Top Dayton-area business stories of 2018

This year was a year of big moves by local businesses.

From publicly-traded Teradata choosing to move out of state to Tenneco choosing to close out-of-state plants to expand in Kettering, the Dayton-area business community made many bold moves.

Here are some of the top stories from 2018:

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Teradata moves HQ to San Diego

Teradata, one of the last publicly-traded companies in the Dayton area, said in June in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it was moving its headquarters out of Austin Landing and to San Diego.

The data management company — a spin-off of NCR — had about 300 employees working at its Miami Twp. office, though about 40 employees were offered a chance to keep their jobs and work remotely.

The loss of Teradata raised questions of whether the Dayton-area has what it takes to attract and keep its prominent tech companies. Local leaders, however, emphasized the area’s strengths, including the amenities of downtown, the abundance of workers with tech talent thanks to Wright-Patt, and the pipeline from local universities.

Airport development

Construction boomed around the Dayton International Airport and big companies announced plans for hundreds of jobs at new industrial buildings in the area.

The sites are not only close to the airport but also are attractive for being near the intersection of Interstates 70 and 75.

Alpla, a plastic packaging manufacturer, hired about 50 and spent about $21 million for a new plant by the airport. Chewy is planning to have 600 employees at one of the new warehouses and Purina has opened a distribution center with about 30 employees.

A proposal for road improvements also revealed two other companies — referred to only by code names “project Cayman,” and “project Nora,” could create about 130 jobs and 200 to 250 new jobs, respectively, at new facilities by the Dayton airport.

Downtown Dayton

Downtown Dayton had notable business successes throughout 2018. Water Street District continued to expand, including the addition of the first new hotel in downtown in decades. Water Street developers Woodard Development and Crawford Hoying are also in progress building new housing across from Fifth Street Field.

The stagnant proposal to redevelop the Fire Blocks District got a boost when a new developer took over the project. Columbus-based Windsor Companies has been buying the same properties, starting work and had received a county incentive toward the project around the 100 block of East Third Street. The goal is to redevelop the buildings for a mix of uses, including housing, office and retail.

Lots of empty office space remains in downtown Dayton towers — a continuous struggle for the city’s core — though there have also been some notable gains. That includes Stratacache, a Dayton digital sign firm, buying a prominent downtown office tower. The CEO hinted more good news is to come but said it is too early to give details. But in 2019, the company is expected to share its plans.

Hospital construction

Local hospitals continued to expand their reach and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on new and expanded locations.

Kettering Health is in the midst of several new construction projects and recently completed several other large projects. Some of the projects that started in 2018 for Kettering Health Network include 70 million, five-story tower at Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek, a $30 million freestanding ER and medical center in Piqua, a $25 million expansion and renovation at Grandview Medical Center. Construction continued on a new hospital in Troy, set to open mid 2019.

Dayton Children’s Hospital opened a new Dayton Children’s urgent care in Huber Heights, is building a community health center at its main campus, is renovating for its first ever mental health unit and is exploring building a five-story outpatient center at its main campus.

Premier Health completed a $60 million expansion of Miami Valley Hospital South, is building medical centers in Beavercreek and Vandalia, started work on a new rehabilitation hospital at Miami Valley’s main campus and opened a new freestanding ER in Miamisburg.

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Good Samaritan Hospital closing

Premier Health announced in January that it would close Good Samaritan Hospital, which at the time employed about 1,600 at its main campus. Major services and jobs moved to other Premier sites.

The hospital grew over the years into multiple buildings across a 13 acre campus and has been the site of hundreds of births, surgeries, career launches and professional milestones. But declining demand for inpatient services, the population shift to the suburbs and extra capacity at Miami Valley Hospital all led to the decision to close, according to Premier.

Premier has pledged $10 million toward redeveloping the site and plans to tear down the majority of the buildings, minus the parking garage and Five Rivers Health Centers building. The effort to redevelop the site will continue into 2019.

The closure sparked concern from some neighborhood residents and elected officials that the loss of the anchoring institution would negatively impact the surrounding neighborhoods. The closure also prompted a group of clergy to file a civil rights complaint, which is still pending.

Tenneco expanding in Kettering

Tenneco will nearly double its Kettering workforce, adding 300 jobs as part of a $61.5 million investment that significantly expands the plant.

The auto parts supplier will close two other out-of-state plants.

That investment will bring at least 300 jobs for line workers, engineers and back office staff,adding to the company’s 400-plus current Kettering employees.

Elder-Beerman closes

Elder-Beerman closed its last department stores in the Dayton area following a bankruptcy and liquidation. The roots of Elder-Beerman can be traced back to a Dayton dry goods store and Elder-Beerman once had a flagship store in downtown Dayton. In 2003, Elder-Beerman was acquired by Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

The closure of the department stores followed years of struggles, bankruptcies and quarterly losses.

The brand has since come back as an online store, though it’s unlikely that the company will reclaim physical retail locations within the Dayton area.

Wright Patt NASIC expansion

President Donald Trump signed into law this summer a $716-billion defense bill and with it, millions of dollars to pay for one of the largest projects in the history of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The bill authorizes $182 million in funding for an expansion of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patt.

NASIC will receive an initial $61 million so construction can begin in fiscal year 2019. The construction period would likely be two and a half years.

NASIC is an intelligence agency that analyzes adversaries’ air, space, and cyber threats, such as ballistic missile capabilities, and provides findings to political and military leaders.

Amazon’s Ohio growth

Amazon is opening a new fulfillment center in Monroe, which will employ about 1,000.

The corporate giant is also opening a package-sorting “air gateway” at Wilmington Air Park, an airport 40 minutes southeast of Dayton that was decimated in the past decade when cargo carrier DHL announced it was leaving town.

The $178 billion company appears to have an affinity to the Buckeye State where it’s now one of the top 60 largest employers. After securing hefty incentive packages, Amazon has created 6,000 jobs in the past seven years and has commitments to add 5,500 more employees.



Slim Jim factory expansion

The Conagra Brands plant in Troy produces about a billion Slim Jim meat sticks each year — and is working on a giant expansion.

With the help of incentives, the project would include $27 million in new construction and $42 million in new machinery and equipment. It calls for 62,800 square feet of new space and would create 50 new jobs. The Troy operation now employs 681 people, according to the application.

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University of Dayton breaks research record

University of Dayton performed $149.8 million in sponsored research in fiscal year 2018, eclipsing a previous record of $135.9 million set in fiscal 2017.

The 2017 record itself rose above the previous record of $117.6 million set in fiscal 2016.

This research draws in millions of dollars in contracts, notably defense contracts, and helps support hundreds of high paying jobs in the region.

University of Dayton Research Institute employs about 600 full-time and part-time, professional researchers, technicians and administrative staff.

Honda expansion

Honda, one of the largest employers in the region, appears to be gearing up for a big expansion at its Anna engine plant. The automaker has recently applied to Shelby County for a new building construction permit valued at $33 million.

The Honda of America and Devon Industrial Group application — filed near the end of November — seeks permission to build a 119,063-square-foot building for manufacturing and storage at 12500 Meranda Road in Anna. A second concurrent application seeks permission to build a 29,244-square-foot addition for storage valued at $3.5 million.

While Honda hasn’t provided more details on its plans, but the continued grown of Ohio’s largest auto maker has boosted the region, providing not only direct jobs but also a steady stream of work for local suppliers.

Medical marijuana industry launch

Lots of businesses sought to get in on the ground floor of Ohio’s fledgling medical marijuana program.

Medical marijuana will be available soon and a crop of new businesses from cultivators to dispensaries ahve launched to get in on the industry. The real estate industry reaped gains after the program created demand for space for these businesses. Central State University has been awarded a provisional license to operate a test lab.

Cresco Labs at 1130 Springs Way in Yellow Springs started harvesting its first mature cannabis plants in December.

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