Community Reinvestment Areas (CRA) are tools permitted by the State of Ohio to allow communities to extend incentives to companies for the construction of new facilities or the expansion of existing facilities. The incentives are an important tool to help companies grow and add new employees in a community, thereby adding additional revenue for cities. At its meeting Feb. 6, 2021, City Council voted to expand the boundaries of the CRA for a second and final time.
The City’s CRA was originally approved by the Council in 1989 for a small area surrounding Enterprise Drive, off of Dry Fork Road. The area was expanded by Council the first time in 2019 to include the industrial area around the old stone quarry and commercial areas along Harrison Avenue from near Southwest Parkway to West Road. The February 2021 expansion includes commercial and industrial areas along Harrison Avenue from West Road to New Haven Road and from New Haven Road to Carolina Trace. A map outlining the original CRA and two expansions is available here.
“The expansion of the CRA could prove very important to job growth in the City," said City of Harrison Mayor Bill Neyer. "Already, our Economic Development Department has had conversations with developers and brokers working on behalf of companies regarding possible industrial projects in the expanded CRA area. The more we can rely on new companies and new jobs, the less we have to rely on our residents for the necessary funding to support our City services.”
Cincinnati Asphalt is one company that chose to bring its corporate headquarters and 35 office employees to a location on Harrison Avenue, thanks to the 2019 CRA expansion. The building shown in this elevation drawing will open in early 2022.
Pre-1994 CRAs like Harrison’s give the City flexibility to consider incentives on a case-by-case basis, weighing the incentive level against a company’s investment and job creation. Pre-1994 CRA areas may only be expanded twice, therefore the recent expansion is the final one permitted for this particular CRA. It is currently the only one in the City.