Caleb has helped raise thousands of dollars for cancer research through his participation in multiple Pelotonia rides. He rides in support of his wife Erica, a cancer scientist who specializes in brain cancer research, brain tissue banking, and related therapies in the Department of Neurology at The Ohio State University.
Caleb has diverse economic development experience and is sought after for his knowledge of development tools such as tax increment financing (TIF), special assessments, community redevelopment area (CRA) abatements, enterprise zone (EZ) abatements, joint economic development districts (JEDD), and local tax credits.
Caleb has been instrumental in advancing energy financing across the Midwest. He is a national thought leader in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. He is a Board Member of PACENation, a member of the C-PACE Alliance, and has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Energy as a C-PACE Advisor. He was retained by clients to author Ohio's PACE financing statute, he served as bond counsel for Ohio's first issue of PACE-secured bonds, and he has financed over $500 million of PACE financing for over 200 PACE projects. Caleb has structured PACE financing into a variety of transactions, including retrofit projects, new construction projects, redevelopment projects, and tax credit projects in the Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Pennsylvania markets. In addition, he advised the State of Hawaii on its commercial PACE legislation, which was enacted into law in 2022. Caleb has served as bond counsel and underwriters’ counsel in more than $4 billion of natural gas and electricity prepayment bonds, including Ohio’s only tax-exempt refunding of energy prepayment bonds.
Caleb is an experienced negotiator, regularly advising his clients on complex projects involving multiple aspects of public finance and economic development law. He advises both public entities and private developers, and he brings a broad-based perspective to every transaction.
Honda-LG Energy Solution $3.5 billion battery plant (under construction in Fayette County, Ohio)
Represented Fayette County, the Jefferson Township - Washington Court House Joint Economic Development District, and the West Central Ohio Port Authority in various aspects of the Honda-LG Energy Solution $3.5 billion battery plant joint venture under construction in northwest Fayette County. This work included negotiation of a development agreement, implementation of tax increment financing, use of a joint economic development district to support the project, and negotiation and documentation of direct incentives including property tax exemptions and sales and use tax exemptions with respect to building materials for the proposed plant.
Royal Canin pet food manufacturing facility in Preble County, Ohio
Served as legal counsel to a port authority in connection with the authorization of a sales and use tax abatement on building materials for a 410,000 square-foot Royal Canin dry pet food manufacturing facility located in Preble County, Ohio.
L Brands Beauty Park campus in New Albany, Ohio
Served as bond counsel to the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority for an approximately $230,000,000 revenue bond issue to fund the costs of construction of a 360,000 square-foot office facility and a 500,000 square-foot distribution facility. Advice included negotiating sales and use tax abatements on building materials and real property tax abatements on real property tax values.
$120 million mixed-use development project
Successfully led the closing of a mixed-use public-private development project in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Served multiple roles in the project’s financing, including as bond counsel to the developer, commercial loan bank representative and legal counsel for PACE financing.
Conversion of a former munitions factory
Served as counsel to a port authority for a capital lease transaction, providing a sales tax exemption to the developer and property owner. The transaction enables the conversion of a former munitions factory to a 240,000-square-foot mixed-use space, including apartments, restaurants, retail and parking.
Ohio’s largest PACE transaction
Served as counsel on a $16.3 million refinancing of a construction loan that involved significant PACE financing. The project funds eligible upgrades to a hotel near The Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio. Energy efficient improvements include upgrades to the lighting and the building envelope.
"Bridge Street" development
Represented a lender in connection with financing for the first office/retail building in a large multi-phase project with significant public/private partnerships involved.
$1.6 billion development in Warren County
Served as special counsel to a township in connection with a 1,230-acre, $1.6 billion mixed-use development in southwest Ohio. The transaction involved negotiating and structuring a tax increment financing (TIF) program with 22 incentive districts and 8 parcel TIFs, and the establishment of a new community authority to finance the infrastructure necessary to make the development possible.
COTA downtown bus pass program
Assisted the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District with structuring and creating a process for implementing a program to encourage 43,000 downtown Columbus, Ohio, commuters to bus to work. Capital Crossroads SID is an organization that represents business owners working to keep the downtown area a clean and safe place to work and live. The goals of the bus pass program are threefold: address the limited downtown parking situation, fill vacant offices and improve air quality.
$80 million Water Street development
Represented the City of Dayton in an $80 million private commercial and residential development at Water Street. This development involved the use of TIF and special assessment financing to pay the costs of a 400-unit parking garage and related road improvements.
