Spectrum’s building plans at Dayton airport leave room for growth

Distribution site will be built were customers are, VP says

Spectrum Brands Global Auto Care’s plans to build a 570,000 square foot distribution and manufacturing facility at the Dayton International Airport make sense because of its location, a vice president for the company said.

The “ship-to” center of gravity for the company’s products — STP fluids, Armor All and A/C Pro — is anchored in Southwestern Ohio, said Ken Burns, the company’s vice president, supply chain.

“When we take a look at our center of gravity for our customer base, it’s the Cincinnati-Dayton area,” Burns said.

Spectrum Brands, a global company overseeing an array of consumer brands, examined locations where the company might ship auto care products out of one center.

“We looked at (Interstate) 75 and I-70,” Burns said. “And (we looked at) quite honestly, the incentives that the state and local area are providing us, and the workforce, and that’s how we came to the solution.”

Montgomery County Commission approved last month $350,000 in taxpayer funds to assist the $33 million project. The Ohio Controlling Board on Monday will weigh a request for $660,000 for road funds to prepare a site for Spectrum off National Road and Concorde Drive at the airport in Northern Montgomery County.

But Burns — a veteran of General Motors and Delphi who used to live in Kettering — added that incentives weren’t necessarily the most important factor in deciding to locate in Dayton.

It was a “mixture” of factors, he said. Availability of workforce, cost of workforce, nearby highways and more were involved in providing a “better overall package.”

“They were very, I mean, extremely helpful,” Burns said of local government officials who worked with Spectrum.

The site will offer room for growth. The building, which will open by early 2017, can easily expand by more than 100,000 square feet, Burns said.

Besides the previously mentioned brands, Rayovac batteries will be shipped from the distribution center. In addition, there will be manufacturing of A/C Pro refrigerant as well as research for STP, Armor All and A/C Pro products.

“We don’t have anything immediate,” Burns said of plans for growth. “But we are preparing ourselves to continue to grow, both from a manufacturing standpoint, if need be, but particularly from a distribution standpoint.”

Some of the jobs planned for the site will come from Spectrum or third-party facilities, such as an R&D center in Pleasanton, Calif., an aerosol manufacturing site in Garland, Texas and a Mentor, Ohio distribution center. Burns said by far most Dayton employees will be local.

He said the company will have job fairs, although no dates are set yet. He expects to work with what he called the “Dayton team” — most likely the local Ohio Means Jobs office — to arrange those.

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