Updated: 7:08 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 | Posted: 11:48 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

Connor Group to construct $15M headquarters at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport



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Connor Group to construct $15M headquarters at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport photo
Connor Group to construct $15M headquarters at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport
Connor Group to construct $15M headquarters at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport photo
Connor Group to construct $15M headquarters at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport

Staff Report

Larry Connor, managing member of real estate investment firm the Connor Group, on Thursday described the headquarters he plans to build at Dayton Wright Brothers Field as “iconic” and “extremely expensive.”

He also said it’s “probably not a good investment.”

By that Connor meant the design of the $15 million, 39,000-square-foot, two-story building at Dayton’s southern airport will likely make it more expensive than a more traditional design.

But Connor said he wants to build a structure that will highlight Dayton as a good place to live and work and garner attention for the building’s architect — Moody Nolan in Columbus.

“If Dayton means technology and innovation, this should hopefully be the calling card,” said Connor, whose company is based in Centerville.

When completed, the building will double ground lease revenue at the airport off Ohio 741 near the Austin Landing development and could draw other commercial development to the 527-acre field, said Terry Slaybaugh, Dayton ’s aviation director.

Dayton City Commission on Wednesday agreed to lease seven acres on the airport’s property to Chaco Real Estate Holdings LLC, an agent in the transaction. Under the agreement, the city will receive $63,466 annually . The 40-year lease also includes a 10-year renewal option, so the city could receive a maximum of $3.6 million over 50 years.

An attempt nearly two years ago to spur commercial development at the field with banks, restaurants, business condominiums and more fell flat. But Connor and others hope the first non-aviation business at the site will draw interest from other firms.

“Once the first unit goes in, it can be a good chain reaction,” said Greg Rogers, assistant Miami Twp. administrator.

Connor said he believes in taking calculated risks.

“It’s a belief in doing it right, doing it without boundaries, doing it in a way people either think or say can’t be done,” Connor said.

Dan Pickett, manager of the project for Moody Nolan, said Connor instructed the firm to create something that looked different from everything else on the planet. The structure’s light-reflecting materials are designed to give off a different appearance as the day progresses, and those working within the building will always be close to natural light, Pickett said.

Connor wants to break ground on the building in June, with construction taking 18 to 24 months.

Staff Writer John Nolan contributed to this story.


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The Connor Group

Based: Centerville

Holdings: 2,500 apartment properties in the Dayton area. Owns and operates 16,000 properties in six markets total. About half of the company’s holdings are in Ohio. The firm has about $1.4 billion in assets.

Employees: About 100 in Dayton, about 450 total.

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