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Economic Development

Annual Report


2013 Year in Review Jobs

= 50 jobs

607 new jobs 408 retained jobs TARGET INDUSTRIES

841 advanced

manufacturing jobs created/retained

98 information

technology jobs



= $2 million

$80.5 million

capital investment

$36.5 million new payroll

$18.6 million retained payroll

$6.2 million

capitalized in CORE Fund

Companies 6 companies attracted 3 companies retained

= 1 company


drop in unemployment

every $1 of local public incentive leveraged

$10.59 in new annual payroll


Land Bank demolitions of blighted homes

3 economic development awards

$ $1.2

million leveraged for brownfield restoration





most inexpensive natural gas provider in the state


lower cost electricity than Duke for Hamilton’s top energy users


renewable hydroelectric power in 2015

Introduction A significant amount of economic development activity occurred throughout Hamilton in 2013. Through nine projects announced or initiated in 2013, the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Department was involved in attracting 607 new jobs* and retaining 408 jobs.** The projects will result in $36.5 million in new payroll and $80.5 million in new capital investment in Hamilton. Furthermore, 6 of these projects were in the city’s target industries of advanced manufacturing and information technology, and are anticipated to result in 456 new advanced manufacturing positions and 98 new information technology positions. The unemployment rate in Hamilton for 2013 shows a promising trend, dropping 2.2% from January to December. Hamilton’s unemployment rate in January 2013 was at 9%, 2% higher than Ohio’s unemployment rate and 1.1% higher than the U.S. By December 2013, Hamilton’s unemployment rate was 6.8%, 0.4% lower than Ohio and only 0.1% higher than the U.S. Hamilton’s improving economy in 2013 is a positive trend that the Economic Development Department intends to contribute to in 2014.

2013 Unemployment Rate 10%


Hamilton Ohio U.S.


6.8% 6%










September October

November December

Economic development is no longer just the expressed mission of one department, but instead, the culmination of efforts made by all City departments, elected officials, community organizations, business community, and other stakeholders that strive to make Hamilton a great place to work, live, and play. Through the economic development efforts of these many stakeholders, Hamilton has been able to leverage a significant amount of private investment. Every $1 of local public incentive provided for these projects will leverage $10.59 in new annual payroll and $23.43 in new capital investment.

Economic Development Focus Areas

The economic growth seen in 2013 in Hamilton is a result of a focus on business attraction, retention, and expansion efforts with a specific strategy for industries that are well suited for the city’s assets, especially our high quality, competitively priced utilities, including our green hydroelectric power. However, Hamilton’s Economic Development Department also recognizes that the role of economic development has expanded beyond the traditional business attraction and expansion activities. Our team is also actively involved in efforts such as downtown revitalization, land reutilization, and enhancing quality of life for the community’s businesses and residents. Additionally, the Economic Development Department has embraced the value of communicating the positive economic development activity occurring in Hamilton and has been working on public relations efforts. The report is organized by the following sections:

• Business Attraction • Business Retention & Expansion • Target Industry: Advanced Manufacturing • Target Industry: Information Technology • Downtown Revitalization • Demolition, Rehabilitation, & Reutilization • Public Relations & Marketing *

Throughout this report, the phrase “new jobs” refers to the number of new jobs at the Hamilton facility, and includes jobs that were created in 2013 and job announcements that were made in 2013 that a company has promised to create as part of an incentive agreement. ** Throughout this report, the phrase “retained jobs” refers to the number of existing jobs at the Hamilton facility at the time of the expansion project. In many cases, these jobs were considered at-risk if the expansion project did not occur, but the exact number of at-risk positions is unknown.

“2013 marks a year the City of Hamilton and its economic development partners made significant progress implementing the City’s strategic initiatives. Hamilton’s elected officials, city staff, and economic development partners set out to accomplish capital projects and implement initiatives that not only benefit our existing business and residents, but will serve as catalysts for attracting new business and residents to our city. I believe the college basketball coaching legend John Wooden said it best: ‘It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.’ The City of Hamilton has become an example of how to execute a strategic plan designed with measurable outcomes. Hamilton is poised to experience even greater accomplishments in 2014. The renaissance of our community is alive and well.” - Jody Gunderson, Economic Development Director

Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Hamilton. Photo credit Jacob Stone.

