Hilliard Northwest News

City puts TIF plans in motion

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Hilliard officials are poised to establish three new tax-increment financing districts.

Economic Development Director David Meeks introduced the TIF ordinances at the April 28 economic and entrepreneurial development committee meeting. The ordinances are on track for a first reading May 12 by Hilliard City Council and they could be approved by late June.

A TIF is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public infrastructure improvements, and in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Department of Development. A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting the incremental revenue to designated uses, such as funding the necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.

Meeks is seeking TIF districts for One Mill Run, Sunbelt Rentals and Verizon Wireless.

The proposed TIFs for One Mill Run and Verizon Wireless would apply only to the anticipated increase in property value, he said.

The TIF for Sunbelt Rentals would apply only to a portion of the parcel and would generate marginal revenue, Meeks said.

One Mill Run, 3455 Mill Run Drive, abuts Interstate 270.

Once known as the Gates-McDonald building, the nine-story structure once was mostly vacant. Today it is 100-percent occupied and up for sale, Meeks said.

"It is valued at $10.5 million, but I expect it will sell for more," Meeks said.

Talcott III Mill Run owns the 174,230-square-foot building that sits on 7.4 acres, he said.

The One Mill Run TIF would be a "non-school" TIF, which means Hilliard City Schools would continue to receive revenue from new businesses.

The non-school TIF would apply to the adjusted value of the property in excess of the current value of $10.5 million once the property is sold and a new value determined by the Franklin County Auditor's Office, Meeks said.

Redirected revenue would be used to fund infrastructure improvements, including the Cemetery Road overpass of Interstate 270 and Mill Run Drive, Meeks said.

A similar TIF is planned for Verizon Wireless, 5000 Britton Parkway.

Verizon Wireless is transferring approximately 1,500 employees from a site in Dublin. The move is expected to be complete by the end of the end of June; 500 jobs are expected to be created on the same timeline.

The land and the building are valued at $24 million but that is expected to increase as Verizon makes improvements to accommodate the increase in employees.

The proposed non-school TIF would apply to the increased value of the property in excess of $24 million, Meeks said.

The redirected revenue would be used for yet-to-be-determined improvements to roads, including Britton Parkway and Hayden Run Road, Meeks said.

Finally, the city is proposing a TIF for Sunbelt Rentals, which is relocating from Cemetery Road to Parkway Lane.

Known as a "wraparound TIF," the non-school TIF would apply only to 50 percent of the value of the property -- the half which is not the subject of a property tax abatement Hilliard City Council approved April 28.

Sunbelt Rentals will invest $1.1 million to build a 7,500-square-foot facility on Parkway Lane, just south of Cemetery Road and adjacent to the COTA Park and Ride.

Hilliard will provide a 15-year, 50 percent property-tax abatement, which is worth $300,638 to Sunbelt, Meeks said.

Without the abatement, Sunbelt would have paid an estimated $601,276 in property taxes during the next 15 years.

After the property-tax abatement expires, the 30-year wrap-around TIF would apply to the entire value of the parcel, Meeks said. It would generate about $13,000 annually for the final 15 years of the 30-year TIF, he said.

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