The CEO Resource - Spring 2020
On the Other Side of COVID-19
Most communities, businesses, and families are getting crushed by COVID-19. Beyond the new federal programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and related CARES support, economic development organizations are working 24/7 to support their Governors with a litany of essential support services. Beyond those immediate agendas, these economic development organizations have a particularly special opportunity to make a meaningful impact in our country’s turnaround journey by focusing much more creative and aggressive efforts in leading job growth deal flow at the state and local levels. Indeed we are going to see economic development groups using their incentives toolkit to grow their markets back. Business expansion support, new facility support, and for some, job retention support, will be on the front line of economic development for the next several years like never before.
Jobs Ohio is a perfect example of an organization well positioned to take the lead role in this race to grow Ohio back to one of the top deal states in the United States, having been ranked number 1 in deals per capita by Site Selection magazine for 2019. Jobs Ohio is already on the street with loans for small business retention as well as accelerating grant payment schedules for existing projects. In addition, they have launched the Ohio Site Incentive Program along with their new innovation, talent growth strategies to invest over $250 million over the next 5 years to grow innovation, talent, and competitive sites. What was to be a cutting edge competitive strategy, will now be the foundation to return Ohio to economic soundness. Emphasizing the work ahead, Columbus and Cincinnati were just highlighted by the Brookings Institution as possibly the top 2 most challenged city governments in the country because of the high percentage of their operating budgets relying on income tax.
This Jobs Ohio aggressiveness parrots Governor DeWine’s approach as one of the leading states in managing Ohio’s COVID-19 pandemic. Jobs Ohio is indeed ready to lead the way to reopen Ohio for business. It’s structure, talented team, and deep financial strength gives Ohio and its cities an outstanding competitive advantage in the journey back.
Urban Redevelopment Company Provides Creative Leadership for Its Business Constituents
Undoubtedly, one of the best known urban redevelopment companies in the country is 3CDC in Cincinnati. Its list of accomplishments as an urban redeveloper with the Over the Rhine neighborhood in the north end of downtown Cincinnati, as well as being a major office and residential developer in the central business district has been a model for other communities across the country. Its CEO, Steve Leeper, its big company CEO board, and its financial strength has been an incredibly powerful formula for the success of this private sector initiative. In the face of dealing with COVID-19, it has done something that few landlords are able to do in the real estate management business. They are suspending rent payments for at least a 90-day window. This is of course tremendous leadership which many are not able to emulate. But it is a mainstream issue since almost every tenant nationwide is seeking some sort of rent relief. Certainly, great kudos to 3CDC.
3CDC has come up with another idea which cities across the country should investigate and consider. 3CDC has a major interest in supporting downtown restaurants. A number of those tenants are tenants in 3CDC owned real estate. Under this creative program, if a person purchases a gift certificate from a downtown restaurant and sends the receipts to 3CDC, for example via cell phone, 3CDC will issue a second gift certificate in the same amount up to $100 back to the purchaser for another downtown restaurant. What a great idea. Promises to be a big success. Hopefully businesses, families, and individuals will seize this opportunity to support the downtown restaurant community with this program. The support for restaurants is desperately needed. Ideally, this initiative will be embraced and copied by other cities quickly.
Atlanta Wins Big Macy’s Tech Center
In the wake of many cities facing permanent retail closings of Macy’s stores and the Company consolidating its corporate headquarters in New York City, Atlanta picked up a significant victory in the competition for a new Macy’s Tech Center. Following a multi-market competitive effort among several cities and a short list of Atlanta and Dallas, Macy’s is planning a new technology campus in midtown Atlanta encompassing 630 new high-paying tech jobs. Combining this with its current nearby technology center in Johns Creek, Atlanta would become the second largest employment city for Macy’s outside of New York. The Georgia Economic Development Team was outstanding during the site selection competition for Atlanta. KMK Consulting was honored to represent Macy’s in this effort.
FIS Financial Solutions Makes Major Commitments to Jacksonville and Cincinnati Following Acquisition of Worldpay
Mergers & Acquisitions often result in big wins or big losses for cities. Yet the purchase of Worldpay by FIS last year for $43 Billion produced a win win in this case for both Jacksonville and Cincinnati. FIS recently signed its agreement with JobsOhio to establish a Strategic Technology and Innovation Campus in the Cincinnati suburb or Symmes Township securing one of the largest company payrolls in the Cincinnati market. The negotiation process with JobsOhio and REDI Cincinnati to secure this major commitment was ongoing at the same time FIS was finalizing and announcing a new world headquarters in downtown Jacksonville under an agreement with Enterprise Florida and the City of Jacksonville for a new 300,000 square foot office building, a $150 Million investment and 500 additional new jobs for that city.
Indeed, huge victories for both Jacksonville and Cincinnati and big wins for both economic development groups, producing major job and payroll impacts for both these markets. While the Jacksonville commitment represents a major expansion of this existing Fortune 500 headquarters in Jacksonville, the Cincinnati campus initiative faced competition from Florida, Arkansas and Wisconsin. Congratulations to both the state and local economic development teams, but also to the senior leadership at FIS for concurrently making major commitments to both Jacksonville and Cincinnati. KMK Consulting was honored to represent FIS with respect to its creation of this Strategic Technology and Innovation Campus.
Cincinnati Market Secures Major Health Care HQ Campus
Six years ago, Ensemble Health Partners LLC launched with two employees on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, Ensemble, with more than 5,000 teammates, has become one of Cincinnati’s largest private companies having just opened a new headquarters campus in the suburban City of Blue Ash which will accommodate a staff of 2,500 with its expected buildout by the end of next year.
Ensemble Health Partners, a leader in end to end revenue cycle support services, majority owned by Golden Gate Capital in San Francisco has enjoyed tremendous national growth currently serving 365 hospitals across the country and Ireland.
This $105 million campus in Blue Ash was made possible in part by the outstanding support of Jobs Ohio, its partner REDI Cincinnati along with the City of Blue Ash winning a competitive site selection process involving communities in several other states. KMK Consulting was honored to represent Ensemble in this effort.
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James J. McGraw, Jr.
President, Chief Executive Officer
Thomas G. Seward, Jr.
Director, Corporate Location Strategy