Areas of Opportunity in Columbus: Highlights from the Columbus Opportunity SummitClient Alert
On April 27, 2023, Columbus Business First held its annual Columbus Opportunity Summit, bringing together business and economic development leaders to provide an update on how Central Ohio is preparing for expected growth in the coming years, an issue heightened by the arrival of Intel at its 1,000-acre site in Licking County, just outside of Columbus. The site will be home to two new chip factories with room to grow to a total of eight factories and is a $20 billion investment.
Ohio already is known as the ‘heart of America.’ It is within one day’s drive of 60% of the continental U.S. Ohio is also the fourth largest rail transporter by mileage and suppliers. Areas for opportunity include supporting and scaling logistical providers and connecting local and regional supply chains.
New Albany, a suburb minutes from Downtown Columbus, has earmarked $300M to grow infrastructure with a focus on connecting people to their everyday needs. This means that developing communities will include jobs, housing, groceries, and daycares in one central location. Areas for opportunity include city and regional planning with a focus on connecting to adjacent communities.
AEP is working to bring fiber to its existing broadband network and has implemented technology that helps share electricity loads to help cover areas experiencing outages. Areas for opportunity include training and hiring line workers and other skilled labor forces.
Ohio’s Site Inventory Program
Ohio has implemented its Site Inventory Program to help Ohio be competitive for site selection projects. The program provides authenticated sites that are “shovel ready,” meaning they have power and water on site and have state and federal approval without limits. There are currently 30-40 authenticated sites in Ohio.
Columbus has demonstrated significant growth in commerce and population, and with the arrival of Intel, central Ohio cities will need to collaborate to grow together and connect their development. Cohesive growth will be essential for competing for federal funding and building successful long-term systems. BMD has significant experience in business growth, construction law, contract negotiation, compliance with federal grant laws, and employment law issues. If you would like to discuss these topics further, please contact Kelly Jena at Kejena@bmdllc.com.