Southwest Ohio Regional Bond Fund rating upgraded to A- by S&P Global Ratings
The Port Finances Acquisition of Two Downtown Cincinnati Parking Garages through Bond Funds and Ohio Loan Programs
Dayton/Montgomery Port Authority’s Brunswick: “The upgraded rating allows us to sell bonds at a lower interest rate.”
The Port’s Brunner: “Our innovative public-private partnerships are driving growth and the acquisition of strategic real estate assets in downtown Cincinnati.”
CINCINNATI – The Southwest Ohio Regional Bond Fund (SORBF), managed by the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (The Port) and the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority, received an upgraded rating of A- from S&P Global Ratings. The SORBF was previously rated BBB+ in March 2016 by S&P.
“Through regional collaboration between our port authorities since 2015, the SORBF has strengthened and diversified loans made from the bond fund in addition to increasing our letter of credit with Fifth Third Bank,” shared Jerry Brunswick, President & Executive Director of the Dayton/Montgomery Port Authority. “The upgraded rating allows us to sell bonds at a lower interest rate.”
The upgrade by S&P Global Ratings was based on an increase in the Program Reserve from $5 MM to $10 MM provided by Fifth Third Bank through July 1, 2020, consistent project due diligence decision-making, and a strong portfolio performance.
DiPerna Advisors serves as Financial Advisor to the SORBF and assisted in the upgrade process. “The SORBF has demonstrated 15 years of good practice, quality project investments and strong decisions in order to achieve this upgrade,” commented Michael DiPerna, President.
S&P Global Ratings assigned an ‘A-‘ rating to The Port’s series 2019A and B development revenue bonds, issued by the SORBF. The outlook on the ratings is stable. The Port intends to use series 2019A bond proceeds to refinance prior bonds, while the 2019B bond proceeds were used to acquire parking facilities in downtown Cincinnati.
“This favorable credit rating from S&P reflects The Port’s and the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority’s leadership in co-managing the SORBF and the significant amount of development we are financing in Southwest Ohio and the strong reserves we have built,” shared Todd Castellini, Vice President of Public Finance at The Port. “The Fund is a financing asset that has propelled the new construction of 24 developments, issuing $71.3MM in bonds in the Cincinnati and Dayton regions from 2015-2018.”
In March 2019, The Port closed on the purchase of two parking garages (609 Elm St. and 605 Plum St.) from LAZ Parking Realty Investors LLC. The $25.5 million purchase utilized a variety of financing sources, including loan agreements with State of Ohio through the Department of Transportation’s State Infrastructure Bank bond fund and Ohio Development Services Agency’s Regional 166 Direct Loan Program. Additionally, the SORBF issued $4,025,000 of tax-exempt bonds in cooperation with the Central Ohio Regional Bond Fund, who issued $7,300,000 in taxable bonds to finance the refunding of the Fountain Square South Parking Facility Series 2015 Revenue Bonds and the SORBF Series 2016B Amberley Site Redevelopment Bonds. The Port acquired the Fountain Square South parking facility, which comprises 396 parking spaces.
“Our innovative public-private partnerships are driving growth and the acquisition of strategic real estate assets in downtown Cincinnati,” shared Laura N. Brunner, President and CEO of The Port.
The SORBF is designed to provide credit enhancement to eligible borrowers in order to allow long-term, fixed rate bonds to be sold for Tax Increment Financing, Special Assessment, PACE and for corporate financing transactions into the capital markets.
The Southwest Ohio Regional Bond Fund was created from an expansion through cooperative agreement of the Dayton Regional Bond Fund, established in 2004 to promote economic development and the creation of new investment and private sector jobs.
A bond fund is a credit-enhancement vehicle supported by a system of common program reserves. Several other Ohio port authorities operate bond funds. Companies and municipalities increasingly rely on The Port’s finance tools to fund expansion and capital investment.
About The Port
The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (The Port) is a quasi-public agency that is the principal real estate development finance agency serving Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati. The Port both initiates redevelopment and manages projects on behalf of local governments and private institutions to improve property value and promote job creation. Visit cincinnatiport.org for more information.
About the Dayton/Montgomery County Port Authority
Dayton/Montgomery County Port Authority facilitates economic development through project financing vehicles and real estate ownership and by offering its own long-term fixed rate financing program. It is governed by a board of business and community leaders. It was created by the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, in cooperation with the Dayton Development Coalition, to facilitate economic development in the Dayton Region. For more information, visit www.daytonport.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2019
Gail Paul, VP Communication Strategy
The Port – Cincinnati, Ohio