Thanks mostly to the Image Campaign, designed to market downtown as a good place to work, live and visit, DCI’s revenues grew more than $600,000 to $4.25 million. DCI is funded through contributions from area companies and foundations, and receives money from a tax assessment on downtown properties. The group was upbeat about events and developments downtown in 2000, including the display of 425 fiberglass pigs in the Big Pig Gig.
The event had an estimated $163 million impact on the city’s economy. DCI said it worked to convince Arthur Andersen, Computer Services Corp., Batsakes Hat Shop and Dodd’s Jewelers to remain downtown. The real estate valuation company offers valuation specialization across all property types including residential, commercial, industrial etc. One that got away was Nordstrom, which signed a letter of intent to build a department store at Fifth and Race but later decided not to build new stores. The group will keep pushing plans to build more housing downtown to fill a pent-up demand.
The going rate for rent has prevented more developers from making the investment, but DCI will keep making the case that if housing is built, renters will follow. Greiwe said the infrastructure is in place for ”a real quality urban lifestyle,” with a stabilized retail scene, the coming of the Contemporary Arts Center, parks along the riverfront and a range of restaurants.
The group will also continue pushing for expanded bus lines and a light-rail system, which will make downtown more appealing for residents who want to drive less. South-Western publishing and its parent company, Thomson Learning, will move their headquarters from Cincinnati to a new office park in Deerfield Township. Thomson Learning signed a 10-year lease with Duke-Weeks Realty Corp. on 100,000 square feet of office space at Deerfield Crossing.
The building may be completed in June. South-Western, a print and Internet publisher of higher education materials, conducted a nationwide search that began last year to replace its facility at 5101 Madison Road in Oakley. The company told the state in December the move would result in the creation of 140 jobs within three years. More than 350 jobs will move from Cincinnati to Deerfield Township. The company will receive a 10-year, 65 percent state tax credit for committing to stay in the facility for at least 20 years, according to the state.
The state said new jobs planned at the site would have an average hourly wage of $23.77 plus $6.42 in benefits. Deerfield Township and Warren County have approved an enterprise zone tax exemption of 50 percent for five years on personal property taxes to support the project.