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Economic Development Strategies and Incentives

Economic expansion is no longer a question of “build it and they will come.”

Today, the issues are complex, the constituencies varied and capital investment can be extreme. Economic incentives have a substantial and quantifiable impact on a company’s capital expansion project or its operating costs. Ice Miller brings a broad economic development perspective and bottom-line focus, regardless of project location.  Our clients range from large global banks and corporations to small privately held start-up companies.

Our services include:

  • Corporate site selection
  • Incentive negotiations & incentive contract structuring, including grants, tax credits and loans
  • Incentive compliance reporting & compliance system development
  • Brownfield redevelopment & environmental remediation
  • Bond & municipal finance
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Real estate and land use
  • Government relations, lobbying and public policy consultation
  • Infrastructure development, including broadband, networking and utility development

Ice Miller’s economic development team has worked on a wide range of site selection and expansion projects from the relatively simple tax abatement to complicated, multi-state negotiations.  We have negotiated incentive packages from coast to coast:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin


Representative Experience

  • Negotiated over $100 million in tax credits for corporate clients over a 2-year period
  • Authored the Economic Development Strategy for the Columbus Region and additional strategies at the Regional, County and Municipal Levels. Served as general counsel for the Indiana Stadium & Convention Building Authority's Indianapolis Colts new stadium development project
  • Streamlined and performed economic incentives compliance reporting for one of Ohio’s largest employers
SKJODT-BARRETT FOODS – Ice Miller represented the Canadian specialty food manufacturer in its $29 million project to locate its US Headquarters in the City of Lebanon, Indiana. The project included construction and renovation of a 200,000 square foot facility the creation of 300 new jobs. We secured over $4 million in incentives and financing through an Indiana EDGE Credit, a Skills Enhancement Fund training grant, a property tax abatement and tax increment financing to pay for the infrastructure and utility costs associated with the plant.  
VERA BRADLEY - Ice Miller represented the company in its headquarters expansion project which included bringing Vera’s US team into a single, state-of-the-art campus to drive innovation, reduce costs, and enhance synergy between its design, warehousing and manufacturing operations. We secured $3.9 million in a combination of Real & Personal Property Abatements, Indiana EDGE Credits and WorkOne Services through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance. In addition, Ice Miller helped structure the deal around existing State & Local incentives and credits the company already had on the books from its previous expansions.
WFYI - Ice Miller was contacted by the company to explore the possibility of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing to expand its facilities at 14th and Meridian St., which were quickly being outgrown. The NMTC program generates a federal income tax incentive for providing financing to qualifying businesses in certain low-income community areas. Ice Miller had been involved in the NMTC program since its inception and had successfully closed numerous NMTC financings. After an initial meeting to discuss the NMTC program and its availability for this project, WFYI put Ice Miller to work.  
In the midst of this expansion project, a much larger facility became available just north of their building at 16th and Meridian. WFYI expanded its vision for the entire project and increased its overall campaign goal from the original $15.3 million to $20.2 million. The NMTC financing became a key component of the entire effort. By utilizing NMTC financing WFYI secured a significantly lower effective borrowing rate than would have otherwise been available through commercial sources. This approach made it possible for WFYI to purchase and renovate the larger building at a significant overall savings. In addition, by maximizing the value of the NMTC financing, WFYI will be left with a relatively small outstanding debt (compared to the building's value) after the 7-year NMTC loan matures.
EXEL INC. – Provided national economic development consulting for one of the largest logistics providers in the country, including negotiating site selection projects and economic incentives, contracting and reporting in over 20 different States.
INTELLIGRATED INC. – The company’s planned expansion project included an effort to integrate its engineering disciplines and grow both its research & development and headquarters operations. The project would cost roughly $10.5 million and result in the creation of at least 200 new, high-paying jobs. Intelligrated turned toward IM to assist in achieving its growth strategies by assisting with a variety of considerations and challenges. The deal needed to be secured by January 1, 2012. Working on a fast timeline IM negotiated with both State & Local agencies to adequately structure a deal to assist with Intelligrated’s growth, within Ohio, through a series of performance-based incentives, financing, and grants including:
Negotiated State Incentives
  • $4.1 million additional value built-in to the company’s existing jobs tax credit.
  • $6 million in bond-financing to cover eligible fixed-asset costs
  • $2 million in low-interest loan financing to cover eligible fixed-asset costs
  • $300,000 grant to cover machinery & equipment costs
 Negotiated Local Incentives
  • $1.37 million in job-training incentives
  • $813,000 in a Community Reinvestment Area property tax abatement
  • $800,000 in Tax Increment Financing
  • $300,000 Forgivable Loan
 The solution, a $14.6 million economic incentives package, allowed Intelligrated to select its ideal project location and adequately assist its company growth plans.  IM didn’t stop with the negotiation of the offer letter. By combining the consulting with the firm’s legal services, we were able to provide true end-to-end services. IM’s attorneys served as borrower’s counsel for Intelligrated through a complex bond and loan transaction. This integrated service allowed Intelligrated to know that the legal team understood the underlying business transaction behind the legal documents.   
JPMORGAN CHASE BANK - As an office operation, economic incentives account for roughly 10% of JPMorgan's (Chase) operating costs. Just this past May, IM closed an economic incentive deal with Chase for its central Ohio capital investment project. Chase had a planned capital investment of $20 million for the creation of 500 full-time jobs. Not only did IM obtain a State tax credit for the project, it used its expertise to structure the deal in a manner to which the tax credit value grows with Chase’s payroll growth, making the deal worth millions of dollars annually. In addition, because all incentives require statutory research, guidelines analysis, compliance reporting and contract work, IM was able to assist the company across the service-spectrum by researching the statute, rules and guidelines to structure the right deal and negotiating & drafting the contracts. IM currently handles Chase’s central Ohio compliance reporting on its existing incentives as well.
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