City leaders say the New Albany International Business Park is the reason why revenue has been increasing more than two times faster than expenses since 2014.

City leaders say the New Albany International Business Park is the reason why revenue has been increasing more than two times faster than expenses since 2014.

City data show that from 2014 through 2017, revenue increases are expected to be 36.9 percent. For the same time period, expenses increased 15.21 percent.

City Manager Joe Stefanov said revenue is increasing because of the city's investment in the business park.

"Without the business park, we wouldn't be in the financial position we're in today," he said.

More than 80 percent of annual revenue is tied to income taxes, said city spokesman Scott McAfee. That's why building a strong job base in the city is so important, he said.

Total revenue for New Albany in 2014 was $13,475,162, compared with the 2017 projected total revenue of $18,440,499.

The 2016 total revenue is $18,500,000.

The city's residential population is around 9,100, Stefanov said. Although residents who work in Columbus don't pay New Albany income taxes, employees in the city do. Counting future job commitments, the estimated total workforce in the business park is 14,000, he said.

The city also ensures the continued population of the business park by taking steps to make space marketable.

Stefanov said the city works to attract businesses by installing infrastructure and using its incentives program. The incentives program has been helpful in developing land commercially instead of residentially, meaning that no additional students are added to the New Albany-Plain Local School District, he said.

New Albany hasn't always enjoyed revenue that steadily trended upward.

The city saw upward trends for revenue through 2007, but that stopped with the recession in 2008, Stefanov said.

A big part of the city's recovery in 2011 came from the formation of the business park's Personal Care and Beauty Campus, McAfee said.

"Before the recession, that park didn't exist," Stefanov said.

Around that time, New Albany City Council laid the foundation for the Personal Care and Beauty Campus with infrastructure built with economic-development funds.

New Albany Co. President Tom Rubey said the campus' vertical supply-chain model -- an arrangement in which companies in the same industry work in the same area on a product from concept to shelf -- helped attract tenants during the recession.

Stefanov said the city should continue to see upward revenue trends as long as companies in the business park continue to raise employee wages and salaries.

The city also can help by making sure buildings remain marketable for Class A office space, which have the highest paying jobs among commercial areas.

Rubey said the construction of the Mink Street and state Route 161 interchange would positively impact the marketability of the business park property in that area, which is in Licking County.

He said he anticipates the Personal Care and Beauty Campus expanding on the north side of Route 161 to Mink Street. Residents can expect to hear more announcements of future tenants and construction over the next 12 months, he said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah