The Top 10 Dayton business stories of 2016

The health care building boom, downtown commercial growth and the expansion of manufacturers in 2016 were among the top business stories in the Dayton area.
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The health care building boom, downtown commercial growth and the expansion of manufacturers in 2016 were among the top business stories in the Dayton area.

The health care building boom, downtown commercial growth and the expansion of manufacturers in 2016 were among the top business stories in the Dayton area.

Manufacturers like DMAX, Navistar and Fuyao announced expansions in 2016 and new companies like Spectrum announced their arrival to the Miami Valley.

The manufacturing news was only surpassed by the continued growth in the health care industry here.

Kettering Health Network, Premier Health and Dayton Children’s Hospital continued their growth plans in 2016 with new buildings opening and the announcement of new facilities to come to serve the growing health needs in the Miami Valley.

Here were some of the biggest business stories of the year:

ExploreHospital growth

Construction nears completion on Kettering Health Network’s new cancer center connected to Kettering Medical Center by a bridge across Southern Boulevard. The new five-story building will house 30 cancer specialists. A patient advisory council helped design the facility. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
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Construction nears completion on Kettering Health Network’s new cancer center connected to Kettering Medical Center by a bridge across Southern Boulevard. The new five-story building will house 30 cancer specialists. A patient advisory council helped design the facility. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

In 2016, Dayton area hospitals were at the forefront of a commercial building boom, including a new cancer center, patient towers and freestanding emergency departments across this region.

Earlier this month, Kettering Health Network opened the doors to a new $53 million, 120,000-square-foot comprehensive cancer center on the campus of its flagship Kettering Medical Center.

And in November, Premier Health announced plans for a $60 million expansion at Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville, expected to be completed by 2018.

Meanwhile, Dayton Children's Hospital is putting the finishing touches on a new $141 million, eight-story patient tower slated to open in the spring on the hospital's main campus near downtown.

Premier has spent approximately $150 million on construction over the past three years, while Kettering has spent more than $50 million in the past five years.

Hospital officials say new state-of-the-art facilities will help them fulfill their mission of providing high-level care closer to home.

ExploreCareSource to grow
An artist’s rendering of the new CareSource Center City
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An artist’s rendering of the new CareSource Center City

Downtown Dayton's biggest employer continued to add workers at a rapid pace in 2016, hiring more than 800 workers over the past 11 months alone.

To accomodate such dramatic employment growth, the nonprofit Medicaid managed care provider and private health insurer in October announced plans for a a new, seven-story, office building, CareSource Center City, at the corner of First and Jefferson streets near its headquarters.

CareSource, which has about 2,100 employees in four different buildings downtown, will consolidate many of those employees in the new building, in addtion to at least 650 new workers the company plans to hire over the next three years as part of an agreement with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority to extend a job-creation tax credit.

CareSource has experienced exponential growth in its health plans' membership as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the launch of the Ohio dual eligible program MyCare Ohio, and a continual increase in Medicaid business through expansion and opportunities in new states.

ExploreFuyao Glass America
Fuyao has hired extensively in the Miami Valley for its Moraine plant. STAFF PHOTO
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Fuyao has hired extensively in the Miami Valley for its Moraine plant. STAFF PHOTO

The area's fastest growing manufacturer continues to gain attention here and across the world. A Chinese billionaire industrialist bought the former General Motors plant in Moraine in 2014, starting with a pledge of 800 jobs.

Today, what is said to be the world’s biggest single-site auto glass production factory has more than 2,000 workers, on its way to 3,000.

Still, there have been apparent bumps on the plant’s road to steady growth, and those became apparent in 2016.

A few weeks after the plant's official opening in October, the company replaced its top two local executives. Manufacturing veteran Jeff Daochuan Liu is now Fuyao Glass America's president, joined by several fellow Chinese nationals in key roles. Former University of Dayton President Dan Curran remains a independent board member and a spokesman for Fuyao.

The new leaders said the changes are intended to improve the company’s efficiency, driving the company to profitability.

Liu said Fuyao has lost about $90 million in two years. He pledged to institute profit-sharing for workers when profitability is achieved and to hand the plant off to local leadership when the time is right.

ExploreSpectrum Auto Brands
Spectrum Brands’ new $33 million Dayton distribution and manufacturing center is preparing to open, and the site needs qualified workers.
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Spectrum Brands’ new $33 million Dayton distribution and manufacturing center is preparing to open, and the site needs qualified workers.

Dayton officials have long touted the economic potential of Dayton International Airport. 2016 was the year when that was demonstrated in at least two big ways.

Spectrum Auto Brands chose land at the airport off U.S. 40 as a site for a distribution, manufacturing and research facility, and Dayton-based regional carrier PSA Airlines opened a new maintenance hangar at Dayton International.

Spectrum will be housed in a $33 million, 570,000-square-foot building. The business focuses on auto care products, especially the manufacture and distribution of STP, Armor All and A/C Pro brands.

The building is the latest in a series of corporate moves that solidifies Dayton's reputation as a Midwestern distribution hub.

ExploreNuVasive
NuVasive Inc. is moving to from Fairborn to West Carrollton in the former MotoMan building. The new facility is expected to employ more than 300 people, up from 100 employees in Fairborn. The company plans a 130,000-square-foot state-of-the-art medical device facility for spinal implant and instrument manufacturing. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
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NuVasive Inc. is moving to from Fairborn to West Carrollton in the former MotoMan building. The new facility is expected to employ more than 300 people, up from 100 employees in Fairborn. The company plans a 130,000-square-foot state-of-the-art medical device facility for spinal implant and instrument manufacturing. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Someday soon, someone's improved spine will have been built in Dayton.

Or West Carrollton, actually. The spinal implants manufacturer has invested about $45 million into robotics manufacturer Motoman's former Liberty Lane facility, with plans to bring an existing Fairborn workforce south to the new site, where a total of about 300 people will work.

“This is where the magic happens — or will happen,” said Ruben Perez, NuVasive senior director of manufacturing, as he led a group of about 30 local officials in a tour of the site in July. The building’s 80,000-square-foot manufacturing floor will be home to the high-tech engineering and machining of implants and associated instruments.

ExploreDMAX
General Motors on Thursday announced a new diesel engine will be built at the DMAX plant in Moraine, helping protect the plant’s workforce of some 600 workers.
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General Motors on Thursday announced a new diesel engine will be built at the DMAX plant in Moraine, helping protect the plant’s workforce of some 600 workers.

There was a time not that long ago when the future of the Moraine DMAX plant — birthplace of the famed Duramax diesel heavy-truck engine — was in doubt.

But an improving economy and lower gas prices have helped dispel those doubts. In late 2015, plant co-owners GM and Isuzu announced a capacity increase and an $82 million investment in the plant, along with 150 new jobs. And then a new engine was announced for the site later in 2016.

On Oct. 6, production of that new engine began. The new power-plant raises horsepower from 395 to 445. GM says it boasts a 19 percent boost in max torque over the previous Duramax, with quieter performance.

ExploreABX Air
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The year was one of success and challenges for the Wilmington-based cargo airline.

In March, ABX Air parent Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) announced what observers long suspected: That online giant Amazon had become one of the company's most important customers.

Amazon was leasing six ATSG Boeing 767s to assist in the delivery side of its business. The agreement let Amazon lease up to 20 of company’s planes.

But that increased business — tied also to an overall improving economy — brought stress. In November, Teamsters-represented ABX pilots struck the company for about 40 hours over three days because, they said, the company was forcing them to fly too many hours.

A federal judge ordered the pilots back to work the day before Thanksgiving, and the issue of mandated flights will go to the ABX-Teamsters arbitration process.

ExploreFairgrounds sale
Some groups fear future Montgomery County Fairgrounds development will poach businesses and customers from other parts of the city. LISA POWELL / STAFF
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Some groups fear future Montgomery County Fairgrounds development will poach businesses and customers from other parts of the city. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Premier Health and the University of Dayton declared their intention to buy the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on South Main Street, with an aim to redevelop the property in a way that benefits the community's future.

No plans have been released for the development of the fairgrounds, but Premier Health, the owner of Miami Valley Hospital across the street, has been interested in the fairgrounds site on and off for decades.

It has no firm plans for the property, said Mary Boosalis, Premier's president, but Miami Valley Hospital across the street is landlocked, and the hospital needs to be prepared for future changes in health care that could require new additions or investments, she said.

ExploreTaylor Communications commits
Shares of Standard Register nosedived Wednesday, falling 54 cents to $1.93 — about 22 percent below the close of trading a day earlier.
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Shares of Standard Register nosedived Wednesday, falling 54 cents to $1.93 — about 22 percent below the close of trading a day earlier.

Taylor Communications, the former Standard Register company, with more than 100 years in Dayton, announced in April it will remain at its Albany Street location, keeping 600 or more jobs in Dayton.

In August 2015, Taylor Corp. completed its acquisition of the assets of Standard Register Co. In 2014, Standard Register sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That filing came after the company's acquisition of local rival WorkflowOne, which began in late 2013.

The newly combined company at the time of Taylor’s acquisition had more than 12,000 employees working in more than 80 companies with operations in 32 states and nine countries.

“We are very proud to have this organization as a part of our family of companies. We believe this change more clearly states who we are and our ability to offer some of the most expansive set of products and services in the industry,” Deb Taylor, Taylor Communications Inc. chief executive, said.

ExploreArcade proposal announced
The Dayton Arcade, which opened in 1904, closed its doors for good in 1991. The centerpiece of the Dayton landmark is the three-story domed rotunda. LISA POWELL / STAFF
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The Dayton Arcade, which opened in 1904, closed its doors for good in 1991. The centerpiece of the Dayton landmark is the three-story domed rotunda. LISA POWELL / STAFF

development team consisting of Dayton-based Miller-Valentine and Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners announced in January a proposal to redevelop portions of the Dayton Arcade.

The developers are pursuing funding for the project, to include housing targeted to the creative community.