The Spectrum Brands auto products distribution center covers some 570,000 square feet and employs nearly 350 people. It opened last year near the airport, an area where Dayton officials expect 1,000 new jobs this year. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Photo: Thomas Gnau/Staff
Photo: Thomas Gnau/Staff

Dayton goal: 1,000 new jobs, 1 million square feet under roof at airport

The city’s goal to bring 1,000 new jobs to the Dayton International Airport area picked up two big boosts.

First, a developer who just started constructing a third large industrial facility at the airport already wants to build a fourth.

In addition to industrial job growth and redevelopment around the airport, some airlines also are growing their local payrolls. Air Wisconsin Airlines this week announced it is relocating some maintenance operations to Dayton.

“They are going to employ about 70 people once they are fully staffed,” Terry Slaybaugh, Dayton’s director of aviation, said.

RELATED: Dayton airport to land $56M in new development, hundreds of new jobs

Interest in the airport site is so strong that the developer NorthPoint Development is looking to construct a spec (speculative) building with no committed end user, Slaybaugh said.

NorthPoint’s three buildings under development are bringing hundreds of new jobs and could help the airport achieve its goal of adding 1,000 new positions this year, he said.

Kansas City-based NorthPoint built a 570,000-square-foot facility for Spectrum Brands, which had a ribbon cutting in mid-2017. The building is at the northwest corner of West National Road and Terminal Drive.

About 325 people work at the facility, and payrolls can increase to 500 seasonally, officials said.

NorthPoint is working to complete a second facility, located just west of its first building, which already has 350,000 square feet leased to a consumer goods tenant, according to Colliers International. The second building has about 524,160 square feet of space. There are two tenants, who employ about 400 people, Slaybaugh said.

The firm began construction on a third building last week, and it will offer more than 433,000 square feet of space. The site is near the intersection of Dog Leg Road and Union Airpark Boulevard, which is land the city of Dayton annexed from Butler Twp. The building has 250,000 square feet of space leased, representing about 250 expected jobs.

NorthPoint already has been talking about erecting a fourth building on spec, an encouraging sign of growing confidence in the industrial market. The building would have more than 500,000 square feet of space.

Colliers, a real estate services company, said that Dayton’s industrial market posted 191,603 square feet of positive net absorption during the first three months of 2018.

MORE: More jobs coming to new airport industrial site

The city of Dayton on Wednesday approved sanitary sewer and water line improvements to extend those services to the 154 acres of annexed property.

The infrastructure improvements open up the site for more than 2 million square feet of space for new development, Slaybaugh said. NorthPoint’s concept plans for the property show three buildings, with the largest offering more than 1.4 million square feet of space.

“We hope by the end of this year that we’ll have more than 1 million square feet up on the north side of the (airport),” Slaybaugh said.

There’s good news on the job front at the airport, too.

Air Wisconsin Airlines plans to relocate and expand its aircraft maintenance operations at the Dayton International Airport, which would bring new jobs and generate $3.4 million in new payroll.

“This is great — this is good news for so many reasons,” said Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph.

Air Wisconsin proposes spending about $1 million to renovate and equip a hangar at the airport to relocate a maintenance and training operations center from Virginia, according to city of Dayton documents. The airport will employ about 70 people.

Dayton city commissioners this week approved spending as much as $165,000 to help with the expansion project.

Air Wisconsin Airlines is exclusively operating as United Express with crew bases in Chicago O’Hare, Milwaukee and Washington Dulles, the company said.

“This is a great opportunity, not only because it helps us with air service, but also because these mechanic jobs are really good-paying jobs,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

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