New Albany's strategy to bring more jobs to the village appears to be working.

New Albany's strategy to bring more jobs to the village appears to be working.

More than 1,000 new jobs are committed to New Albany in the next few years. During the Nov. 16 council meeting, three new companies were announced.

Community development director Jennifer Chrysler thanked council for making infrastructure investments that helped the village attract more businesses.

Chrysler called council's investments an attraction for businesses looking for "shovel-ready sites," which already have fiber, water and sewer and electricity.

She said council invested $6.7-million in 1998 in the eastern portion of New Albany in both Franklin and Licking counties.

"It is producing vast dividends that can be illustrated by what has occurred during these past couple of months," said Scott McAfee, the village communications director.

McAfee said assistance from corporate partners has helped facilitate some of the other business moves. When American Electric Power moved to the east side of New Albany, for example, the company helped the village "save millions of dollars when we built our fiber-optic network," McAfee said.

Having the network in place helped attract businesses such as Motorists, TJX (the parent company of TJ Maxx), PharmaForce and Nationwide, all of which are currently moving into the research and information business district near Central College. Those projects are expected to add 282 jobs when the buildings are completed.

"It really speaks to the benefits of leveraging cooperative partnerships and investing in traditional and technology infrastructure to facilitate development," McAfee said.

At the Nov. 16 New Albany Village Council meeting, council welcomed representatives of Communicare, Vee Pak Ohio and the Knowlton Development Corp. The other two companies coming to the village - Bluemile and Accel - were announced in September and October.

Each has a different story.

Communicare is a health-care management company. It is building a "115-bed, acute and sub-acute medical facility" on Forest Drive, across from the Mount Carmel New Albany Surgical Hospital. It is in a district that once was a mix of commercial and residential zoning. It now includes zoning for a hotel, medical offices and some retail, Chrysler said.

"It will be a great complement to the hospital across the street," Chrysler said. She said that Communicare facility could help patients who've just had knee replacement surgery and who have other health issues and require too much care to go into a nursing care facility for a short time.

"This is just the type of facility that could attract a spinoff company in that area," Chrysler said.

Communicare is expected to build between 99,000 and 110,000 square feet and create 250 new jobs. Chrysler's estimates show the company could generate an annual payroll of $7,400,000 per year. Chrysler's projections show the company could generate $148,000 a year in income tax - with $51,800 going to the New Albany-Plain Local Schools and $51,800 going to the village's general fund and $44,400 to the New Albany Community Authority's infrastructure fund.

During the Nov. 16 meeting, New Albany Village Council approved a 10-year, 100-percent tax abatement for the building.

The other two businesses - Vee Pak and the Knowlton Development Corp. - are joining Accel in moving to the east side of the village, into the personal care and beauty campus on the north and south sides of state Route 161 on both sides of Beech Road.

Accel, which "develops innovative packaging solutions," according to the company, has offices in Lewis Center and a distribution center in Whitehall. It will consolidate operations in a 500,000-square-foot facility northeast of state Route 161 and Beech Road. The building will house manufacturing, distribution, research and development and operations.

The $17-million project is expected to retain 206 positions and create 25 new jobs, increasing to total number of jobs to 400 by 2014. The state approved a $25,000 Rapid Outreach Grant for "acquisition of new machinery and equipment," for the project. The company also is receiving a 5-year, 45-percent credit against state taxes, valued at "$133,381 over the term," through the state. The tax credit requires Accel to remain in New Albany for eight years.

Vee Pak which "produces, packages and labels personal care products" for many companies, hopes to build a $12-million, 105,000-square-foot production facility that will create 120 new jobs with an estimated annual payroll of $3,806,400.

Council approved on Nov. 16 a 100-percent real property tax abatement for 7 or 10 years depending on the new building's LEED certification. LEED-certified buildings are required for that business campus, Chrysler said.

General manager Paul Morrison told council Nov. 16 that he's ready to start digging as soon as state incentives are passed Dec. 6.

"We make the best products in the world," he said. "You're going to see the number one best facility in the world here."

Chrysler said the Licking Heights School District would benefit from this project through the village's revenue-sharing agreement with local schools.

The Knowlton Development Corp. is building a 250,000-square-foot building in the same area that will provide "market intelligence, research and development, engineering, purchasing, material management, production, quality assurance and logistics" for several "personal care and beauty production companies." The $55-million project is expected to create 200 new jobs with an estimated annual payroll of approximately $8-million. This would generate $160,000 a year in annual income tax, Chrysler estimated.

Council also approved on Nov. 16 a 100-percent real property tax abatement for 10 or 15 years, depending on the building's LEED eligibility.

"We're excited to create jobs and grow here," said John Bertuccini, the company's chief executive officer. "We located perfectly. Within a 500-mile radius, we have 80-percent of our customers."

Knowlton also is awaiting state incentives, which are expected to be reviewed Dec. 6.

Chrysler said the Johnstown-Monroe Local School District would benefit from this project.

The other company moving to the village is taking the final space in the Water's Edge building at 7775 Walton Parkway. Central Ohio technology company Bluemile is retaining 27 positions and creating 105 new jobs with the move.

The state has approved a $105,000 Rapid Outreach Grant for the company to acquire "new machinery and equipment," according to the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), and a 55-percent Job Creation Tax Credit through the Ohio Tax Credit Authority. This refundable credit means the company will pay all of its income taxes and be refunded 55 percent annually for the term of the incentive. State information shows Bluemile will receive the credit for six years.

The state is estimating the value of the credit at $518,000. The incentive requires the company to maintain operations in New Albany for nine years. The relocation is anticipated to cost $8.9-million.

New Albany approved an incentive for the company Oct. 19. This will require the village to use funds allocated annually in a fiber-maintenance fund to help extend lateral fibers to local companies. The amount placed in the fund varies from year to year. This year, $25,000 was in the fund, and the village is expected to use $6,250 of it and return the rest to the general fund.