Large logistics center near Miami Valley Gaming gets latest approvals in Lebanon

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Credit: Lawrence Budd

A proposed 296-acre logistics center off Ohio 63 has received the approval of the Lebanon Board of Education and Warren County commissioners for a Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement.

The tax abatement was the next step in the process for CFPN Ohio LLC and its parent company Core 5 Industrial Partners LLC to invest $116 million on the former prison farm property north of Ohio 63 and east of the Miami Valley Gaming racino. Plans on the CRA application call for the construction of four to five speculative warehouses in multiple phases that would create between 2.5 to 4 million square feet of space.

The application indicates the owners estimate of creating in multiple phases cumulatively, 1,200 full-time equivalent employee positions with an aggregate annual payroll of $45 million with zero part-time or temporary jobs when the project is completed. The hiring of employees is expected to begin September 2022 and continue incrementally over the following eight years of 100 to 200 jobs each year.

According to the application, there are no existing buildings on the site that the Warren County Port Authority purchased the property from the state for $10.3 million in late March. The port authority is selling it to CFPN Ohio LLC who is developing the logistics center.

Pending the final approval of the CRA tax abatement, construction is estimated to begin in July and with a projected construction completion in September 2027.

Because of the amount of the tax abatement, the request needed to be approved by the Lebanon school board Monday which allowed county officials to present the request Tuesday to the Warren County Commission which approved an initial 10-year, 50% CRA real property tax abatement. The agreement also provides certain benchmarks based on the project’s valuation, payroll and square footage to be reached that would increase the CRA property tax abatement to 15 years at 75% as the project continues to grow.

The land was rezoned last year and Turtlecreek Twp. officials told Warren County commissioners that the land was one of two economic development corridors the township hopes is developed to help offset the costs of growth otherwise shouldered by its nearly 15,000 residents and other property owners.

The agreement requires the developer to work with Turtlecreek Twp. and the city of Monroe to either develop or expand the current Joint Economic Development District. Monroe City Manager Bill Brock said the JEDD discussions have not been scheduled as of Thursday.

The site is already part of a busy logistics, entertainment and retail corridor off of the Interstate 75/Ohio 63 interchange.

At the time of the purchase, Martin Russell, deputy Warren County administrator and port authority executive director, said the purchase of the unused prison land has been discussed and negotiated for several months. The prison used to farm the 296 acres, but that ended several years ago.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Russell said. “We’re really excited about this project.”

Russell expects the closing on the sale of the property in the next few weeks. He said the port requested an additional month of due diligence which extended the closing until June.

“What this means is that we’ve demonstrated the demand and desire for business growth along the Interstate 75 corridor,” Russell said. “This is a prime area and we’re using the state investment of the new interchange that is paying off for all of our partners through new development.”

He said Doug Armbruster of Core 5 had previously worked with IDI in the development of the successful and fully developed 429-acre Park North, which is on the south side of Ohio 63 from the racino. Park North is the home of massive distribution centers such as Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot.

Russell said the project is beneficial to the Lebanon school district because it gives them the ability to broaden its tax base immediately with an additional $10 million valuation when the sale is closed and without any increase in student enrollment.

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