SCIOTO – Over the past couple months the Scioto County Commissioners have been laying the groundwork for the first major economic development project for the S.O.A.R. Business Park located next to Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport. The $5.3 million, 45,000 square foot spec building will be the first of many projects at this site. 42,000 square feet will be allocated for warehouse with the other 3,000 square feet for office space.
“It’s great to finally be in a position where we have the funds to invest back into the community,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis. “We have come a long way from fiscal emergency to now having multi-million dollar carry overs that we can leverage for the different grants and loans needed for a project of this size.”
The funding for the spec building will be made up of a combination of grants and loans spanning multiple entities. “Robert Horton has done an excellent job finding all of the funding mechanisms to make this investment a reality,” stated Commissioner Cathy Coleman. “To see all the different funding and groups coming together is a testament to how important we view this industrial site.”
Of the funding required, the County is seeking a Rural Industrial Park Loan for $2.5 million that has the potential to be forgiven up to 50% of the total loan. Within the RIPL the county can also request to defer interest on the project up to five years.
The Office of Economic Development is also working with OhioSE and JobsOhio to secure grant funding through the Ohio Site Inventory Program. Also included in the potential funding is a pending grant request through the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio.
On Feb. 2, the Southern Ohio Port Authority Board voted to be the bonding agent for the project. Bonding through SOPA provides several benefits, such as the saving of taxes on all building materials. The saving on material could save the county an estimated $145,000 during construction.
“Having spoken to different economic organizations in the state, this is the type of building companies are looking for, “said Commissioner Scottie Powell. “Having inventory to compete is crucial in economic development and this is our first big step in that direction.”
The commissioners each expressed the positive impact this project will have on Scioto and the surrounding counties. They also shared they believe that this investment into the community will drive other companies and organizations to seriously look at S.O.A.R. Business Park for they next expansions.
The location of the new industrial building will be on a 5.125-acre site at the end of the new Barklow Road extension installed in 2019. The county is currently working with AEP, Water 1, the Scioto County Sanitary department, and Minford Telephone to ensure the infrastructure matches the needs at the industrial park. Ground breaking for the 45,000 square foot building will take place around April or May 2021.
Construction companies and vendors interested in working on the project are encouraged to contact Robert Horton, Director of Economic Development at [email protected]
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.