Lead opportunities for city up in 2016

By Brandon Klein - bklein@civitasmedia.com

Total leads, or information requested by a company or its representative, were 16.3 percent higher as of November compared with 2015, according to a city economic development summary report.

That surpasses the city’s goal of 10 percent, according to the report.

As of November, the city had 49 total lead opportunities for Columbus2020/JobsOhio projects up by 26 percent from 2015.

“We have been able to submit on 138 percent more leads this year due to them being more in line with our economic development plan and assets than in previous years. These leads have resulted in five times more site visits compared to 2015 as well,” the report said.

The city had 29 lead opportunities for direct industrial projects as of November, or 45 percent higher compared with 2015.

“We also have now had twice as many Direct Industrial project completions than in 2015. November industrial activity has set a record for the month,” the report said.

Two industrial projects were completed with a payroll of $2.1 million and an investment of $2.86 million that created 52 jobs.

There were 39 leads for technology, office and health care projects, up 18 percent from November 2015. Three projects were completed generating a payroll of $485,000 and creating six jobs.

There 69 leads for retail and restaurant projects, which were 4.5 percent higher compared with the previous year. More than a quarter of them were converted into projects.

Fourteen projects were completed creating 642 jobs and $22.27 million in payroll — including 530 full-time equivalents employed at the Tanger Outlet Mall and $18 million attributed to the city’s work related to the Joint Economic Development District.

Visits related to business retention and expansion were up 27.8 percent as of November with six projects completed for 172 jobs retained and 21 created and payroll of $890,000 with $4 million in investments.

Also, the city’s downtown first-floor occupancy rate dropped back down to 95 percent after the temporary campaign headquarters for the 2016 presidential election left in November.

By Brandon Klein


Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.