Developer seeks county funds for Oregon District-area parking garage

Project is one of 11 seeking county tax money.

Building a 350-vehicle parking garage just east of the Oregon District is the “seed” that will transform that part of Dayton, attracting $120 million in investments, developer and architect Bill Weyland told a committee weighing requests Friday for Montgomery County development grants.

On this proposed garage — in the area of Walnut Street — hinges a possible new hotel and other uses in a proposed mixed-use locale that could ultimately employ 135 people, advocates say.

“This will allow us to create the buildings where we will have great employment opportunities,” Weyland, of Weyland Ventures, told committee members.

The city of Dayton is asking for $500,000 in county ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) grants to help fund the project.

“This will be a transformative project for the city,” said Keith Klein, a Dayton development specialist.

That was just one of 11 ED/GE requests the committee considered Friday.

There are a total of nearly $2.6 million in requests jostling for only $1.3 million in available funds — so some applicants will be turned away or they will receive much less than requested.

ED/GE grants are meant to be incentives for business expansions or moves to or within Montgomery County. County sales tax proceeds fund the grants, in part. The funds also come from shared increased tax revenues.

The committee will next meet Dec. 13 to decide on specific recommendations to Montgomery County Commission — which projects should receive ED/GE funds and how much they should get.

Commissioners will get the final vote.

The new Dayton parking garage would be owned by the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority, according to the application the city gave the county.

Brothers Paul and John Haley, the principals running Gosiger Inc. — the manufacturer anchoring the “Oregon East” area at 108 McDonough St. — joined Weyland in appealing for funds.

The company has operated in that area since the 1930s.

“One day we woke up and found ourselves surrounded by abandoned buildings,” Pete Haley said.

“The parking (garage) is so core to what will happen,” John Haley added.

Advocates for another area mixed-used proposal are also seeking funds.

Centerville is asking for $400,000 to demolish the former Kroger store off South Main Street — vacant since 2011 — making way for a $130 million, 15-acre mixed use office, residential and retail development — and a projected 210 new jobs, with further jobs possible.

Centerville, in its application for funds, puts the value of the development’s first phase at $90 million, mostly for new business and commercial spaces.

The second phase of the project — called “Centerville Place” would be primarily residential, the city’s application to the county says.

A professional office user has already committed to putting 210 office jobs at the site, taking up 60,000 square feet there.

Rob Smith, of Dillin LLC, the developer pursuing the project, declined to identify the employer or its industry, but he said the overall development “will be a game-changer for the south Dayton area.”

“This is not pulling jobs away from another city in this region,” Smith said.

Centerville Place could ultimately be home to as many as 500 new jobs, Smith and Centerville advocates are saying.

Elsewhere in Montgomery County, defense contractor Cornerstone Research Group, is pursuing a $10 million expansion that will create 250 high-paying jobs in Miami Twp. That business seeks $200,000.

The Cornerstone expansion would make room for more than 80 engineers in the township, the company said.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has already approved a 2.101 percent, nine-year “job creation tax credit” toward that expansion.

Cornerstone Research Group moved to Miamisburg from Beavercreek two years ago.

In Vandalia, Xerion Advanced Battery is set to move to a former Delphi plant at Northwoods Boulevard and Interstate 75, eyeing the creation of 200 possible new jobs — 150 production jobs and 50 engineering jobs.

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