[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca 10-7-1998 by Ord. No. 98-25. (This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 68, Industrial Park Leasing Policy, adopted 5-7-1986.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to delineate and define the policies which the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency will follow in negotiating land leases in the Ithaca Industrial Park (New York State Electric and Gas site). Such policies are essential for maintaining consistency throughout the leasing process and for achieving the maximum benefit from this economic development endeavor for the City of Ithaca. It is the intent of this chapter to set forth goals and objectives which the Agency desires to accomplish and the procedures it will utilize in doing so. The policies below shall be in effect for 36 months following a report on leasing activities by the Department of Planning and Development.
The primary goals governing the leasing and development of the Ithaca Industrial Park are as follows, in order of priority:
To maximize the number of new jobs created in the Ithaca economy through development of the Ithaca Industrial Park.
To promote basic industry (activities which bring outside money into the local economy) jobs by providing subsidized land for development to industrial firms which are appropriate to Ithaca.
To encourage successful local firms to remain in the area by providing subsidized land for expansion or modernization of plant facilities.
The primary emphasis, then, is on employment, both creation and retention. It should be noted that a very limited amount of industrial land is available in the city to be used in accomplishing these goals. Consequently, each industry in the Ithaca Industrial Park must contribute to the achievement of these goals. The City of Ithaca is not attempting to secure a profit from the development of the park, only to recover the city's investment in the project. The true economic return to the city will take the form of increased property and sales taxes, increased employment, effective land use and a more stable, healthy economic base.
The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency will give priority in leasing land to firms which have strong job-generation capabilities (over 17 employees per acre) rather than those which are primarily capital- or space-intensive.
In deciding to whom to offer land, the Agency will emphasize the creation of new jobs and the retention of existing jobs.
Basic or primary industrial firms will be encouraged over nonbasic or secondary firms.
The Agency will consider the history and the future of growth, particularly in terms of employment, for local firms which are interested in the park.
Priority will be given to firms which contribute to improvement in the quality and diversity of skills in the Ithaca labor force.
Since partial funding for acquisition and improvement of this park came from community development sources, firms must have and implement an affirmative action plan consistent with Executive Order 11246. This plan is subject to review, approval and monitoring by the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency.
Editor's Note: A copy of said order is on file and available for inspection in the office of the City Clerk.
Since federal community development funds have been used by the city, park tenants (firms) must be evaluated from the perspective of their willingness to give first consideration in hiring and promotion to low- and moderate-income individuals when job openings exist. Jobs most likely to be filled by low- and moderate-income individuals have been defined as generally not requiring formal education beyond high school, although skills developed through other jobs or other life experiences may be required. The city will monitor performance in hiring, promotion and affirmative actions to outreach and tailor positions to low and moderate skill levels. City staff will review records on a quarterly basis using Department of Housing and Urban Development Jobs Bill reporting forms or equivalent mechanisms.
As a general rule, light manufacturing industry is the priority use of the Ithaca Industrial Park. Since considerable community development funds tied to specific industries have been used to acquire the site, those industries will be most seriously considered for inclusion in the park. The three industries are Ironics, Inc., Sawtooth Development and Abdulky Jewelers. Those named firms are local ones in need of expansion space which have undergone extensive searches to locate larger facilities. All three are committed to hiring lower-skill employees from Ithaca's target community development areas.
The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency will give priority to firms which complement existing firms in the Park or in the city in terms of product or process (e.g., one firm may provide raw materials or a process component to another firm). This is seen as encouraging long-term self-sufficiency of the Ithaca area.
The Agency will emphasize those manufacturing or research processes with the greatest potential to generate spin-off firms.
Priority will be given to manufacturing processes which involve very low health risks to employees.
The Agency will assess both the on-site and off-site environmental impacts of all interested firms, including Community Gardens, and give priority to those which have minimal negative impacts in terms of air and water quality, noise, dust, glare, vibration, sanitation, aesthetics, traffic, odor, by-products or potential danger.
The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency will give priority to firms with local and regional ownership and with a regional or national market area.
Priority will be given to firms which have demonstrated or expressed a strong commitment to Ithaca.
The Agency, in order to meet Department of Housing and Urban Development grant requirements, shall require firms to take affirmative steps to hire low- and moderate-income residents of Ithaca's community development target areas (1975 - 86) and to meet Section 3 local hiring and contractor utilization business requirements, which require that individuals residing in Ithaca (Section 3 area) and city contractors be given employment opportunities to the greatest extent feasible. The city shall monitor performance as listed in § 68-3 above.
The Agency will encourage interrelatedness of firms in the Ithaca area as a means of assuring commitment to the area.
The Agency will give priority to firms with close ties to unique local institutions or area activities, such as Cornell University or Ithaca College.
The following statements are made as guidelines to be used in formulating the lease agreement:
The term of the lease shall be 99 years. The lessee will have the option to purchase the land as allowed by the Appalachia Regional Commission and the Housing and Urban Development Agency, but in no case before 20 years have elapsed.
The rent shall be approximately $2,100 to $2,500 per acre per year* for the first 20 years for tenants signing leases within five years of approval of these lease policies. Review of rent schedules will occur at approximately every five years thereafter for any remaining industrial sites. After 20 years, the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency shall negotiate lease terms with firms that wish to remain lessees. (*NOTE: Final land lease and purchase prices are subject to negotiation within the above-stated ranges.)
The purchase price of the land any time after the 20th year shall be the 1985 market price as appraised by the city's appraiser, approximately $25,000 to $30,000 per acre.* (*NOTE: Final land lease and purchase prices are subject to negotiation within the above-stated ranges.)
In addition to rent, the lessee shall pay an annual administrative fee to the city, said fee subject to negotiation.
The lease agreement will stipulate that construction of the principal plant shall begin within a specified time period. If the lessee fails to initiate construction within that time, the lease will be terminated and the improvements shall revert to the city.
The lease agreement can include the option for other sites within the park; terms of the option shall be determined by the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency.
The lease agreement will stipulate a minimum value for the proposed plant.
All site and architectural plans must be approved by the Agency prior to construction.
Tenants or developers for tenants may be eligible, subject to local government approval, for the State Preferential Tax Assessment Program, whereby payments in lieu of property taxes are reduced 50% the first year, with the reduction decreasing incrementally by 5% per year.
Property in the park may not be subleased or transferred in any way to another tenant or user without Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency approval.
All construction within the park shall conform to the covenants, easements, restrictions and conditions governing the site.