

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said that CEC has tremendous potential for commercial and “green” industrial use that will generate economic development and create jobs, but this site has sat unused for too long.

The brass mill in question dates back to 1957, and has been closed since 1986. New Milford obtained the 320,000-square-foot property in 1999 by tax foreclosure.

The EPA awarded New Milford $1 million in 2001 to set up a revolving loan fund to help finance the cleanup. The Town in turn loaned the money to the New Milford Economic Development Commission, which is responsible for daily oversight of the CEC cleanup operations.

Apart from this $1 million, a subsequent $711,645 for the loan fund and other federal grants, New Milford has also previously secured funding for the project from other sources, including $500,000 from the CT Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP).

Speaking about the latest $2.5 million in state funding, Gov. Malloy said the state’s investment in this project demonstrates their ongoing commitment to working with municipal partners for restoring blighted properties, bolstering the economy and improving the quality of life for residents.

The Town has itself also spent a lot on the project, including $4.4 million for infrastructure improvements such as sewer, water and roads close to the properties.

How important the CEC redevelopment project is for New Milford can be judged from the fact that it represents 15 percent of the town’s zoned industrial land. Once completed, the Town expects CEC to generate $300,000 in annual tax revenues.

With DECD’s assistance, they are looking to market the site as ideal for a distribution center, retail complex or a green industry project. The site has excellent rail and road access, being located less than a mile from U.S. Route 7 and served by sidings from the Housatonic Railroad.

Once the property is sold and the New Milford Economic Development Commission is able to repay the zero interest loan back to the Town, the funds can be utilized for clean-up of other properties in the town.

New Mexico Economic Development Dept Awards $2M as Job Training Incentives

The Job Training Incentive Program Board of the New Mexico Economic Development Department approved a total of nearly $2 million for projects that are creating a combined total of 251 high-wage jobs and three internships.

NM Job Training Incentive Program

NM Job Training Incentive Program (photo – New Mexico Economic Development Dept)

The JTIP program partially reimburses companies for class-room or on-the-job training costs associated with newly created jobs.

A qualifying company that is expanding or relocating may be eligible for as much as 75 percent of a trainee’s wages for up to six months.

Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said that JTIP continues to serve as a key resource for assisting New Mexico businesses in expanding their workforce, and added that he was thrilled that they can now continue to fund this program year to year since JTIP has been made a permanent part of the state budget.

The projects selected for JTIP awards include the Vitality Works expansion in Albuquerque which is expected to create up to 50 new jobs. At the moment, the JTIP board has approved $53,252 for Vitality Works for 25 new jobs.

Another large project approved for state incentives is Honeywell’s Bendex King, which relocated its headquarters to Albuquerque in 2012. Bendex King was awarded $788,712 for creating 28 jobs.

Plano, TX-based Alliance Data Systems (ADS), which performs processing services and service and maintenance for credit card programs, was awarded $738,788 for creating 181 jobs.

Los Angeles, CA-based DHF Technical Products, which is relocating to Rio Rancho and creating up to 50 jobs, is getting $173,412 at the moment for creating 25 new jobs.

Albuquerque-based veteran owned software development company Ultramain Systems is getting $45,199.04 for creating four new jobs and three internships.

xF Technologies, another home-grown startup founded in Albuquerque in January 2007, is getting $113,521 for creating seven jobs. The company is bringing to market a patented technology for producing a low-cost biofuels additive for gasoline that reduces emissions and extends fuel supplies.

HT MicroAnalytocal, Inc., an Albuquerque-based manufacturer of ultra-miniature switches and sensors and precision components, has been awarded $22,313.

Santa Fe-based National Water Services, Inc., which makes, installs and services purified water vending systems, got two separate JTIP awards of $6,544 and $9,694 in February and March.

The amount awarded under JTIP to a qualified company depends not only on the number of jobs created, but also on the wages paid, complexity of the jobs and the location. The 251 jobs created by the aforementioned companies will pay an average wage of $18.31, and the three internships likewise have an average wage of $18.