Professional & Community Activities
- Trustee, Otterbein College Board of Trustees, 2002 – 2004
- White House Intern, 2001
Presentations & Published Works
- Speaker, "Intensive Care for Hospital Finances: Understanding and Implementing Economic Development Tools," Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting, June 2023
- Speaker, "QuickTalk: Ohio Market Update - Ohio: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," SEIA Midwest Conference, November 2019
- Speaker, "Bond Financing for Healthcare & Housing Projects," CDFA National Development Finance Summit, November 2019
- Speaker, "Incorporating PACE Into Complex Projects," CDFA National Development Finance Summit, November 2019
- Speaker, "Community Leadership as Economic Catalyst: Two Projects," OEDA Annual Summit, October 2019
- Speaker, "C-PACE Transactions From Start to Finish," CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series, September 2019
- Speaker, "Intro PACE Finance WebCourse," Council of Development Finance Agencies, December 2017
- Presenter, “Energy Savings and Conservation Finance Programs,” CDFA National Development Finance Summit, November 2017
- Panelist, “Energy Finance: Ask an Expert,” CDFA National Development Finance Summit, November 2017
- Speaker, “PACE Financing: Applicability and Impact,” Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) Annual Summit, October 2017
- Speaker, "Energy Finance: Legal, Policy & Regulatory Considerations," CDFA Intro Energy & Water Finance Course, August 2017
- Speaker, “Being an Effective Economic Development Negotiator,” Ohio Township Association (OTA) Networking Forum, June 2017
- Speaker, “New Laws and Changes in Economic Development,” County Auditors’ Association of Ohio (CAAO) Summer Conference, June 2017
- Speaker, "Problem Solving in the Economic Development Context," Ohio Association of Public Treasurers (OAPT) Public Finance Officers Training Institute, June 2017
- Speaker, "Public Projects and State Incentive Toolbox," I-70/75 Development Association Economic Development Summit, May 2017
- Speaker, “Financing Improvements for Energy Efficiency in Ohio,” 2016 CDFA Ohio Financing Roundtable Conference, September 2016
- Speaker, “Large Scale Mixed-Use Development – The Latest Trends,” 2016 CDFA Ohio Financing Roundtable Conference, September 2016
- Speaker, Ohio Treasurer of State Center for Public Investment Management (CPIM) 2011-Present
- Contributor, "Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: The Ohio Story," The Electricity Journal, January/February 2011
- Contributor, Local Government Law – County, West Publishing, 2007-Present
- Contributor, Ohio Municipal Service, West Publishing, 2006-Present
- Contributor, Local Government Law – Township, West Publishing, 2006-Present
Bar Admissions & Activities
- Admitted, Ohio; Kentucky; Pennsylvania; Michigan
- Member, PACENation Board of Directors
- Member, C-PACE Alliance
- Member, CDFA Ohio Financing Roundtable
- Member, Ohio Economic Development Association
- Member, National Association of Bond Lawyers
Awards & Recognition
- PACE Champion of the Year, PACENation, 2023
- Member, Counselors of Real Estate (CRE)
- Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers, (Government Finance), 2014–2023
- Best Negotiator, Georgetown Law, 2005
- Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude), 2007
- Otterbein College (B.S., economics and political science, magna cum laude with honors), 2004
Caleb enjoys traveling the world with his wife Erica and his boys Jonah and Micah. In 2022, they took a family trip to Iceland.
