investment

Heidelberg receives historic tax credits for major restoration project

FranceHall rendering

Architect’s rendering of the France Hall project.

University has innovative plans for women’s residence hall

TIFFIN – Heidelberg University’s planned restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall received a major boost today when the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded the university nearly $1.5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the $7.5 million project (exclusive of planned costs). In July 2017, Heidelberg received $1.2 million in federal historic tax credits, issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for the France Hall project, which were contingent on receiving state tax credits.

The announcement of historic tax credits for Heidelberg is great news locally. It’s just the second time that building restoration tax credits have come to Tiffin. Heidelberg administrators are appreciative of the important role community leaders played in the application process.

“We are so grateful for the outstanding support of our community partners, which was essential in our university securing these state historic tax credits,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington, who noted the backing of Mayor Aaron Montz, County Commissioner Mike Kerschner, State Rep. Bill Reineke and Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. President and CEO David Zak. “Heidelberg University is extremely proud to be part of this collaborative effort with all of us working together to make our universities, our town, our county and ultimately, our entire community better for everyone.”

Additionally, Huntington expressed his thanks to Melissa Furchill, owner/president of MCM Co. Inc. in Cleveland, a construction management firm who lent her expertise to the application process.

Heidelberg was among 31 regional projects that will receive historic tax credits in the most recent round of funding. In all, the Ohio Development Services Agency approved $30.2 million in credits for 13 communities, including about $1.71 million for two northwest Ohio projects, both in Tiffin. In addition to Heidelberg’s France Hall project, Monument Properties is to receive a tax credit of nearly $250,000 to renovate three residential buildings in the Fort Ball-Railroad Area Historic District.

When the restoration/renovation project is complete, France Hall will be integral to engaging women with new, innovative living, learning and leadership opportunities, while supporting Heidelberg’s academic programs. The new France Hall will provide residential space for approximately 70 women students and private apartments for two female faculty members. Other features include office space for The Patricia Adams Lecture Series and other campus women’s leadership initiatives, space for all five of Heidelberg’s women’s Greek organizations, community outreach space, and renovations to the building’s Great Hall to create more space for activities and events. It is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision.

To date, private donors have committed more than $3.1 million toward the project.

“France Hall, in its current configuration and condition, no longer meets the needs of our contemporary women students,” Huntington said. “Yet, we recognize the importance of preserving its heritage. The time has come to bring France Hall into the 21st century and transform it into a compelling, exciting and attractive facility for the campus and the community.”

The project has tremendous potential, Huntington added, because of unique opportunities to bring together the university community with the broader Tiffin community.

“This project will put a new and different face on what residential living can look like at Heidelberg,” he said. “It will integrate academic and co-curricular programs, personal and professional domains, and campus and community circles into a rich and powerful total undergraduate experience for our women students, as well as for male students when special events are hosted in France. We look forward to starting this construction work soon!”

France Hall was constructed in 1925 and is named in recognition of Luella Blackwell France, a benefactor of the university. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It has never undergone a major renovation in its 92-year history.

According to SIEDC, the Tunison Flats housing project received $99,031 in December 2016, designated to rehabilitate and preserve the 1880s-era apartment complex on Frost Parkway.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Local investors announce OCECO acquisition and expansion

20170807_113105

President & CEO Mike Ruhe and Manufacturing & Marketing Manager Keith Ricker

Total investment to exceed $2.5 million

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 10, 2017 – Investors announced this week the purchase of OCECO Inc., located in the Airport Industrial Park in Tiffin, as well as plans to expand the business. The new owners have purchased the business, and are in the process to purchase the real estate, as well as invest in new equipment. They also plan on adding six new employees to the existing workforce.

President and CEO Mike Ruhe sees room for growth in the business: “We have identified opportunities to expand sales, and we are very impressed with the employees; they know we need to grow and they are ready.”

Founded in 1921, OCECO is a fabricator of high quality safety equipment for flammable liquid storage and wastewater gas disposal systems. They supply airports and energy companies like Marathon and Exxon Mobile and also do a large amount of business with municipalities, food production, and factory farms. Key products include fittings, flame arrestors and gas purification systems. They operate out of a 38,000 square foot facility in the Airport Industrial Park and have nine employees.

