Tri-Village News

City revisits Grandview Yard development agreement

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As Grandview Heights City Council paves the way for Nationwide Insurance to build a corporate campus at Grandview Yard and bring 3,000 jobs to the city, it will be asked to approve a measure that will update the terms of the Yard's original development agreement from 2009.

Council's economic development committee met Monday, July 14, to review the legislation.

Committee Chairman Steve Papineau said the revised development agreement will be amended to add a provision clarifying that the Grandview Heights City School District will not lose any of the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funds it is owed through the compensation agreement, which also was negotiated five years ago.

That guarantee is in place even through the cost of the public infrastructure improvements planned for the Yard will increase to $145 million from the $119 million price tag agreed to five years ago.

"We want to clarify that by going to $145 million in bonds, we will not be changing the payout to the schools," said Andy Federico, an attorney with Carlile Patchen & Murphy, who is representing and consulting with the city.

"Under this agreement, the schools are getting the same amount of security as before," he said.

The schools not only will receive the same percentage of PILOT funds but also will benefit from the increased property values of the development, Papineau said.

The development agreement needs to be modified because the original pact anticipated a certain mix of uses in the Yard, and with the insurance company's announcement, the development not only will be different but will rise more quickly than expected, he said.

Nationwide Insurance's decision to move to the Yard presents an opportunity to the city and will speed up the timetable for infrastructure improvements, Papineau said.

The revised development agreement "is a good deal and one we can't turn down," Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman said.

It includes a tax credit for Nationwide Insurance that will amount to 24 percent of city income tax paid by the company for a 20-year period after it moves into the Yard.

"That type of agreement is not unheard of," Bowman said. "It's big-time stakes and big-time jobs and a Fortune 100 company we are negotiating with."

Another ordinance before council would amend the previous tax-credit legislation adopted for businesses moving into the Yard to allow for the credit for Nationwide Insurance.

Council is expected to vote on several ordinances relating to the Yard at its meeting Monday, July 21.

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