Since 1998, the master-planned New Albany International Business Park has attracted $3.4 billion in private investment, resulting in 11.5 million square feet of development and 15,000 jobs.
Now in its 20th year, the business park is realizing the return on investment from a proactive master plan that taps the city's entrepreneurial DNA and public-private partnerships that inspire collaboration, innovation and commerce.
When businesses move to New Albany, they become partners in a unique community-development effort committed to improving the quality of life for our entire community and protecting everyone's investment for the long term.
Though small suburban communities often do not compete at a national level for economic development, New Albany has succeeded in attracting forward-thinking companies like Facebook, which is building one of the most advanced data centers in the world right here.
Our commitment to ongoing relationships with businesses long after the deals are closed results in a high degree of cooperation that fuels continuous improvement in service delivery and results in strong business retention and expansion efforts. From Discover Financial Services and Aetna to American Electric Power, New Albany businesses continue to grow their presence in our community and invest in our future.
By aggressively leveraging public-private partnerships to promote business investment, New Albany has saved millions of dollars while creating state-of-the-art commercial amenities.
Our agreement with AEP, when the company located its mission-critical transmission center here, allowed us to lease the company's advanced fiber-optic network instead of building our own, saving the community $7.5 million and creating a strong competitive advantage.
The robust, carrier-neutral fiber-optic infrastructure was among the primary reasons that Nationwide and TJX Cos. selected New Albany for their mission-critical facilities after nationwide searches.
Location-planning decisions also are made easier for businesses thanks to New Albany's technology- and shovel-ready commercial sites that meet the latest site-selection criteria, enable businesses to efficiently expedite relocation and expansion decisions and minimize business disruption.
We were among the first communities to utilize performance-based economic incentives that ensure a return on our investment to support our city services and schools while putting the community on an equal playing field when competing for businesses.
What does this mean for our residents and our schools?
The city's primary source of revenue is income or payroll taxes.
More businesses with more employees mean more revenue for the community.
Today, income taxes, most of which are derived from the business park, account for more than 80 percent of New Albany's $17 million annual general-fund budget to support city services, including police protection, road maintenance, leisure trails, snow plowing and leaf collection.
Through 2017, the park has generated more than $68 million in property and income taxes for the New Albany-Plain Local School District.
Commercial development has generated more than three times the amount of property-tax revenue our school district would have received if the land in the park had remained undeveloped.
Our resilient and robust economy, together with our shared vision for the future, enables us to continue to build a smarter, healthier, greener, better community for all.
Jennifer Chrysler is New Albany's community-development director.