Construction could start as early as October on a proposed $175 million General Motors plant in Brookville, according to Montgomery County officials.
Dayton city officials confirmed this was the business the city lost after a legal fight with Union.
The plant would manufacture components for diesel engines, complementing the work already being done at the DMAX plant at 3100 Dryden Road in Moraine.
Dan Flores, a GM spokesman, said the DMAX plant builds whole engines, so the engine parts built at the potential new plant in Brookville would be part of a strategy to help the automotive company build more diesel engines.
GM worked with the city of Moraine to find a location to expand there, but couldn’t find enough contiguous acreage, said Michael Davis, acting city manager of Moraine.
“We had looked at multiple locations in Montgomery County, of course starting with Moraine,” Flores said.
GM also looked at locations in Dayton, Union and Brookville.
Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said GM had planned to locate on Dayton-owned land near the Dayton International Airport before pulling out of the deal after Union had challenged Dayton’s title to the land based on a joint agreement.
“This is particularly disappointing because: 1. We were the originally selected site, and 2. It is a significant investment in our community missed,” Dickstein said. She said the property dispute with Union threatened the timeline GM had for the project.
Mayor Nan Whaley and Dickstein spoke to the media on Sept. 6 to say Dayton had lost out on up to 700 jobs that paid an average of $75,000 annually.
Dickstein said GM planned for the plant to grow to 1 million square feet and 600 to 700 workers. “They were ready to move forward,” she said.
Dayton had planned to include in its incentives a prioritization of the jobs for Dayton residents, “workforce development opportunities that our citizens won’t get now,” Dickstein said.
She acknowledged that Dayton residents still could get jobs at the GM plant. “In the spirit of growing our region’s economy, we are glad they didn’t leave the region,” Dickstein said.
GM is still waiting for local and state approval. Flores said getting local incentives helps the business case for building in Brookville.
Erik Collins, Montgomery County’s development director, said the county will review a resolution on Sept. 17 approving economic funds for the city of Brookville that would encourage GM to build a diesel engine manufacturing plant there.
The ED/GE — Economic Development/Government Equity — funding is a critical next step in that process, Collins said.
“This project is exactly what the ED/GE program was created for,” Collins said. “We have a rich history of manufacturing in Montgomery County.”
Also on Sept. 17, Brookville will consider rezoning land just south of the old Payless distribution plant.
Brookville City Manager Sonja Keaton said if GM does decide to come to town, it would “mean a lot.”
“We are very fortunate that General Motors is considering building a $175 million truck engine plant here,” Keaton said.
The GM plant would bring more than 100 jobs, Flores said.
Flores also said 17 jobs from the Moraine plant would move to the Brookville plant.
Collins said GM has an “aggressive” schedule.
“If the project is approved, we would ideally like to start before the end of the year,” Flores said.
The last standalone wholly owned GM plant in the Dayton area was the SUV assembly plant in Moraine, which closed in late 2008. The DMAX facility is partially owned by GM and the Japanese company Isuzu.
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