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner is pleased to see the company grow: “OCECO has been a presence in the community for many years. It’s great to see new investment breathing new life into an existing company.”

The purchase of OCECO has been in development for more than a year, and the new owners are working with several banks, SIEDC, and other partners to obtain funding and receive assistance with export promotion and energy efficiency incentives. Previous owner Dick Borer, who purchased the company from Pettibone, worked diligently in finding new leadership to keep the business in Tiffin, and will be assisting with the transition.

About OCECO
OCECO – originally an abbreviation of Oil Conservation Engineering Company – was started in Cleveland, Ohio in 1921, and was the first supplier of a complete line of venting and tank fitting equipment.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape

Bilger's Ribbon CuttingMeet Brian Bilger, owner of Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape, located at 1761 N. SR 53 in Tiffin. Brian started his landscaping business out of his parents’ garage in 1999 and 17 years later the business is still going strong and growing.

He began mowing lawns in his neighborhood when he was nine, and continued throughout high school. He started the business in his parents’ garage and attended classes in landscape contracting and horticulture science at Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College during the off-season.

Bilger soon outgrew the garage, moved to a larger space, and finally rented a space on SR 53 North of Tiffin. Last year, they built and moved into their own building at  1761 N. SR 53 (a $300,000 investment), giving them more room for storage, including their new storage building and swing set installation services. The company currently employs 18-20 individuals, and Brian says they are comfortable at that number. “We are working on our internal system and setting a standard of quality,” he said.

Brian is also actively involved in the Tiffin community. Several years ago his design skills landed him on a sub-committee of Tiffin Tomorrow, a group dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Tiffin. In 2014, it was absorbed by SIEDC, with the original group serving as the downtown leadership board, and Brian is still a key member of the board. He is also a member of the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group, the group responsible for the purchase and revitalization of the Laird Arcade in downtown Tiffin.

Additionally, Brian is a part of the Seneca County Home Builders Association, a group of building professionals who hold educational and networking events for their industry partners as well as assist community organizations. He also takes part in their yearly Home Expo event.

“Tiffin is home,” he said. “I love everything about it. I feel fortunate to be here, and everyone has been really great. I want to give back.”

Bilger’s is able to help with all of your landscape needs including digital landscape design, installation, maintenance, lighting, water features, paver patios/retaining walls, drip irrigation, lawn treatment programs, swing sets/storage sheds and retail landscape materials. Check out their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or visit their website.

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Feasel’s invests quarter million in expansion

Feasel's 4Feasel’s Frame and Collision is adding new space and equipment to their auto-body shop on State Route 224 just West of Tiffin.

Jeff Feasel said the business needed new space, and they wanted the ability to offer more to their customers. “Over the last five years, each year has been better than the last,” he said.

20170421_134130The new, 3,600 square foot building will create seven additional bays for radiator repair and washing, house a new alignment rack, and provide additional work space. They will also use the space for spray-on truck bed liners, a service that no other Tiffin shop currently offers. The total investment in construction and equipment is roughly $250,000.

This new addition is the latest in a series of improvements to the business. Over the past four years they have installed a new, environmentally friendly paint booth, renovated their office, and added welding and aluminum repair to their services.

“I am excited to keep serving this wonderful community,” Feasel said.

The expansion is expected to be completed this July.

Feasel’s Frame and Collision is a family-run business started by Jeff’s parents, Rick and Jan, in 1984. To learn more about the business, click here.

Seneca County in Top 10 for economic development in US

site-selection-magazine-march-2017Earns second such ranking in four years

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 2, 2017 – The Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) announced today that Seneca County has again placed in the top ten nationally on Site Selection Magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects – placing tenth out of the 576 micropolitans in the US for the honor. Site Selection has been annually ranking states and cities since 1978.

This is the sixth year in a row that the Tiffin micropolitan area has ranked in the top 100 nationally and the fifth year for ranking in the top ten percent. Qualifying projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs, or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area. Six Seneca County projects qualified for Site Selection, including expansions at Arnold Machine, Church and Dwight, Owens Corning, Tiffin Metal Products, Poet Energy, and Mennel Milling.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz cited partnership as a driver of economic development for the county. “Having the city, county and economic development organizations in sync plays a key role in keeping us at the top of development, expansion, investment and employment,” he said. Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler agreed, “We are pleased with the economic development progress we see going on in Fostoria and in Seneca County. This is a great honor.” Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner agreed: “Throughout the county we are seeing record growth in all sectors. The climate for all business and overall quality of life improves with each addition.”

