This report from the International City and County Managers Association (ICMA) is titled “Leveraging Brownfields Transformations: 5 Proven Finance Tools for Revitalization Results“.
Helping communities support and grow a strong economy is why the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) advocates for the development finance toolbox. This approach to economic development encourages local governments to ensure that projects and stakeholders can access a full range of financing tools.3 Not all tools need to be offered by a single agency, but all tools should be accessible within each community.
Redevelopment of brownfields sites is an area of economic development that can particularly benefit from a toolbox approach. The former Jeep site has already accessed grants, bonds, and loan funds and will likely access at least tax increment financing and bonds before the project is complete.
Communities throughout Ohio have successfully applied the development finance toolbox to brownfields projects, but this model can work anywhere in the United States. Comparable examples could be pulled from Maine, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Oregon.
Development finance tools can be complex, but they are not inaccessible. Learning to reach beyond “brownfields”-labeled programs to access the full toolbox can be the difference between a community featuring a downtown with blight and abandoned buildings, and a community experiencing revitalization and building a vibrant economy.