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Cincinnati Bell moving downtown a loss for Norwood
CINCINNATI (Paula Toti) -- Norwood's loss is Cincinnati's gain Monday night.
600 new jobs are going downtown. It's a deal that Cincinnati Bell has been working on for several months. Jobs that went to Norwood about seven years ago are going back to Cincinnati. Mayor John Cranley said he didn't go into Norwood or knock on the door at Cincinnati Bell trying to take jobs. He says the company was looking around, came to Cincinnati and that got the ball rolling.
Cincinnati Bell was looking to consolidate most of its jobs in one building or nearby buildings for months. The code word internally had been "Project Unity." Norwood was in talks trying to keep the jobs now located near its city hall.
But Monday morning, Norwood's mayor got bad news, "I got a courtesy call from their representative to let us know it was going to happen."
An overjoyed Cincinnati Mayor, John Cranley, was in Cleveland on business announcing the good news.
"We're going to have a minimum of 600 new jobs in downtown as soon as they can at Atrium Two," he said.
The company already has some jobs in the building and 652 jobs not far away on 7th Street. Those jobs, according to the deal, will stay in Cincinnati. Tax incentives are being offered by Cincinnati for the new jobs. A package of ten and a half million dollars over ten years.
Mayor Tom Williams says the same deal was offered in Norwood even though the city has had the jobs there for years with no incentives. He says he's not bitter and wishes the company well.
"We've been down this road before. I've brought some in and lost some. I think we'll be fine," Williams said.
So if both cities were putting up tax incentives, what made the difference?
Northern Kentucky resident, Pete Pierson, who was enjoying a night downtown said, "I wonder if it's the vibrancy of downtown, restaurants and OTR. It made sense to bring the jobs back to the urban core."
It's what Mayor Cranley said and Mayor Williams says in the end, all things being equal, Cincinnati Bell wanted to be in Cincinnati. Most of the new jobs coming to Cincinnati used to be in Cincinnati. They first moved to Norwood when the company was pushed out of office space by Convergys, it's spin off company. The 600 new jobs will start moving next year and could take up to three years.
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