This year, Ohio ranked as the number two state for development projects and the entire Northwest Ohio region posted strong numbers, with Findlay taking the number one micropolitan slot, Defiance tying with Seneca County for tenth, and Toledo ranking seventh in its division. “Northwest Ohio has built incredible momentum over the past few years,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo. “National recognition is a testament to the fact that the region is an excellent area to locate or expand a business and to the hard work of our partners in economic development as well as public officials.”

A press release from Site Selection magazine and a complete list of the top 100 micro- and metropolitans is can be found here and more information can be found at siteselection.com.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Tiffin Mall purchased by Toledo development company

Investors working on future plans

tiffin mall signTIFFIN, OHIO – September 3, 2016 – Key Hotel and Property Management (KHPM), a Toledo-based real estate development and management company, announced today that it is moving forward with purchasing the Tiffin Mall for $2.2 million from Tiffin Mall Realty, which itself is owned by the Kohan Retail Investment Group out of New York. The firm is currently developing an investment and development strategy for the property, which it hopes to unveil in the coming months.

KHPM CEO Steve Roumaya believes that Tiffin is a community on the move and is ready for additional growth. “For the last couple of years, the retail market has been hot in Tiffin, and we see that there is significant demand for additional shopping options,” he said. “We look forward to working with all existing mall tenants as well as other area businesses to help them succeed, and we appreciate all the support we are receiving from the City of Tiffin and SIEDC.”

Roumaya established Key in 1994 and has been involved in several successful development projects in Ohio and Michigan, including Bancroft Village and Suder Shoppes in Toledo, Navarre Crossings in Oregon, and River Valley in Monroe, Michigan. Ohio.

The Tiffin Mall opened in 1980 and was built by Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) based out of Cleveland, Ohio. In 2005, DDR constructed the movie theater now occupied by Cinemark, and they sold the mall in 2012 to the Kohan Retail Investment Group. The mall currently has 28 retail spaces inside, as well as the theater and two outbuildings. Most of the spaces are currently vacant.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with the announcement, saying “We welcome Key’s investment and desire to develop the site here in Tiffin. We are excited about continuing to create an environment where people do not have to leave to shop and dine, and we think the project can again help continue our retail momentum.”

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

 

Aqua invests $6M in Tiffin

Aqua_logoIn May of 2012, Aqua Ohio purchased the water utility system in Tiffin from Ohio American Water. To date, Aqua has invested approximately $6 million in critical infrastructure upgrades for the community. These include service reliability enhancements, such as the replacement of aging water main, valves and hydrants, and water treatment plant improvements to meet more stringent EPA rules and regulations.

On May 1, 2012, Aqua America, Inc. completed the purchase of all of American Water Works Company, Inc.’s regulated operations in Ohio, yielding Aqua America eight additional water systems and three wastewater system in Ohio. The newly purchased operations serve approximately 50,730 water and approximately 6,550 wastewater connections in parts of nine counties primarily in central and northeast Ohio.

Aqua Ohio serves approximately 500,000 residents in 19 counties across the state of Ohio. Aqua Ohio provides services in the following counties: Franklin, Lawrence, Preble, Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, Summit, Williams, Marion, Richland, Morrow, Portage, Pike, Seneca, Stark, Carroll, Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana.

Aqua Ohio is subsidiary of Aqua American, which serves about 3 million people in eight states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. This year marks 130 years of business for the Pennylvania-based company.

Mennel Milling Company to expand

MennelThe Mennel Milling Company, headquartered in Fostoria, has announced plans to purchase General Mills’ Martel Bakery Mix and Packaging plant, expanding their product line into the bakery mix business. The sale is expected to be finalized Nov. 1.

“With this acquisition we will no longer be constrained to selling flour as an ingredient into baked goods or bakery mix,” President D. Ford Mennel said in a press release. “We will now be able to offer a full line of bakery mix products to our big box, commercial, wholesale and bakery customers and marketplaces.”

This expansion is the latest in a series of expansions over the past year. In January, the company announced plans to invest $40-50 million to revitalize their facility. The 2020 Plan is a 10-year project to improve the Fostoria plant by consolidating business operations into one location and expanding grain storage capabilities.

