Eastman Drive was built to provide Park 50 Technecenter industrial park access to Interstate 275.
Project Type:Access Road Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:62,306 Length (mi):1.00
Economic Distress:1.30 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):423 Population Growth Rate (%):1.25
Employment Growth Rate (%):3.38 Market Size:619,056 Airport Travel Distance:36.7 Topography:14
Region:Great Lakes / Plains State:OH County:Clermont
City:Milford Urban/Class Level:Metro Local Area:Milford
Impact Area:County Transportation System:Highway GIS Lat/Long:39.156128 / -84.254597
Initial Study Date:1982 Post Constr. Study Date:2000
Constr. Start Date:1982 Constr. End Date:1996
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 1996 Planned Cost (YOE $):514,734
Actual Cost (YOE $):2,063,090 Actual Cost (curr $):3,875,897
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||14.39||8.54||22.93|
|Output (in $M's)||43.96||26.09||70.05|
Eastman Drive was built to provide Park 50 Technecenter industrial park access to Interstate 275. The park is located in Clermont County, Ohio which is part of the Cincinnati-Middletown metropolitan area. The economic impact of the road has shifted with the expansion and contraction of several businesses. The road was built to support the expansion of James River Corporation, an existing tenant at the park. (The company did expand, but later closed its facility at the park.) A 2000 economic impact study claimed the road was responsible for 300 new jobs due to the expansion of Structural Dynamics, a firm which initially expanded but has since downsized, and moved to another location at the park. More recently, Tata Consultancy, which is part of Tata Group, the largest corporation in India, moved into the park and has pledged to add 1,000 jobs in the next several years. The new road has benefited other companies at the park by improving access to the local market and airport.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
The project is located in the Clermont County portion of Milford, Ohio (population 6,284 in 2000.) Clermont County is part of the Cincinnati-Middletown metropolitan area. It is located east of downtown Cincinnati, which has a population of 178,000. The metropolitan area is served by Interstate 275, approximately 20 miles west of Cincinnati. This interstate is a ring road around Cincinnati that also provides access to a major airport (Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport) and several other large markets including Indianapolis, IN (130 miles west) and Columbus, OH (100 miles northeast).
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
The Cincinnati- Middleton metropolitan area is home to one of the nation's largest biotechnology clusters. It also has significant manufacturing (e.g. automobile parts) and financial services activities. Clermont County has experienced significant population growth in recent years from both urban commuters and (increasingly) suburban workers, outpacing the growth in Ohio as a whole. From 1982 to 2000, the population of the county grew by 34% compared to 6% for the state. The growth in local employment is primarily the result of expansion of high-end services such as finance, education and healthcare. Between 1982 and 2000, employment in the county grew by 121% compared to 37% in Ohio as a whole.
The project involved the construction of Eastman Drive, located due east of an interchange at I-275. This access road now serves the Park 50 Technecenter industrial park, which primarily houses high-end manufacturing and service industries. as well as a satellite campus for a local university.
The purpose of the road was to provide better interstate access to the businesses in the industrial park. In particular, it was intended to allow a tenant James River Corporation, a paper manufacturer, to expand operations at the park by adding 400 new jobs. This was an important motivation since there was high unemployment in the area and a lack of available industrial land at the time.
Project construction began in 1983 and was completed in 1996.The road was originally expected to cost $500,000 to build, but due to errors in design and construction, the final cost was $2 million. The main cause of this overrun was a federal requirement that the road accommodate a speed limit of 55 miles per hour instead of the planned for 40 miles per hour. Funding for the project came from local, state, and federal government sources, as well as from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) through its Public Works Program.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
The convenience of the industrial park's location adjacent to I-275 was improved by the construction of the access road. Businesses have benefited from easier access for customers and suppliers as the location is easy to find from the highway. Tenants of the park also benefit from being 30-45 minutes (depending on traffic) from Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which is critical for on-site visits and delivery of supplies.
In response to concerns over congestion, the Clermont County Transportation Improvement District was formed in 2006. This entity is working to fund the transportation improvements necessary to allow the region to continue to grow as well as develop strategies involving intermodal linkages and economic development. One of the key improvements is the $70 million reconstruction of an interchange (I-275 with State Route 32) located just south of the one linking I-275 to Technecenter 50. This will not directly serve the park but should help the county accommodate its recent population and business growth.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
The road has had a tremendous impact on economic growth, especially for software companies at the park. The anticipated beneficiary of the access road, James River, intended to invest $22 million in an expansion based. Instead, they have closed their operation at the park. Structural Dynamics (a software company subsequently bought by UGS, and then by Siemens) initially somewhat compensated for this loss by investing $15 million in their operation. In 2000, this company had increased its employment from 820 to 1,120, adding 300 jobs. The impacts from this activity (measured by a previous study done for the ARC) included over $740,000 in property tax revenue and $12 million in direct wages. The spin-off (i.e. indirect and induced) activity generated was 178 jobs and $3.8 million in wages. However, since 2000, the company downsized to 600 employees and moved to another location at the park.
The building that was occupied by James River (and subsequently by Structural Dynamics) now houses Tata Consultancy Services, which is a subsidiary of The Tata Group, the largest company in India. Tata Consultancy provides software development and outsourcing through on-site customer support. The company moved into the building in January of 2008, opening its first operation of this kind in the US. The company currently has 45 employees but is committed to adding 1,000 new jobs and investing $13 million in the next few years. Tata had done an extensive search for a North American campus but was finally attracted to the park due to its superior access, among other factors (see next section). The county economic development agency claims that it would not have attracted Tata without the access road.
Two buildings that were built recently in the industrial park may have happened without the access road, although it was still an important element. One is occupied by Albertson Marketing Company and another building houses Kamphaus, Henning & Hood CPA, an accounting firm with 25 employees.
One of the metropolitan area's fastest-growing industries, Total Quality Logistics, is located in the industrial park but also decided to expand to another park six miles south of the existing site. Their site at Technecenter has 100 employees whereas the new site at Ivy Pointe Commerce Park will house 850 employees. The access road did not directly contribute to this expansion but it was one of many factors allowing them to expand to the new site at Ivy Pointe Commerce Park. The impacts of bringing in business have further restricted the available land at the park. With the exception of some land around the Tata site, there is little room to build out. However, there have been vacancies in the available commercial space at the park.
There has not been significant spin-off activity generated by the new businesses at the park due to the nature of these industries. There is little supplier activity as they are more service than manufacturing based. This means that their economic influence (i.e. footprint) is felt countywide. However, employment at the park has influenced other commercial development on the west side of the highway in the form of retail and restaurants that serve the increased workforce as well as residents that commute into Cincinnati.
In addition to the access road, the businesses in the industrial park benefit from relatively low costs of labor and energy in the region. Tata Consultancy was specifically attracted to these cost factors as well as the location in a major metropolitan area and the high quality workforce available. The income level is getting higher in the area due to people choosing to live and work in the suburbs rather than commute into the city.
Clermont County has engaged in significant marketing efforts in recent years to attract businesses to the area. The county Office of Economic Development recently launched a new website and newsletter, and has increased business attraction and retention efforts with its communities and businesses. For instance, the office makes frequent visits to encourage companies to retain their business or to help with the logistics of an expansion.
The Ivy Pointe Commerce Park, which was developed due to capacity constraints at Technecenter, will also have a large effect on the local economy. Currently, the county is talking to a robotics manufacturer about locating at this park.
Clermont County Chamber of Commerce
Clermont County Economic Development
Case Study Developed by Economic Development Research Group, Inc.