West Des Moines, IEDA Angling For Data Center Project Alluvion

The City Council of West Des Moines, Iowa will vote on a resolution authorizing the Mayor to send an application to the Iowa Economic Development Authority seeking approval of state incentives for Project Alluvion.

West Des Moines data centers

West Des Moines data centers (photo – positionedperfectly.com)

Project Alluvion is the codename under which a data center project is being referred to in city documents. The company wants to keep its identity a secret while they’re still working out the details of the agreement with West Des Moines and the State of Iowa.

The City was approached by Project Alluvion for building a data center in up to four phases. When complete, the project will have a taxable assessed value of $255 million and expects to create 84 new and high-paying jobs.

The company is seeking infrastructure improvements in and around its chosen site, including water and sewer extensions, power line relocations, fiber layouts and an economic development grant.

The company is seeking a sales tax rebate on construction materials under Iowa’s High Quality Jobs Program.

The City anticipates having to use $18 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) revenues to help secure the project and fulfill the local match requirements for state incentives authorized by the IEDA.

West Des Moines will also spend around $15,000 for legal and planning services related to the creation of an Urban Renewal Area for the project.

This project follows the same template as other large data centers recently established in West Des Moines and other Iowa locations by major companies including Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

Google first announced plans for establishing a data center in Council Bluffs, IA in 2007. Including an expansion to a second site announced in 2012, Google has now invested more than $1.5 billion and created more than 130 jobs in Council Bluffs.

Microsoft came to Iowa with a data center project in West Des Moines in 2008. It began as a $600 million project that was scaled back during the recession. Afterwards, Microsoft decided to expand the project twice, including a $679 million expansion announced last year. All told, Microsoft has poured in a total of $864 million into this data center.

Facebook announced last year in April that it would build a data center in Altoona, IA with a minimum investment of $299.5 million, with additional space for two more data center buildings for future phases that are expected to take Facebook’s total investment above $1 billion.

Same as the $18 million Project Alluvion is expecting to get, the Iowa Economic Development Authority has previously approved $18 million in state incentives for both Google and Facebook. Microsoft has received more than $20 million.

Virginia Beach Economic Development Dept Launches Site Selection App

The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development has come out with a rather innovative and customized site selection app for the iPad.

Yes Virginia Beach iPad app

Yes Virginia Beach iPad app (photo – yesvirginiabeach.com)

The Yes Virginia Beach app makes use of GIS imagery and mapping to offer users a virtual tour of the city and region.

The format used is not commonly seen in apps and tools currently in use by economic development agencies and organizations that assist businesses with site location.

The app offers real-time search results for available industrial, office and retail real estate matching the user’s specific requirements.

You can furthermore choose to activate various layers for a visual mapped depiction of factors such as business districts, airports, ports and train stations, international companies, major employers, colleges and universities, attractions, etc.

You can drill it down further to toggle through business district tabs and see detailed information and properties within each district. You can review and compare districts and neighborhoods.

The app will also tell you about business costs, target industries and the workforce in the city, and help you explore the benefits of relocating to Virginia Beach.

Lindsey Myers, senior consultant with McCallum Sweeney Consulting, said the site selection business has changed remarkably in the last few years, and added that most companies are identifying their top choices for relocation virtually.

Myers said innovations such as the Yes Virginia Beach app are pushing crucial information to their fingertips, which she said helps them more easily determine the available properties in the community, along with business costs, workforce quality, tax structures and other such identifiers that are crucial for site selection decisions.

Warren D. Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development, said they are thrilled to lead the way with this new technology. Harris said that prospects and clients from around the world are looking at Virginia Beach, and this app pushes the city’s assets and strengths to them in a customizable format.

Harris added that they will continue to release updated versions of the app through the App Store, with new layers that will improve the virtual experience offered by the Yes Virginia Beach app.

Memphis Innovation Center Aims to Create 500 Companies

The Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle is aiming to create 500 companies and 1,000 entrepreneurs over the next 10 years through the Memphis Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter).

Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle announces EPIcenter

Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle announces EPIcenter (photo -Greater Memphis Chamber)

The Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle is a group of 100 business leaders who have committed to making Memphis great through five “moon missions.” One of these missions is the goal of creating 1,000 entrepreneurs in 10 years.

