AES leader challenges business community


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AES leader challenges business community

If Andrew Vesey, chief operating officer and executive vice president of AES Corp., the parent company of DP&L, was still in town on Thursday he would have been leading the applause for the Dayton economic development news announced.

In case you missed it, officials announced what was long suspected that Procter & Gamble is the Prologis tenant that will operate the new 1-million-square-foot distribution center in Union’s Global Logistics Airpark.

On the same day, Fuyao announced that it had officially purchased the former General Motors Assembly plant in Moraine. The auto glass maker expects to employ about 800 workers at the plant located at Kettering Boulevard and Ohio 741.

Speaking at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Vesey talked about AES’s $20 million investment in its advanced lithium ion battery array at its substation in Moraine.

It’s the first battery storage site in Ohio.

“We want to do more investments like this. And in order for us to do more investments like this, we need really two things: We need very insightful, bright public policy and we need a vibrant business community,” Vesey said.

He even encouraged Dayton businesses leaders to do more.

“My commitment is that if you do your part, we’ll do our part, and we will bring the latest technology,” he said.

Thursday’s jobs news should encourage Vesay and AES to make more investments here.

Luxury homes

The luxury housing market in the Dayton area is back on its feet.

Walt Hibner, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Dayton, told us last week that custom builders are “all very, very active.” The market was moving along well in the 1990s and into the early 2000s, but “the music stopped” and activity dropped in 2004, Hibner said.

Over a period of a few years the custom/luxury home market dried up and a few builders didn’t even put a foundation in the ground, he said. During the downtime, a number of builders switched to remodeling for cash flow as people, instead of building new, were putting money back into their existing homes, he told us.

People are back looking for $500,000+ homes in several markets.

“The biggest thing with these folks is the interest rates aren’t the driving factor. It is more confidence, and the stock market helps. Low interest rates don’t necessarily drive them to build a new house,” Hibner said.

A luxury Homearama returns in September with three houses between $800,000 and $1.4 million in the Auteur Estates area off Ohio 48 in northern Warren County. The size of homes goes up to 9,200 square feet.

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Rich Gillette is the Dayton Daily News business editor. Follow him on Twitter at @richgillette

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