The Port closes on industrial site in Reading

Industrial Revitalization Strategy Delivers

CINCINNATI (Dec. 10, 2019) Four years after The Port adopted its Industrial Revitalization Strategy to repurpose existing, large-scale, urban industrial sites, it continues to make good on its promise. On November 8, it closed on 2000 West Street, a 25-acre vacant industrial site in Reading, Ohio that was formerly home to the Dow Chemical plant. The purchase makes way for the land to be redeveloped and attract an advanced manufacturer with the potential to bring hundreds of jobs to the region. Laura Brunner, President and CEO of The Port says, “Bringing high paying jobs back to Reading is our laser focus now.”

The site has been vacant since Dow Chemical closed its doors in 2014, a loss of 230 jobs and a $4 million payroll. Reading also lost $80,000 in earnings taxes and $50,000 in water revenues. The project is made even sweeter by a partnership with Hamilton County Planning and Development and HCDC, Inc. that provided a zero-percent $300,000 loan to the city of Reading and $544,000 from Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati. That money extended Riesenberg Road providing commercial access to the site and to the sewer department’s highrate treatment facility in the Mill Creek Watershed.

“This transformative project is exactly what commissioners envisioned when they set budget priorities around economic development,” said County Administrator Jeff Aluotto. “The county is proud to partner with the city of Reading, HCDC, The Port and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to potentially bring back well-paying manufacturing jobs to the county.”

In addition to the $300,000 for Riesenberg Road, the City of Reading contributed $90,000 to environmental due diligence efforts, according to Mayor Robert (Bo) Bemmes, “This was a complex project requiring the marrying of the unique human and financial resources of the county, port and city to transform this underutilized brownfield site into a tax-producing asset that will strengthen the economy of the region for years to come.”

The next step is to redevelop and market the site to manufacturers.

Top 6 things to know about the Dow Chemical/ Riesenberg project:

  • The Port entered into a Purchase and Sales Agreement for the property in February 2019. The Port performed six months’ worth of due diligence including: survey, geotechnical investigation, Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, soil gas study, preliminary site grading design.
  • Hamilton County Commissioners approved a $250,000 grant for the project; $50,000 to cover due diligence costs and $200,000 to go towards future remediation.
  • Approximately $60,000 in grants received from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and P&G were used to complete due diligence on the site. These grants were received in 2017 to be applied towards due diligence costs as part of the Industrial Revitalization Strategy.
  • Used Patient Capital Notes to fund acquisition in the amount of $690,000.
  • Patient Capital Notes is a Port Authority program that issues notes to accredited investors who seek social benefits related to accelerating regional growth by meaningfully increasing the inventory of sites ready for advanced manufacturing in Hamilton County. The Patient Capital Notes provides the private funds necessary to purchase property before public funds can be raised and spent on the redevelopment of the property. The Port has raised $10.8M in Patient Capital Notes to-date.
  • Redevelopment scope includes asbestos abatement, environmental remediation, demolition, and site grading. The budget for the redevelopment is approximately $7 million.

About The Port:

The Port was formed in 2000 to stimulate growth of the regional economy. Partnering with
the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, The Port works to redevelop manufacturing and
residential communities to build the foundation of job creation and livable, viable communities
where residents have the opportunity to participate in economic prosperity. For additional
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