City mulls large incentive for construction firm
Extending a six-figure development incentive to renovate and expand a construction company's local office is on Upper Arlington City Council's agenda later this month.
On Sept. 24, council is expected to hear the final reading of legislation proposing to provide up to $275,000 to Thomas & Marker Construction, based in Bellfontaine, Ohio.
The funds, according to Upper Arlington Community and Economic Development Manager Bob Lamb, would help the company hire more personnel and expand its facilities at 2011 Riverside Drive, Suite 400.
Ultimately, Lamb added, the deal also will lead to new revenue for the city and the Upper Arlington school district.
"They just recently purchased the building to move into and this agreement is one reason they agreed to purchase this site," Lamb said.
Thomas & Marker began operations at the Upper Arlington office in June. Lamb said the city currently receives about $10,000 annually in payroll and property taxes from the business.
According to Thomas & Marker President Randy Marker, the company currently has a 14-person staff at the 14,000-square-foot local office.
Through the development incentive, Lamb said, Thomas & Marker would receive five annual payments of $55,000 as long as the company generates $65,000 a year in payroll and property taxes.
"If they don't meet that $65,000 measure, we won't pay them," Lamb said.
As long as performance measures are met, the city expects to collect the $275,000 it's paying out over the next 10 years.
Over that time, Lamb said, the company is expected to produce another $450,000 to $500,000 in new payroll and property tax revenue for the city, as well as about $500,000 in new property taxes for the Upper Arlington school district.
"At the end of 10 years, it would be a net benefit to the city of between $450,000 to $500,000," he said.
According to city officials, the development incentive will help the company expand its local office by 1,020 square feet and add 11 employees.
It's also expected to allow Thomas & Marker to renovate the interior and exterior of the office, which Lamb said will improve the office stock in the area. The company is expected to use approximately one-third of the renovated office space, while leasing the remaining portion to as-yet unidentified tenants.
"It returns an existing office building that's a very low Class C standard to a very high Class B," he said. "We need to focus on these types of projects to be able to focus on continuing to supply the types of office space companies are looking for.
"The city actively tries to support the redevelopment of office space."
Marker, who was traveling last week, said via email he hopes the incentive deal will help his company lead the way in the revitalization of Upper Arlington's south side.
"Suffice to say we are pleased with Upper Arlington's support and look forward to the redevelopment of the property and what we hope to be the beginning of the redevelopment of the Upper Arlington's U.S. 33 corridor," he said.