Business Attraction $50 million iMFLUX capital investment



new companies in Hamilton

jobs created

Business attraction is a vital component of a healthy, diverse economy. The Economic Development Department was involved in six attraction projects in 2013. These six companies chose Hamilton as the location to grow, and announced or initiated projects that will create 392 new jobs. The new companies represent a wide variety of industries and specialties, including a plastics processing facility, a pharmacy call center, an information technology sales headquarters, a data center, a lubricants and coolants specialist, and an environmental clean-up company.




Capital Investment

iMFLUX Aims Koncert IT Midwest Environmental Services Coolants Plus Liferay

251 45 40 26 17 13

$17.5 million Not disclosed $8.9 million $1 million $1.5 million Not disclosed

$50 million Not disclosed Not disclosed $100,000 $100,000 Not disclosed



>$29 million

>$50 million

iMFLUX’s new Hamilton location at 3550 Symmes Rd.

“The Procter & Gamble Co. subsidiary iMFLUX Inc. plans to invest an estimated $50 million in machinery and equipment within three years at the vacant industrial building it is leasing in Hamilton to develop a breakthrough technology in plastics processing.” - “P&G subsidiary iMFLUX to spend millions on machinery: EXCLUSIVE,” Barrett J. Brunsman, Cincinnati Business Courier, November 11, 2013

Hamilton monument on Route 129

Business Retention & Expansion $15 million


Valeo capital investment


jobs retained

new jobs created

Business retention and expansion are foundational components of the City’s economic development efforts. Through retention visits, the Economic Development staff, City officials, and partner organizations build relationships with Hamilton’s employers, working with them on a wide variety of issues to strengthen their operations. Throughout the year, the Economic Development staff collaborates with other City departments, such as Community Development, Underground Utilities, and Electric, to assist companies on a variety of needs. The Economic Development Department is very responsive to Hamilton’s businesses whenever there is a request for assistance. As a result of the retention and expansion efforts, the Economic Development Department was able to assist three companies in their expansion processes. The City worked closely with Cincinnati USA Partnership and JobsOhio to leverage regional and state support for these projects. Through the assistance of City and State incentives, Hamilton was able to create 215 new jobs and retain 408 jobs.


New Jobs

Existing Jobs

New Payroll Created

Existing Payroll

New Capital Investment

Valeo ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Roadrunner

105 100 10

135 250 23

$4.3 million $2.9 million $300,000

$5.5 million $12.3 million $800,000

$15 million $11.2 million $4.1 million




$7.5 million

$18.6 million

$30.3 million

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America employees at work.

“The pro-business attitude of the city and the region is something that the company doesn’t always encounter. In some cities I’ve found the approach is almost the opposite. They try to find reasons why something can’t be done,” President and CEO Fabian Schmahl of ThyssenKrupp Bilstein said. - “Regional Development Guide: Manufacturers find incentives for investing in Hamilton,” Amy Howell Hirt, Cincinnati Business Courier, July 24, 2013

High Street during Operation Pumpkin 2013. Photo credit Jacob Stone.

Target Industry: Advanced Manufacturing $42.7 million advanced manufacturing payroll


advanced manufacturing jobs attracted and retained

$76.2 million advanced manufacturing capital investment

Hamilton has long been a center of industry. Manufacturing continues to remain very important to the economic base and advanced manufacturing is a growing component of this industry. Advanced manufacturers are drawn to Hamilton for a number of reasons. Our utilities, access to workforce, and proximity to major markets are important, but what truly sets Hamilton apart is our green and low-cost energy. Hamilton is consistently among the most affordable providers of utilities in the entire state of Ohio and, due to long-term investments in hydroelectric, will have 70% renewable energy city-wide in 2015. Today, Hamilton is able to certify that interested businesses are utilizing 100% green energy. A number of large manufacturers expanded in Hamilton during 2013. ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America, a manufacturer of automobile parts which is headquartered in Hamilton, began expanding its workforce by 100 additional employees, raising their number of employees to 350 in Hamilton and adding an additional payroll of $2.9 million. The new project will include $11.2 million in capital investment. ThyssenKrupp Bilstein is Hamilton’s largest manufacturing employer. Valeo, a global automotive parts supplier, also expanded in 2013. Valeo announced the addition of 105 new jobs to its Hamilton facility. Once the hiring is complete, they will employ 240 people. The project will result in $4.3 million in new payroll and $15 million in capital investment. 2013 was also a good year for business attraction. iMFLUX, a plastics processing subsidiary of P&G, announced it

Valeo employees at work. Photo credit Nick Daggy, Journal-News.

“Hamilton offers a talented and skilled workforce, a strong community-corporate partnership ... The city also provides Valeo with a strategic location in the middle of the transportation routes where it can service its vehicle makers in the growing southeast manufacturing region, which includes states from South Carolina to Texas,” Brad Warner, Valeo spokesperson, said.

- “Project expected to bring 105 jobs to Hamilton,” Journal-News, Eric Schwartzberg, May 20, 2013

would be locating in Hamilton with plans to relocate their 30 current employees and create 221 jobs within three years. The project will create $17.5 million in new payroll. They will be locating at 3550 Symmes Road, the former Hamilton Fixture building. They plan to invest $50 million in capital improvements as part of this project.

“Manufacturing is going to be an important sector for local economic development, and Hamilton is poised to be a key player. It’s a phenomenal place with a lot to offer, starting with its primary strengths in manufacturing,” Denyse Ferguson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Cincinnati USA Partnership said. - “Regional Development Guide: Manufacturers find incentives for investing in Hamilton,” Amy Howell Hirt, Cincinnati Business Courier, July 24, 2013

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein employees. Photo credit Journal-News.

Target Industry: Information Technology $100 million investment in Vora Technology Park since 2006


information technology jobs attracted and retained

Hamilton’s assets, which have for centuries made it a manufacturing hub, also make it attractive for the growing information technology industry. Recognizing these advantages, a number of information technology companies have located in Hamilton. Liferay, a fast-growing California-based technology company, opened its national sales office in the Robinson-Schwenn building in downtown Hamilton in 2013. They will employ up to 15 people.


new information technology companies

“This city is one of the few we’ve found that does its own power generation. So we had a nice availability of inexpensive, clean energy with the hydroelectric plant on the river … but the city of Hamilton, the way the grids work, is they’re interconnected with the rest of the nation’s electrical providers.” - Tim Campbell, President and General Manager of AIMS

AIMS, a new subsidiary of Ascendum Solutions IT, which offers high-availability hosting and cloud services to small, medium and enterprise clients, located at Vora Technology Park in 2013. They plan to hire for 50 cutting-edge information technology positions in 2014. Also at Vora Technology Park is Koncert IT, a knowledge processing center producing pharmacy support through a partnership with Kroger, which continued to grow in 2013, employing 40 people. In 2013, the Economic Development Department began strategically marketing to the information technology industry, highlighting the City’s competitively priced green energy and Vora Technology Park as major attractions. One effort is a marketing piece specifically targeting data centers that is shared with prospective companies. The Economic Development Department intends to expand these efforts in 2014 and include new data center opportunities at University Commerce Park as a new amenity.

Josh Asbury, Director of Corporate Sales for Liferay, in the new offices at the Robinson-Schwenn building. Photo credit Journal-News.

“The availability of space at the former Champion Paper headquarters made it the least cost, highest value property in the region. The market’s screaming for it. This region is starved for a player to come in and put roots in and I think we’ve got something here,” Tim Campbell, President and General Manager of Aims, said. - “Company’s new Hamilton-based subsidiary to create 45 jobs by 2014,” Journal-News, Eric Schwartzberg, August 7, 2013

Vora Technology Park. Photo credit Flying Farm.

Downtown Revitalization 1


international award concert-goers at for public-private RiversEdge’s first partnership Summer Concert Series

$6.2 million

capitalized in the CORE Fund

$2+ million

renovation of Journal-News building


ODW LTS’ national ranking of fastest growing companies

Downtown Hamilton gained new energy and made progress on a number of projects in 2013. As part of the City’s Live, Work, Play strategy, the Economic Development Department supported projects that created jobs, places to live, and places to play in the urban core.


In 2013, the Mercantile Lofts became fully occupied. The City was a major driver of this project and is pleased that less than a year after the building opened, the 29 apartments are fully occupied and all three High Street retail spaces are occupied. The façade of Artspace Hamilton, downtown’s next residential redevelopment, was taken down in 2013 and construction will begin in 2014.


The Robinson-Schwenn building underwent upgrades and façade improvements in 2013 and welcomed a number of new tenants, including Liferay’s national sales office, the Lane Library’s Community Technology Center, and True West Coffee Downtown. In 2013, ODW Logistics and Transportation Services (LTS), which is headquartered in downtown Hamilton, was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the country. ODW LTS was ranked #291.


Downtown Hamilton got some exciting new amenities in 2013. In January 2013, the $2.5 million renovation of the former Journal-News newspaper building was completed, creating a new cultural hub of activity downtown, home to Butler Tech School of the Arts, the Miami Valley Ballet Theater, and the Hamilton City Schools ABLE program. RiversEdge Amphitheater and Overlook was completed in 2013, and in the inaugural Summer Concert Series at the venue, over 5,000 people enjoyed concerts. A large part of the Economic Development Department’s Live, Work, Play strategy was led through the Program Director for Volunteers, Karen Wittmer. In 2013, she was instrumental in organizing hundreds of volunteers for activities throughout the city and held Hamilton’s first-ever Volunteer Recognition Dinner. She was involved in almost 20 community groups and event committees and coordinated programming at RiversEdge. Karen Wittmer was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer Manager of the Year by the Cincinnati Association of Volunteer Administrators.

Dance class in the remodeled Journal-News building. Photo credit Mike Dingeldein.

The Economic Development Department recognizes the importance of public private partnerships to make development projects happen. In 2013, the City received the highest honor from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for its public private partnership with Coon Restoration. The City and Coon Restoration received the Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award in the Public-Private Partnership category for medium-sized cities for three large-scale projects: the $8.6 million renovation of the Historic Mercantile Lofts, the $2.5 million renovation of the former Journal-News building, and the $1.5 million renovation of the Robinson-Schwenn building. To further economic activity and facilitate private investment in the urban core, the City was a founding partner of the Consortium for Ongoing Reinvestment Efforts (CORE) Fund, a gap financing entity for projects in the urban core that launched in December 2012. In 2013, the CORE Fund made significant progress capitalizing the fund. At the end of the year, the CORE Fund was capitalized at $6.2 million and is currently looking for its first project. The CORE Fund also acquired three key downtown properties in 2013 and has been working on redevelopment efforts for these buildings.

“I was really pushing for this location because I wanted us to have a very prominent place downtown. It was important for us, as Liferay, but also important to help the city be able to market us a little bit better, as there are really good things happening here in Hamilton,” said Josh Asbury, Director of Corporate Sales for Liferay. - “Technology company’s Hamilton office opens Thursday,” Journal-News, Eric Schwartzberg, May 27, 2013

Rendering of possible improvements on the former Elder Beerman Building, which was purchased by the CORE Fund in 2013.

Demolition, Rehabilitation, & Reutilization 75

land bank properties demolished


leveraged for demolitions from the State of Ohio



Building Doctor participants

$5 million leveraged for the brownfield program


ongoing brownfield projects

An important component of the Economic Development Department’s expanded role is serving in the leadership position in the City’s efforts to demolish blighted properties, encourage rehabilitation of vacant properties, and to prepare currently unusable sites for future development. The Economic Development Department does this through two programs, the Land Bank Program and the Brownfield Program, and through supporting rehabilitation efforts throughout the city.

Land Bank

Through the “Moving Ohio Forward” grant program, the Attorney General allocated a total of $75 million to all 88 counties in Ohio to facilitate the reclamation, rehabilitation, and reutilization of vacant, abandoned, tax-foreclosed, or other real property. 2013 was the first full year of the Land Bank program in Hamilton, and the City of Hamilton made significant progress utilizing the Lank Bank program for property acquisition and demolition. 75 blighted properties were demolished, leveraging $443,747 from the State for the program.


For a number of years, the City of Hamilton has been working collaboratively with the State of Ohio to clean up and reuse underutilized properties in the City through the Clean Ohio Brownfield Revitalization program. In 2013, the Economic Development Department leveraged $1.2 million in brownfield funding from the State and from private sources on four different brownfield sites in Hamilton with the goal of redeveloping them into economically productive sites.


The Economic Development Department supports redevelopment of Hamilton’s building stock, especially in Hamilton’s historic neighborhoods. One way that the Economic Development Department supported rehabilitation in 2013 was the Building Doctor Clinic. In May, consultants or “Building Doctors” from the Ohio Historical Society visited Hamilton to share their expertise, hosting a seminar to educate residents on how to properly maintain older buildings without sacrificing historic integrity. The following day, the Building Doctor conducted free site visits for ten historic buildings throughout the City.

1275 Dayton Lane, a Land Bank property, was demolished.

Since 2004, the brownfield program has remediated and redeveloped or is in the process of remediating 92 acres of land. Through the brownfield program, 7 new uses have been found for old sites, including 3 new industrial sites, 2 new retail sites, 1 alternative energy generation site, and 1 riverfront amphitheater and overlook.

RiversEdge Amphitheater and Overlook, which opened in 2013, was a brownfield redevelopment of the former Mercy Hospital site. Photo credit Brian Vogel.

