North Olmsted considering creation of business-friendly community improvement corporation

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — When it comes to economic development, businesses can often be attracted to opportunities that require the least amount of hoop-jumping.

With that in mind, North Olmsted Director of Economic and Community Development Max Upton is hoping the city council next month approves the creation of a community improvement corporation (CIC).

“It allows the city government to act nimbly and efficiently to attract investment and create jobs within their city,” Upton said. “The CIC is a 501(c)(3) not for profit. The CIC is able to readily engage and sell land a lot more efficiently than a normal government entity would.

“Conversely, the CIC is able to acquire land. It can assemble a bunch of small parcels to attract a new investment. A CIC is able to do that whereas city government isn’t necessarily able to do the same thing.”

Once approved, the North Olmsted CIC — a legal entity under the Ohio Revised Code — is authorized to sell or lease any lands or interests in lands owned by the city. Any funds raised due to a sale or lease will be deposited into North Olmsted’s general fund.

“We’re actually one of the few cities in Northeast Ohio that currently doesn’t have the CIC,” said Upton, who noted that North Olmsted previously had a CIC that lapsed in 2013 during the previous administration.

Another example of how a CIC attracts investment has to do with disclosing financial information. If a business is dealing with the city, those statements are subject to public disclosure.

“A CIC makes businesses a lot more comfortable with conveying that type of information knowing that their private financial information isn’t going to be disclosed,” Upton said.

For perspective, a CIC would have expedited North Olmsted’s recent sale of two city-owned Industrial Parkway parcels, which are part of a Community Reinvestment Area agreement with Fieldstone Developers, Inc. regarding the construction of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse/office facility.

“That’s a good example because the legislation that authorized the sale of Fieldstone was, I believe, over a decade old,” Upton said. “So that property had been authorized for sale for a long time.

“It’s reasonable to assume if there was a CIC in place where someone was kind of really marketing the property in a fashion for economic development, we could have sold it much quicker.”

The creation of a CIC also requires oversight from a board that is expected to include the mayor, city council members and residents.

“The main thing is it will allow us to act nimbly when we’re trying to spur economic development,” North Olmsted Mayor Nicole Dailey Jones said. “This model is really successful in cities like South Euclid, which I’ve long admired and watched how they’ve utilized it there.”

Read more news from the Sun Post Herald here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker