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Application Window Opening for New Ohio Demolition & Revitalization Grant Program

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On July 4, 2023, Governor Mike DeWine signed Amended Substitute House Bill 33 (“Budget Bill”), which amended Ohio Revised Code §122.6512 and created the “building demolition and site revitalization program” (“Demo Program”) to be overseen by the Ohio Department of Development (“Development”). The Budget Bill also provided funding for grants to be issued from the Demo Program (“Revitalization Grants”) with some funds set aside on a county-by-county and the remaining funds available on a first-come, first-served basis.

As described below, each county established an entity as a lead applicant. Development contracts with the lead applicant (i.e., the county) to obtain the grant funds. The lead entity (essentially the county) enters into a sub-recipient agreement with known end users of a Revitalization Grant. The program provides a great opportunity for businesses considering the revitalization and renovation of vacant, abandoned, or blight properties.

The Demo Program

  • Applications open October 31, 2023 and close April 1, 2024.
  • Development has the ability to fund $150,000,000 for the Demo Program, with $500,000 set-aside per county and the remaining funds available on a first-come, first served basis. After one calendar year (July 4, 2024), any remaining set aside county funds will become available for grants throughout the state. Matching funds are required for projects in excess of the county funds that were set-aside.
  • After the initial $500,000 per county (which does not require cost-share/matching funds), the grants can be for up to 75% of a project’s total cost for demolition of blighted, vacant or abandoned commercial and residential buildings on sites that are not Brownfields.
  • Development has already identified the eligible lead applicants under the amended statute. The lead applicant must have an agreement with each sub-recipient and include the agreement in the application.
  • Eligible sub-recipients are broadly defined and can include other local governments, nonprofit organizations, community development corporations, regional planning commissions, community action agencies, businesses, etc.
  • Program Guidelines Updates from Development were released on October 17, 2023 and provide:
    • Budget Justification requirements; ineligible cost expanded; Administrative costs explained and Property information required with application.
    • Blighted, vacant or abandoned commercial and residential buildings are eligible.
    • Eligible commercial properties including buildings that were zoned and/or used for retail, office, manufacturing, industrial, etc. or other than non-residential or mixed-use purposes.
    • Brownfields are not eligible. “Brownfields” are defined as abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial, commercial or institutional property where expansion is complicated by known potential releases of hazardous substances. Development expects to release Brownfield program guidelines shortly.
    • Structures used for agricultural purposes are not eligible.
    • Eligible cost and demolition must be completed by May 1, 2025, with grant-eligible work beginning no earlier than July 4, 2023. Cost-share/matching funds may be retroactive to July 4, 2021.

About ZHF’s Credit and Incentive Practice

While ZHF has a long history of working with clients on credits and incentive projects, we were excited to add Rita Williams earlier this year. Rita Williams serves as Director of Business and Economic Development at ZHF and assists our clients with identifying, negotiating and implementing business planning opportunities and economic development incentives. With over twenty years of experience in the field, both as an outside consultant and as an internal executive leader of a Fortune 20 company’s economic development department, Rita has garnered national experience across various industries, including retail, manufacturing, supply chain, technology and utilities.

For additional information. Please contact Rita Williams, Debora McGraw, Steve Hall, or any of our professionals.

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