The CIC part 1 – accomplishments (1970-present)

FH Bonn's facility

FH Bonn's facility - first speculative building the CIC built in the PrimeOhio Corporate Park it developed

I am in the process of obtaining 501 (c) (3) status for the Community Improvement Corporation, and just finished a response to follow-up questions they had about our organization.  Some of what I uncovered is great material.  So, I thought I would share some of it.

The question from the IRS

1. The Plan for Springfield and Clark County Economic Development indicates that “The purpose of the Community Improvement Corporation of Springfield and Clark County is for advancing, encouraging and promoting the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of the City of Springfield and Clark County, and to that end, to attract and help locate new business and industry which gives promise of being sound factors in the areas of growth stability and prosperity of business and industry now operating in such area and thus provide a higher standard of living and a larger portion of happiness, health and security.”

a. Since this plan was put into effect, what has the Community Improvement Corporation of Springfield and Clark County accomplished?

The response

Since 1970, the Community Improvement Corporation of Springfield and Clark County (“CIC”) has been directly or indirectly responsible for the creation or retention of over 10,000 jobs in the Clark County area and fixed asset investment of over $1.3 billion in new facilities, equipment, and infrastructure.  It has accomplished this through (i) project financing, (ii) industrial park and facility development, (iii) site selection, and (iv) retention and expansion.


Probably the most impactful financing ever structured by the CIC was the 1982 International Harvester (now Navistar) package, where the CIC financed a new $27 million facility for the truck manufacturer and leased it back to them for $236,000 per month.  The structure involved $18 million in local bank and program funds as well as a $9 million Ohio Department of Development direct loan.  Springfield was in competition with Ft. Wayne, Indiana for the project and the CIC helped “seal the deal,” saving thousands of jobs and allowing for the company’s expansion.  Navistar is, still to this day, a major employer in our community.

Industrial park + facility development 

The best example of industrial park and facility development is the PrimeOhio Corporate Park, a 400-acre park located in the northeast quadrant of the Ohio State Route 41 and Interstate 70 interchange, which the CIC began developing in 1983.  In 1985, it exercised options and began infrastructure construction, and the grand opening was held in 1986.  Over 14 companies located in the park between 1986, when the Japanese automotive supplier Teikuro was announced, and 2001, when Vining Broom built their headquarters in an expansion of the park.  With almost 2000 jobs and over $2 million in annual tax impact, the park is a critical part of the regional economy.  And it would have never been developed by either a private developer or local government.  In addition, the CIC heavily marketed the park domestically and internationally.

It’s worth mentioning that the CIC also built two speculative buildings in the park.  The first, a 40,000 square foot office building, was built in 1986 and then leased the following year to Emro Marketing (Speedway SuperAmerica), who later built a new $12 million national headquarters facility also in the county.  Speedway SuperAmerica employs over 700 and is still a leading employer.  The second, a 117,000 warehouse/manufacturing facility, was built by the CIC in 1994, leased to Benjamin Steel, and then sold outright to them in 2000.  Benjamin is a steel-service center employing almost 100 today, and Springfield is its headquarters.

Site Selection

“Site selection” is the process by a company to choose a site to build or expand operations.  The role of the CIC is often to manage the process, serving as a single point of reference customer service organization that assists the company find a suitable location; facilitates, coordinates, and helps obtain local, regional, state and federal incentives and resources; and works to solve any obstacles or difficulties.  A current success story for the CIC is Code Blue, a Wisconsin-based third party insurance service firm with very strong growth.  The CIC has been working with the firm for over two years and is in the final stages of finalizing the establishment of the company’s new presence in downtown Springfield, Ohio.  The $3.2 million command and control center will employ over 300 making over $20 per hour.  The project would not be taking place without CIC involvement and leadership.

Retention + expansion

“Retention and expansion” is the coordinated effort to reach out to existing local businesses, develop relationships with them, identify any potential expansion opportunities and positively influence their decision-making process, so that they grow in our community.  A recent example of the CIC’s impact include the national headquarters for Konecranes, a $3B Finnish company that specializes in industrial lifting equipment.  Our award-winning program–that touches over 1,000 of our local businesses annually and coordinates over 11 organizations and 40 volunteers–reached out to Konecranes in 2008 and found out they were in the middle of a strategic decision-making process on locating a new data center as well as expanding manufacturing, sales, and training.  Their regional headquarters in Texas was a leading candidate, but thanks to the efforts of the CIC to assist in site selection, they were able to expand onsite, obtaining valuable help from the Ohio Department of Development, the local Department of Job & Family Services, and others. Those organizations would have never had the opportunity to meet and work with the company, but for the CIC, and because of the CIC’s efforts, over 100 jobs were retained and additional ones created.  The project involved a $3.2 million investment.