The New Albany Co. is hoping to find another data-center builder, specifically for a 484.4-acre tract it is prepping for market.

New Albany City Council in May approved the annexation of the land from Jersey Township. The tract is east of Beech Road, west of Clover Valley Road, north of Jug Street and south of Miller Road.

City Council on Tuesday, July 2, could vote on two ordinances that would rezone the land and establish a tax-increment-financing district there. Both ordinances received a first reading June 18.

Aaron Underhill, a legal representative for the New Albany Co., said the company's goal is to capitalize on the recipe it and the city have been using to attract such businesses as Facebook and Google. Both companies are building data centers in the New Albany International Business Park.

The New Albany Co. is marketing the site to be used as a data center, but if that isn't successful, other uses could be established, Underhill said. The site could accommodate one or more users, he said.

The rezoning requested by the New Albany Co. would be limited general employment, which would allow such uses as warehouse and distribution, research and production and general office activities, in addition to data centers, according to the council legislative report. The land currently is zoned as an agricultural district, the legislative report said.

The site is bounded by neighborhoods to the northeast and west of Beech Road, Underhill said.

Accommodations for the neighbors include mounds and landscape screening, protection of a 51-acre wooded area in the north central portion of the site and significantly increased building and pavement setbacks as compared to nearby zoning districts, he said.

"We have also provided a restriction against vehicular access being provided across from the subdivision to the west," Underhill said.

About the TIF

The "nonschool" TIF would be within the Johnstown-Monroe Local School District, according to the council legislative report.

The ordinance that received a first reading June 18 authorized the city manager to enter into one or more TIF agreements on the land, said New Albany community-development director Jennifer Chrysler. That means city leaders would not have to return to City Council to offer TIF incentives to a prospective business, she said.

A TIF is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public-infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

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.

Revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from the entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, including school districts, parks districts, libraries and fire departments.

In the case of a nonschool TIF, the additional property-tax revenue is diverted from all entities except school districts, according to New Albany community-development director Jennifer Chrysler. Recent state legislation added vocational schools to that exception, she said.

In addition, the annexation agreement between Jersey Township and New Albany says that if the city redirects real-property-tax revenue through a TIF, it would pay the township an amount equal to the real-property-tax revenue the township would have received for fire and emergency-medical services if the TIF were not in place, according to Chrysler.

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