They benchmarked Memphis against other successful locations, and determined that the kind of success they were aiming for requires a concerted effort and common strategy to be adopted by all the organizations serving the region’s startups.

This is what the EPIcenter aims to be, as the single front door and point of accountability for entrepreneurs in Memphis.

The center will assist any entrepreneur who wants to start a business, but will focus on sectors where Memphis is already strong, including logistics, healthcare and bioscience, and the information and software technology that enables these sectors.

The EPIcenter will be working directly with companies through existing incubator, capital and accelerator programs. The center will also work in conjunction with the Shelby County and Memphis Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE), which was created in 2011 to streamline and manage economic development programs.

David Waddell, president, CEO and CIO of Waddell & Associates, Inc. and chair of the Chairman’s Circle entrepreneurship committee, said the EPIcenter will impact everyone in the region significantly.

Waddell said that creating 500 scalable high-growth companies in the Memphis economy’s key sectors will eventually produce an economic impact of $600 million and at least 4,500 new jobs.

The Memphis Bioworks Foundation has been chosen to lead the EPIcenter, based on their strong record of supporting and nurturing entrepreneurship. Since 2009, Bioworks and Innova have together supported 200 entrepreneurs and formed 60 companies while managing $53 million in equity investments.

Steven Bares, PhD, president and executive director of Memphis Bioworks, said they are proud to step forward and own this responsibility.

Bares said that having partnered with virtually every organization in the region focused on incubation, acceleration and commercialization, they have a great sense of the region’s innovative strengths and feel confident that there is enough business and development going on to keep everyone busy for years to come.

SCAG-LAEDC Report on CA Film and Television Tax Credits

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) released a study that assesses the impact of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program.

SCAG report on California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program

SCAG report on California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program (photo Рlaedc.org)

The study commissioned by SCAG was conducted by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. It reviews 109 film and television projects that were allocated credits and completed production in the program’s first three fiscal years.

The study analyzes the impact of the allocated funding for the first three years, and evaluates alternatives to the current program – a $100 million annual allocation that is distributed to qualifying projects once a year based on a lottery system.

Highlights from the SCAG report analyzing the impact of the 109 funded and completed projects:-

- These projects have generated $1.9 billion in direct spending, $4.3 billion in economic output and $247.7 million in state and local tax revenues;

- These projects supported 22,300 jobs with $1.6 billion in labor income;

- Each dollar of tax credit certificate issued resulted in – $1.11 being returned to state and local government; economic activity increasing by $19.12; labor income increasing by $7.15; and total state GDP increasing by $9.48.

The most interesting part of the report is the economic and fiscal impact analysis of lost big-budget productions (above $75 million) that do not qualify for tax credits under the current program.

The report says that in 2013 alone, a full 75 percent of the 41 live action feature films with budgets exceeding $75 million were filmed outside California.

This includes films such as The Hobbit (1 and 2) filmed in New Zealand with a combined budget of $320 million; Iron Man 3 filmed in North Carolina at $200 million; Oz, The Great and Powerful filmed in Michigan at $200 million; and Man of Steel that was filmed in Illinois with a $220 million budget.

These and other such “lost” films account for $4 billion in total budgets. If they had been produced in California, it would have generated additional economic output of $9.6 billion, with $410 million in state and local tax revenues and 47,600 jobs.

Christine Cooper, LAEDC Vice President for Economic and Policy Analysis, and principal author of the SCAG report, writes in it that it is not hyperbole to assert that California is losing jobs to other states and nations and is continuing to bleed out at increasing rates.

SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata says California is very much at risk of losing its film industry, and the losses would have been even more painful the past five years without this program.

Ikhrata said the decline in California’s motion picture industry is one of the most pressing economic challenges facing the state, and urged lawmakers to not only expand the tax credit program, but also make it stronger.

The report suggests lifting the $75 million budget cap and bringing in visual-effects operations which do not qualify for the program at the moment.

