Agreement paves way for $75M development, thousands of jobs

West Chester Twp. will invest more than $5 million in tax increment financing funds to create the public infrastructure needed to facilitate development of a light industrial/office park with the potential to create 1,000 new jobs.

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The $75 million light industrial/office park development — West Chester Trade Center — will be the work of Missouri-based NorthPoint Development and bring approximately 1.8 million-square feet of space to more than 100 acres along Ohio 747, company officials said.

The project will unite two properties along Ohio 747 between Smith Road and Union Centre Boulevard. The 46-acre northern property, know as the Brate farm, would include three buildings totaling 640,000 square feet. Another three buildings will be built in two phases on a neighboring 60-acre site, the former Rinck farm, which provides access off Union Centre Boulevard.

West Chester’s current occupancy rate for similar types of buildings is 96.3 percent, one of the highest rates in the regional market, according to township officials.

It is NorthPoint Development’s first project in West Chester Twp. The company has two similar developments in Fairfield and is working on another one further to the north in the Fairfield/Hamilton area, according to project manager Jeremy Michael.

“We feel really strongly about the area, the tenant mix that we have planned for the building,” Michael said. “We think it’s going to be a strong market for us.”

Construction on the site started this month and the first building is expected to open in January 2019.

Tenants would likely deal in light assembly, warehouse storage, distribution or office space and not heavy industrial or manufacturing, he said.

Phase I of the Rinck Project — two buildings totaling approximately 618,950 gross square feet — is anticipated to be completed by December 2019. A second phase includes a 574,000-square-foot building expected to be completed by December 2023.

Construction on all three buildings on the northern part of the site, the Brate Project, will be complete by December 2026.

On Tuesday evening, township trustees unanimously approved a final agreement between West Chester Twp. and NorthPoint Development, one that makes the township responsible for investing $5.1 million in TIF funds in infrastructure there and NorthPoint for maintaining that infrastructure.

That infrastructures include signalized intersections, bridge and road improvements and water and sewer. The agreement comes two months after trustees approved a zoning change for the Brate farm.

The development is “perfectly suited” for the land there, according to Trustee Mark Welch.

“It’s going to bring in other corporation, companies that either don’t know about West Chester yet and will or maybe other places in Cincinnati that would like to move to West Chester,” Welch told the Journal-News. “One of our secret weapons is that we do not have any tax on income, whether that’s personal income or business income.”

The investment being made via the Ohio 747 TIF, and the agreement approved Tuesday is “exactly the express(ed) intention and purpose of a TIF.”

“We are willing, as a township in a TIF district, to take raw, undeveloped land, make an investment in that land so that the land can develop and as develops, the appraised value of the property becomes much higher,” he said. “That’s really how we derive the income. Most of our income comes through property taxes.”

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