The Canal Winchester Times

Incentives lure title company from Columbus

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Canal Winchester City Council has approved a five-year incentive deal that will bring a title company with a $2.5 million annual payroll to the city.

Columbus-based Associates Title Inc. bought a building at 25 E. Waterloo St. and will relocate 17 current jobs there and add five more.

Development Director Lucas Haire said in return, for three and a half years, the city will credit the company for 30 percent of the local income taxes paid the previous year by Associates Title employees.

"In exchange, they will locate 17 jobs that they currently have with their company and will create five new positions in the city of Canal Winchester with a total payroll of at least $2.5 million," he said. "They will need to remain in the building for a minimum of five years."

Haire said the value of the incentives to the company over three and a half years will be about $52,000; the city estimates it will get a return of $225,000 in direct value over the total five-year period for the investment.

Associates Title paid $245,000 for the building on East Waterloo Street, Haire said, and has submitted plans to the Landmarks Commission that need to be approved before remodeling can start.

In addition to improvements to the office space, the company wants to add windows, which is what requires Landmarks Commission approval, he said.

Councilman John Bender worried that the deal might set a precedent, but Haire assured him it would not.

"We've done this with one other employer also, but this is someone we'd really like to attract because it is higher-paid office jobs, so it's a good proposal," Haire said. "This company has been in business four years, starting with just three employees, and they have 21 employees now, so they're growing very fast."

Councilman Steve Donahue said he was thankful for the new business and the city's ability to attract such companies.

"Adding $2.5 million payroll over the next two years will be good for us," Donahue said. "A lot of other municipalities use these incentives to bring in companies, so we're fortunate to be so well-positioned with this deal and with things like Canal Pointe, which is designated ready-to-go."

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