MennelLast year, Mennel invested over $8 million in local projects, several of which are ongoing. They installed a new transformer, replaced four grain bins (all of which were more than 100 years old), and installed a new flour-drying system and a new extrusion plant. They are also preparing to move to their new corporate headquarters in August and plan to add four more storage bins, doubling their previous capacity.

The Mennel Milling Company has been milling wheat into flour since 1886. Their corporate headquarters are located in Fostoria, Ohio, with five flour mills, seven elevators and three trucking companies located across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Virginia. Mennel has been a supplier to the Martel, Ohio facility for over 40 years.

 

Poignon invests in business, holds community art event

poignon ownersRyan and Monica Poignon, owners of the Poignon Project, located at 227 East Perry Street, have invested into their small business by purchasing the building they were renting. The previous owner had held the building, which at one time was a grocery store and a barber shop, since 1972.

“The past five years, moving back to Tiffin was the greatest thing I ever did,” Ryan said. “There is so much support here.”

Ryan said this was the next step in his plans to grow his business as well as the art community in Tiffin. Motivation to purchase the building also came from the Poignons’ investment in express yourself dayscustomizing their shop. Ryan said the glassblowing equipment alone is worth $20,000, and there is another $20,000 invested in the building. Ryan’s next step will be moving his glassblowing equipment to a different part of the building to expand classes and workshops. Along with art education for adults, he is also looking to expand into art camps for children.

In addition, starting July 16-17, the Poignon Project will be hosting “Express Yourself Days” to support the local art community and raise donations for local charities. The July event will feature live music, art vendors, food vendors, live chainsaw art, live glassblowing and more. There will also be a cardboard house building contest to help grow awareness of homelessness in Seneca County.

Ryan’s efforts to extend opportunities in the arts to the community stem from seeing the need in the Tiffin community. “When I was in high school, we didn’t have a lot of opportunities in the arts. I never imagined that I would be sitting here in front of my own building,” he said. “This is something for everyone to learn: don’t give up.”

Ryan recently published his own motivational book featuring his works called “If You Do Nothing You Are Nothing,” a motto he certainly lives by.

For more infomation, visit www.thepoignonproject.com.

 

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. plans major expansion in Old Fort

Ohio Rail Development Commission awards $100,000 grant

clump and sealTIFFIN, OHIO – May 18, 2016 Church & Dwight Co., Inc. received a $100,000 grant today from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) for a planned $2.5 million expansion of their northwest Ohio plant located in the village of Old Fort. Final approval for the project still depends on other incentives, but the target date for project completion would be by the end of this year.

The $3.4 billion consumer goods and specialty products giant established their Old Fort facility in 1980, and today it employs more than 215 workers and ranks as one of the largest sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) manufacturing plant in the world. The expansion enables the Company to manufacture ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL cat litter at the facility, creating 20 new jobs and involving an investment of $2.5 million in new equipment and rail expansion.  ARM & HAMMER cat litter is the second best-selling cat litter brand in the nation.

Plant Manager David Johnston was pleased with the award. “The local workforce, infrastructure, and incentive programs are all important factors in the decision to make this investment at the Old Fort facility, and we appreciate the work the ORDC, JobsOhio, and SIEDC have been doing to encourage us to expand here.”

In addition, JobsOhio is providing $170,000 in Roadwork Development Grants to improve a mile-long section used by the facility’s truck traffic as well as to improve the plant’s entrance. The Company will also be appearing before the Ohio Tax Credit Authority on May 24 to ask for approval of a six-year Job Creation Tax Credit, estimated to be worth $75,000.

Seneca County Commission President Holly Stacy is pleased with the news, saying, “We are experiencing strong growth in all parts of Seneca County right now, and we appreciate that Church & Dwight has chosen to grow here. We welcome their investment and new jobs.”

About Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

Founded in 1846, Church & Dwight is a $3.4 billion company headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey that is one of the fastest growing Consumer Packaged Goods companies in the world. The Company manufactures and markets a wide range of personal care, household and specialty products, with such brands as ARM & HAMMER, TROJAN, FIRST RESPONSE, NAIR, SPINBRUSH, OXICLEAN, ORAJEL and more. Find out more at www.churchdwight.com.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.