City hopes Rose spurs growth

Washington Properties tasked with developing Waterworks Park property
Alex Green
Mar 12, 2014


Port Clinton council unanimously agreed Tuesday to enter negotiations with a Medina developer interested in transforming Waterworks Park and downtown Port Clinton.

At a meeting well-attended by residents, council voted to work with Washington Properties and its founder, Mike Rose, on a project that promises to bring retailers and other offerings to the area.

The plan was presented in council meetings last year, but it was put to a vote Tuesday, as the council is comprised of new faces.

“We want to see what everybody (on council wants),” councilman Mike Snider said.

Based on the vote, they’re all on board with the preliminary plan.

“By voting ‘yes,’ we agree with it,” councilman Ron Aukerman said. Rose’s company is proposing to develop about 330,000 square feet at Waterworks Park, including the construction of a 170,000-squarefoot lodge, a boardwalk, storefronts and various retail.

The city would have to kick in about $6 million toward the project, while Rose’s company would spend about $60 million, according to the city. The first shovel is expected to hit the ground in spring 2015, Rose said last week during a meeting in Port Clinton. Jamie Beier-Grant, of the Ottawa County Improvement Corp., and Hans Rosebrook, of FirstEnergy, hit on the implications of the plan.

The project would create:
•500 contractor jobs during the five-year development period.
•$1.25 million in economic activity, from contractors spending money.
•585 new jobs after the five-year period.
•$11 million in payroll from these new jobs, based on an average individual salary of about $18,800.

Beier-Grant described the formula used to come up with these numbers as the “cadillac” of economic studies, saying it’s been used for more than 35 years.

She described the analysis as “conservative yet realistic” since the average individual’s earnings, about $19,000, applies to all 585 potential future employees — full-time, parttime and salaried. The number was calculated by using an average of 32 hours per week for each employee.

The explanation triggered comments from some in the audience during the meeting’s public comment segment.

“In the winter, you might have one girl working 20 hours per week (in a retail store)” one woman said.

Beier-Grant said the study took into account the dramatic seasonal changes in the local economy, and it largely used a conservative average of the data. The wage used in the calculations was $12 an hour.

Additional economic implications over the next five years would be:
•About $6.1 million in property tax revenue.
•About $679,000 in sales tax revenue.
•About $700,000 in income tax revenue.

Following the regular council meeting, public dissent came by way of questions.

One man asked why councilman Ron Aukerman recently said the city could not afford $2 million to develop the park, and yet he voted for a plan that would cost $6 million.

Snider said the numbers aren’t comparable. “With the $6 million, you’re getting a return on the $60 million,” Snider said. Aukerman agreed, pointing out this plan is different than the previous $2 million project. Snider summed up the meeting: “We’re getting something going”



Where does the city intend to get 6 million dollars to make up for the city's portion?


"Charge it"

Reminds me of Sandusky's Marina District Project a number of years back. "$175,000,000 in investment and 300 new jobs". Oh brother.

And the Chesapeake Lofts Projects where contractor employees were paid in brown paper bags--no income tax.


Does that city have the 6 million or not? If they do, apparently they are not having the money problems facing this city are they?


Another interesting aspect to this proposal is a claim made by retired Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Moon that the city doesn't hold title to the land. He claims the title is in the name of the descendants of the City's founder. I'm speculating that one of those descendants is Paul Moon.


Port Clinton finds itself in a pickle that took decades to evolve... but along the way, there were many decision points where the wrong fork in the road was taken... So the fix is:

Develop 330,000 sq. ft. .. just under 8 acres... that's a good bit of the available space.

A 170,000 sq. ft. lodge.. assuming that it's 2 a story bldg. it will occupy 85,000 sq. ft... a 2 acre footprint. Plus the parking lot.

585 people working full/part time at this facility after completion? 195 per shift 24/7. About like medium size hospital.

Plus all the taxes... etc.

Worst case scenario:

Lodge never gets finished and/or ultimately becomes Section 8 housing, and the Jet ends up with the parking lot, but pays enough rent to pay for the additional cops needed because of the sec 8 housing.

Port Clinton...