Public Relations & Marketing 3

economic development awards


economic development media stories



projects highlighted in Initiative Update

recipients of quarterly e-newsletter


economic development print advertisements

The Economic Development Department made public relations a priority in 2013. 2013 was the first full year of the quarterly Economic Development e-newsletter which reaches over 2,000 people. It brings attention to the positive economic development news going on in Hamilton and has a viewership throughout the region. Throughout the year, the Economic Development Department purchased three print advertisements – two which focused on redevelopment efforts in the urban core and one which focused on Hamilton’s low-cost, green utilities. The urban core advertisements received positive feedback from Greater Cincinnati’s development community. The number of inquiries the CORE Fund received on projects in Hamilton’s urban core noticeably increased after the advertisements. The Economic Development Department plans to increase its utilities marketing to targeted industries in 2014. The largest-scale public relations effort of the Economic Development Department is the Initiative Update brochure. The Department spearheaded the brochure, which highlights twenty projects going on in Hamilton. It was distributed to over 5,000 people via print copies and via e-mail. The City received two awards for the Initiative Update in 2013. Hamilton received the Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council for the Initiative Update in the Special Purpose Brochure category for medium-sized cities. The City also received the Excellence in Economic Development Marketing award from the Ohio Economic Development Association for the Initiative Update in the medium-sized city category.

In Hamilton,

every customer is an owner in their utility company, investing in a bright future powered by passion, commitment, and vision. These owners are the reason Hamilton Utilities are driven toward developing cleaner energy solutions, producing the best tasting water, and always ensuring low rates and reliable service. This is because we are not working for just any utility owners, we are working for the most valuable people in our lives:    

Our families Our friends Our neighbors Our community

HamiltonUtilities powered by you

Tim Hacker, Hamilton resident & electric distribution

The utility advertisement features Tim Hacker, long-time Hamilton resident and employee of Hamilton Utilities. To the right: Urban core redevelopment  superintendent for the City of Hamilton Electric Department advertisement featured in the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Book of Lists.


8 retail spaces Meet the City that Moves as Fast as You Do

MEET HAMILTON current project

completed project

Artspace Hamilton


Artspace is a $10.2 million project that will create 42 artist live/work units and 3,000 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space for art groups and art-related businesses. Construction began in 2013 and will be completed in 2014.

RiversEdge is the new downtown riverfront amphitheater and overlook which opened in 2013. RiversEdge reconnects Hamilton to the Great Miami River and will host events throughout the year, such as the popular Summer Concert Series.

completed project Mercantile Lofts

future project

former Elder Beerman



The former department store is the CORE Fund’s first purchase of property for future development with an eye toward a complex of office, retail, and living space. The building is four-stories, 167,000 sq. ft. and was built in 1968.

future project

Market St.

Great Miam i River


In 2012, the new Mercantile Lofts opened downtown. The $8.6 million renovation of buildings built circa 1875 resulted in 29 market rate apartments and 3 street level retail spaces, all which are 100% occupied.

S. Third St.

S. Second St.

Dayton St.

former Hungry Bunny 129



Court St.

completed project


completed project Journal-News

The CORE Fund recently acquired the former Hungry Bunny restaurant, a 3-story mixed-use 19th century building. The CORE Fund will be seeking bids to redevelop the property.

future project former Fifth Third

The renovation of the Robinson-Schwenn building, the 147 year old former orchestra hall, includes 3 floors of office space and 3 retail spaces. It is the new home of Liferay’s national sales office and the new Lane Library Community Technology Center.

The CORE Fund also recently acquired the former Fifth Third property, a 5-story office building. The CORE Fund will be seeking bids to redevelop the property as an office/mixed-use building.

In early 2013, the $2.5 million renovation of the former Journal-News building was completed, transforming the building into a downtown cultural hub, home to Butler Tech School of the Arts and the Miami Valley Ballet Theatre.

(513) 607-8732 (513) 785-7070

Economic Development Team

Jody Gunderson Stacey Dietrich-Dudas Peggy Bange Liz Hayden Chris Lawson Antony Seppi Karen Bowling Karen Wittmer Aaron Hufford Jacob Stone

Economic Development Director Economic Development Specialist Business Development Specialist Business Development Specialist Biztech Executive Director Biztech Operations Director Administrative Secretary Program Coordinator for Volunteers Earl Brush Fellow Richard J. Fleming Fellow

Contact Us 513-785-7070



2013 Annual Report  
2013 Annual Report