Monday, March 28, 2011

City approves agreement to keep First Financial

Cincinnati City Council last Wednesday approved an agreement with First Financial Bancorp that will help keep the company's headquarters Downtown and add up to 55 new employees.

Under terms of the 12-year Property Investment Reimbursement Agreement, the City would pay the bank 75 percent of earnings taxes generated by its new employees, or up to $2.83 million over the life of the agreement. The City also would provide a $774,450 capital improvements grant if the company invests at least $4 million in its new headquarters.

In order to receive the incentives, First Financial would be required to keep about 95 jobs Downtown and add 55 more by 2014, for a total annual payroll of $10.2 million.

Since late 2009, the bank and its 95 employees have been working from a 45,000-square-foot space at Atrium One while assessing its long-term needs.

The bank is in final negotiations to secure a long-term lease at a larger location, which has not been disclosed.

Operating in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, First Financial Bancorp operates 108 banking centers in 70 communities. In 2010, it reported $6.3 billion in assets and is the second-largest bank holding company in the Cincinnati region.

Previous reading on BC:
First Financial commits to Downtown headquarters (3/10/11)