Inflation Reduction Act: Direct payments to nonprofits and political subdivisions for clean energy projectsMore
Bricker Graydon IRA Resource Center Now Updated
Federal energy policy is making many new incentives available for local governments, tax-exempt organizations, and private businesses to assist with financing and constructing clean energy-related assets. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enacted in 2022, expanded the set of clean energy-related asset categories that are now being directly subsidized by the federal government via tax credits, deductions, allocations, and direct payments.More Nov 15, 2023
Bricker Graydon Earns #1 Spot in Ohio Public Finance Rankings
Bricker Graydon is pleased to announce the achievement of being named the #1 ranked firm in Ohio for publicly-offered municipal bonds issued during the first half of 2023. The recognition, published in The Bond Buyer, underscores Bricker Graydon's leadership as public finance counsel and its legacy of excellence in serving clients in Ohio for many decades.More Oct 17, 2023
Bricker Graydon Attorneys Recognized for 2024 “Best Lawyers” Excellence
A total of 68 attorneys were chosen by their peers for recognition in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. This year’s ranking includes six newly-listed Bricker Graydon attorneys and 10 attorneys designated as “Ones to Watch,” a category for up-and-coming lawyers. And five attorneys have been named 2024 “Lawyers of the Year” for their respective practice areas. Only one attorney in each category is recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in each market.More Aug 17, 2023
Caleb Bell Quoted in ColumbusCEO Article
Caleb Bell, Partner and Public Finance Practice Group Chair at Bricker Graydon, was recently featured in an article by ColumbusCEO titled "Columbus Law Firms Have Found a Niche Advising Businesses on Economic Development.” The article discusses the two new computer chip factories that will be constructed near New Albany by 2025 and features insight from local attorneys who specialize in economic development and played a key role in making the announcement possible.More Jul 3, 2023
J. Caleb Bell, CRE®, Named 2023 PACE Champion of the Year
Bricker Graydon LLP Partner & Public Finance Practice Group Chair, J. Caleb Bell, has been named PACE Champion of the Year by his PACENation colleagues across the nation. Bell will be honored as a 2023 PaceSetter at the PACENation formal awards ceremony on June 7th in New York City.More Jun 8, 2023
Midwest PACE Services LLC announces third PACE Program Administration entity with TENNESSEE PACE
Midwest PACE Services LLC announces third PACE Program Administration entity with TENNESSEE PACE Midwest PACE Services, LLC (Midwest PACE), the leading PACE program administrator in Ohio and Kentucky, will now be operating in the Tennessee market as “TENNESSEE PACE.”More Feb 14, 2023
Ohio joining residential PACE market with support from Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Bricker, Renovate America
Ohio residents will soon have access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing tools to fund modern upgrades to their residential properties thanks to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s newest initiative.More Mar 30, 2020
Bricker attorney Caleb Bell presents New Community Authority Financing to Richmond Heights
Presenting on behalf of California-based developer DealPoint Merrill at a Richmond Heights, Ohio, Committee-of-the-Whole meeting, Bricker attorney Caleb Bell discussed a New Community Authority (NCA) financing mechanism for the $200 million Belle Oaks at Richmond project.More Feb 28, 2020
Bricker Listed Among Top Bond Counsel As Ohio Leads Midwest in Bond Volume
Bricker & Eckler was listed among the top Midwestern bond counsel firms that helped bond issuers sell $71.5 billion of municipal bonds in 2019, a 19% year-over-year increase, according to a February 25, 2020, article by the Bond Buyer.More Feb 27, 2020
Bricker attorneys listed by Super Lawyers for 2020
The 2020 Super Lawyers list of outstanding lawyers includes 31 Bricker attorneys, representing four of the firm’s office locations and 13 areas of practice. Notably, this year’s list includes four newly-listed attorneys, and three attorneys were named to “Top Lists” for Ohio.More Nov 27, 2019
Bell featured on Debtwire: PACE financing likely to expand as a result of regulation, securitization
According to Bricker attorney Caleb Bell, PACE financing is “becoming its own unique asset class.” New developments in standardization and regulation are likely to increase the popularity of PACE bonds with investors.More Jul 15, 2019
Bricker leads village hearing for New Community Authority
On October 24, 2017, the West Milton City Council held a public hearing for a New Community Authority, approving four appointees to the board of supervision of Stillwater Crossing, a 100-acre mixed-use tract development. Bricker public finance attorney Caleb Bell led the hearing, presentation and a discussion of the bond each board member will pay, as well as the board’s jurisdiction within the West Milton community. Bricker & Eckler serves as legal counsel to the Village of West Milton. The New Community Authority hearing was recently featured in the Troy Daily News.More Nov 3, 2017
Bricker attorneys named 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers
Continuing the firm’s trend of excellence and distinction, 43 Bricker & Eckler attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers list. Notably, this year’s list includes four newly-listed attorneys. Additionally, four attorneys were named to “Top Lists” in Ohio.More Dec 15, 2016
Bricker team assists OSU with historic bond offering
Bricker & Eckler served as bond counsel to The Ohio State University on its recent bond offering, the first ever 100-year maturity for a public university. The proceeds from the sale of the bonds will be used for several projects on the university’s main campus. The $500 million dollar issue, which matures in 2111, was sold at an annual interest rate of 4.80%, the lowest interest rate ever for a so-called "Century Bond."More Oct 27, 2011