This SCAG report, the Milken Institute report released last month, and events organized by the California Film & Television Production Alliance, are all aimed at drumming up support for a bill that was introduced in the California Assembly last month.

The bill (the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act – AB 1839) will overhaul the tax credit program and make the changes necessary to help California retain more film and television productions.

Read the full SCAG report – Download (pdf)

Greater Cincinnati Economic Development Organizations Co-locating in New HQ

Five Greater Cincinnati economic development organizations have agreed to co-locate in a single building in downtown Cincinnati that will serve as a headquarters for all of them.

Greater Cincinnati economic development co-location HQ

Greater Cincinnati economic development co-location HQ (rendering – Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber)

The five organizations are the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI); Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber; Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority; Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC); and the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC).

Their new headquarters on East Fourth Street was first built in 1967, and is currently owned by a subsidiary of the American Financial Group.

The 40,000 square feet of space in the building includes workspaces for all of the nearly 100 employees of the aforementioned five organizations, and a business center and conference rooms on the first floor.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has entered into a 10-year lease with American Financial for the building, and will be moving in this October.

Brian Carley, president and CEO of the Chamber, said this new headquarters building was an exciting announcement for many reasons. Carley said the greater collaboration and easier access for business leaders and partners will make the organizations more nimble and better stewards of the region’s success.

The relocation schedules of the other organizations will vary, but the building will eventually bring together their rich history of civic engagement and over 200 cumulative years of continuous business focus.

REDI Interim Executive Director Matt Davis said that this move is about brokering more deals and winning jobs for the region. Davis said the opportunity to do that simply by co-locating with these other economic development partners and business leaders was too good to pass up.

Gary Lindgren, executive director of the CBC and CRBC, said they are committed to the vitality and economic growth of the region, and they will be better able to support these efforts by aligning strategies and resources.

Laura Brunner, president and CEO of the Port Authority, said they are excited to be sharing an address with organizations that are equally committed to driving economic growth in the region, and look forward to opportunities for enhanced collaboration.

South Dakota REDI Fund Provides Concrete Returns

Carl V. Carlson Company, a concrete contractor based in Lincoln County, SD, will build a new plant in Hartford, SD where they plan to manufacture pre-cast concrete pipes that will be used in roadway and construction projects.

South Dakota loan programs

South Dakota business assistance loan programs (photo – livinghartford.com)

The company chose the site and procured the land two miles outside Hartford at the intersection of I-90 and Highway 38 after a two year site selection process.

They plan to break ground this spring and construct an 18,000-square-foot building on the site. Once the facility is complete and operational by late summer, the company will hire up to 20 new employees at the new plant.

The project was secured through a joint effort made by the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), Minnehaha County Economic Development Association, and the Hartford Area Development Corp.

The South Dakota Economic Development Board which manages the Revolving Economic Development and Initiative (REDI) Fund has approved Carl V. Carlson Company for a $1,420,000 loan, to be used for construction of the aforementioned building.

Carl Carlson, owner of Carl V. Carlson Company, said South Dakota is a wonderful place to do business, where government regulation is not obtrusive, and there’s no personal or corporate income tax.

Nick Fosheim, executive director of the Lincoln and Minnehaha County economic development associations, said that Carl V. Carlson is one the region’s established companies, and the new site will afford them an opportunity to grow a new product line and the company.

REDI loans are attractive for businesses because these are fixed low-interest rate loans (currently at two percent). The loans are available not only to startups and businesses that are expanding or relocating, but also to local economic development agencies in South Dakota.

The REDI loan can cover up to 45 percent of the project cost, subject to the applicant fulfilling all the required terms and conditions such as securing interim financing and permanent matching funds, and putting up a 10 percent equity contribution.

The loan may be used for land acquisition, site improvements, construction and renovation of buildings, and for purchase and installation of equipment and machinery for the project.

GOED Commissioner Pat Costello said that Carl V. Carlson is just the latest company to take advantage of one of South Dakota’s low-interest financing programs.

Commissioner Costello added that he encourages any company, those already established in the state as well as those looking to expand or relocate, to check out the financing programs, because there’s a good chance that his office may be of assistance.

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