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Developer Asks CCS To Back Abatement On Former Buckeye Steel Site

A national developer that wants to revive a South Side industrial site is asking the Columbus City Schools to approve to a tax abatement that could bring the district equipment, scholarships and a property tax windfall down the road. Alison Holm has details.  

The former Columbus Castings/Buckeye Steel site on Parsons Avenue closed in 2016,and the land was cleared last year. A new developer is now eyeing the property, and Tuesday night they asked the school board to support a 100% 15-year tax abatement.


Nat Green of the lobbying firm The Montrose Group says Chicago-based CRG wants to build up to three logistics or manufacturing buildings on the vacant South Side site. While the school district would lose out on property taxes with the abatement, he says developing the site the site would bring other revenue.


“What we’ve projected for the site is 700 new jobs. Based on those new jobs there is potential for $4.8 million in income tax revenues that would come back to the school district through a revenue sharing agreement with the city of Columbus.”


In addition to hiring minority subcontractors, CRG is proposing a $252,000 donation to the district over five years in the form of internships, scholarships, career fairs and laptops.


District treasurer Stan Bahorek, who has worked with CRG on the proposal, says the development could mean a significant windfall for the district once the abatement expires.


“The property currently generates about $52,000 a year. After the projected development with no inflation added to that, it would be about 10 times that amount, pretty close to almost $600,000 a year. So that’s what the property taxes; if they do the project, what the taxes could be in the future.”


The board took no action on the proposal Tuesday night, but asked superintendent Talisa Dixon to provide them with additional information about how district students could benefit from training and educational programs.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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