New Albany City Council on March 20 approved an expansion of the city's business incubator and incentives for a new company that plans to build within city limits.

New Albany City Council on March 20 approved an expansion of the city's business incubator and incentives for a new company that plans to build within city limits.

The city's incubator, Inc@8000, at 8000 Walton Parkway, has grown to include 30 companies and 39 full-time employees, said Jennifer Chrysler, community development director.

She said the city needs to take the next step and build a business accelerator for clients who are outgrowing the incubator space but aren't ready to have full office space. Incubators typically provide small office spaces for one to three employees and a larger shared space for conference rooms and other uses. Rental rates typically range from $150 per month for cubicles to $275 per month for offices, Inc@8000 manager Tom Guy said in April 2011. Rentals include utilities and Wi-Fi access. Accelerators, on the other hand, contain larger office spaces and places for a company's individual brand to be seen, said Guy, whom the city hired to market Inc@8000.

The city could lease more space in the same building, across the hall from Inc@8000, for the accelerator. The March 20 resolution authorized the city to work with the community-improvement corporation (CIC) and finish the 7,100 square feet of space in the New Albany Co.-owned building for a business accelerator. The CIC's cost to finish the space is estimated at $250,000.

The accelerator would have space for four companies, Chrysler said.

State law allows for a CIC as an economic development corporation to help a city hold and manage vacant, abandoned or tax-foreclosed land or buildings.

Regarding the incentives, the new business is Veriano Fine Foods & Spirits.

The company intends to build a 10,000-square-foot production and office facility on Zarley Street for Veriano's Tessora Limone product, introduced in January 2011. It is an after-dinner liqueur kept in the freezer and used over berries, ice cream and cake. About 60 percent of the facility will be used for production and warehouse space, according to information from city public-information officer Scott McAfee. The remaining 40 percent will be office and public space.

The company won't receive a property-tax incentive for the project, but council approved a 25-percent job-creation tax credit for seven years and a $45,000 right-of-way infrastructure grant for 0.28 acre. This right-of-way grant is based on the fair market value of the property and will be verified prior to executing the economic-development agreement, McAfee said.

The current property taxes generated from the vacant property are approximately $5,900. The estimated new taxes at build-out are estimated to be $27,000, Chrysler said.

Company owners George and Linda Vergits are based in New Albany and distribute the product in central Ohio only.

"We launched Tessora in New Albany and we're so excited to build our facility here. New Albany is a vibrant and dynamic community that supports businesses both large and small, and we hope to add to New Albany's appeal as a unique destination in central Ohio," George Vergits said in a press release.

The company looks to invest $750,000 in the building and have 10 employees with an average annual payroll of $550,000 within the first three years, Chrysler said. Five more employees will be added in the next two years, helping the company grow its average annual payroll to $900,000 within the first five years.