A company named Sidecat appears to be considering an investment of $750 million in a 900,000-square-foot data center in New Albany on Beech Road.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority recently approved a 2 percent, 10-year job-creation tax credit and 15-year data-center sales-tax exemption for Sidecat.

The project would result in 50 new jobs and $4 million in payroll, according to documents from the state.

New Albany leaders also have offered incentives for the data center, which would be built on 345 acres on the east side of Beech Road south of the state Route 161 interchange, according to a New Albany City Council legislative report.

The land is in Licking County's Jersey Township but has been annexed into New Albany, according to maps on the Licking County auditor's website. The maps indicate much of the land is owned by MBJ Holdings, a known affiliate of the New Albany Co.

New Albany City Council on July 31 voted 6-0, with Marlene Brisk absent, on a Community Reinvestment Act agreement, a tax-increment-financing agreement and a development agreement with Sidecat.

City officials provided a legislative report and fact sheet on the incentives but would not comment further on the project.

"I am not taking questions or providing comments about Sidecat other than what was in the fact sheet provided," Jennifer Chrysler, New Albany's community-development director, said in an email Aug. 4.

The CRA program is an economic-development tool administered by municipal and county governments that provides property-tax exemptions for property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings.

The CRA agreement requires Sidecat to generate a minimum of $700,000 in annual revenue for the city beginning in 2021, according to the documents from the city. By 2023, the amount would increase to $1.4 million.

The revenue presumably would be from taxes, though that wasn't specified in the fact sheet.

In return, the city would provide a 15-year, 100 percent property-tax abatement for the project's buildings and waive up to $250,000 in building and permitting fees, the documents said.

The Licking Heights Local School District still would receive an estimated $500,000 in property-tax revenue each year during the tax-abatement period, according to the documents. Typically, only buildings are included in abatements and not land itself.

The TIF would be a "nonschool TIF," the documents said.

A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting resulting incremental revenue to designated uses, such as funding necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

The new revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from the entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, according to a previous explanation from Chrysler. These entities, which mostly are funded by levies, include school districts, parks districts, libraries and fire departments. Property-tax levies also may be requested for road improvements.

In the case of a nonschool TIF, the additional property-tax revenue is diverted from all entities except school districts, Chrysler said previously.

The fact sheet said the local school district -- Licking Heights, in this case -- and fire district still would receive their portion of the property tax while the TIF is in place.

The fact sheet did not specify which fire district covers the land, but the West Licking Joint Fire District's boundaries include the land east of Beech Road and south of Worthington Road, according to the fire district's records.

In a TIF agreement from earlier this year, New Albany entered into a supplemental agreement with Jersey Township regarding the funding of fire-suppression and emergency-medical services, according to the legislative report at the time.

According to estimates from New Albany, 1,000 jobs would be created for the project's construction.

City leaders anticipate Sidecat will make a final decision this month, the documents said. The project would be complete by 2022, they estimated.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah