Business Review: 6 recent moves by Dayton-area businesses

Dayton Power & Light's MacGregor Park headquarters campus in Dayton. Contributed
Dayton Power & Light's MacGregor Park headquarters campus in Dayton. Contributed

After 110 years as Dayton Power & Light, the Dayton area’s electric utility is changing its name.

The utility will be known going forward as “AES Ohio,” reflecting AES Corp.’s own recent rebranding.

“I think this will be a gradual process for our customers,” Kristina Lund, AES Ohio president, told the Dayton Daily News in an interview before the rebranding was officially announced Wednesday. “We know it will take our customers and our community some time to really start to use the AES Ohio name. And that’s normal. Even the process of rolling this out is going to be gradual.”

Customers can now see the name change on company websites and, over time, it will appear on company uniforms and vehicles.

By May and beyond, the change should also be reflected on bills. The name customers will see is AES Ohio. (Also for bill-paying purposes, the company will have redirects in place for saved accounts, and the utility’s legal name remains Dayton Power & Light Co., a spokeswoman noted.)

“DP&L has a century of providing reliable, cost-effective and safe energy for our customers in Dayton and the Miami Valley,” Lund said. “This commitment to our customers will not change. But we are changing the name because technology and innovation are creating important changes and opportunities for our customers.”

“The new name, AES Ohio, signals where we are headed as a company,” Lund added.

Arlington, Va.-based AES Corp. acquired DPL Inc. in 2011 in a $4.7 billion deal. DP&L Co. is a subsidiary of DPL Inc., and at the time, provisions were in place to preserve DP&L’s name and its local headquarters presence. Lund was named president and CEO of what was then DP&L in October 2020.

Rehabilitation hospital coming to Miamisburg

A Pennsylvania-based chain will construct a larger-than-planned post-acute rehabilitation hospital in Miamisburg.

Post Acute Medical initially proposed bringing a 42-bed, one-story facility to a nearly 5.2-acre property on the southeast corner of Alexandersville Road and Crosspointe Drive, according to City Planner Ryan Homsi. Revised plans call for a 62-bed, two-story facility.

Headquartered near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the PAM chain provides post-acute health care services through more than 40 long-term acute care and medical rehabilitation hospitals, as well as 18 outpatient physical therapy locations in 12 states. It operates PAM Specialty Hospital of Dayton, which is part of Kettering Health Network’s Sycamore Medical Center campus in Miamisburg.

The addition of a second floor increases the facility’s square footage from 51,000 square feet to 74,640 square feet, Homsi said.

The reason they needed to do that was PAM currently has 40 beds in Sycamore and at least some of those will be moved to the new building, he said.our understanding is they want to move those or at least some of them over to this facility to allow Kettering Health Network to rework the uses in their current facility,” he said.

The new rehab hospital is expected to create more than 100 jobs, Homsi said.

The hospital will focus on increasing strength and endurance and improving quality of life for patients who no longer need full-fledged hospital care but are not ready to return to their homes following an injury, illness or surgical procedure. That includes, but is not limited to, stroke, brain injury, neurological disease and deficits, amputations, pulmonary disease, orthopedic conditions, spinal cord injury and medically complex conditions.

Fatback’s BBQ has new owners

Fatback’s BBQ — the locally owned barbecue restaurant that operated for seven years at 1334 Linden Ave. in Dayton until shutting its doors in September 2020 — is gearing up to reopen under new owners, who have the full faith and confidence of the restaurant’s founder.

“We plan to keep the Fatback’s tradition going,” the restaurant’s new owner told this news outlet over the weekend. “Our planned re-opening date is early March.”

The new co-owner, who identified himself in a message as Curt, said details about the grand re-opening and the restaurant’s new owners are coming soon.

Fatback’s founder and former owner Larry “Bub” Britton told this news outlet Sunday that the restaurant’s new owners “have my total support and blessing, and I am grateful that Fatback’s Barbecue will live on.”

Opening Fatback’s, Britton said, “was a dream of mine that I am so fortunate to have been able to live out, and it is everything I had hoped it would be. Curt and his partners will be the perfect owners to carry on where my dream comes to an end and a new dream begins.”

Britton said the sale of Fatback’s “is bittersweet for me, as we have discussed before. I am looking forward to retirement and to slow down and enjoy life a bit, but at the same time I will deeply miss not only Fatback’s and the loyal employees and customers, many that I have become good friends with over the years.”

The building that houses Fatback’s, located west of Smithville Road on Linden Avenue, “has been a huge part of my life over the last 38 years, back to when I had my heating and air conditioning business, Comfort Center Inc., in the same building,” Britton said.

Greenfire Fresh to close in Tipp city

The owner of Greenfire Fresh — the Tipp City restaurant formerly known as Greenfire Bistro and founded more than two decades ago as Chin’s Ginger Grill — announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page that he will shut down the eatery permanently next week.

“It is with very heavy hearts that we have to announce that the Greenfire will be closing at the end of this month,” owner Rob Scott wrote.

Rob Scott -- owner of Greenfire Fresh, formerly Greenfire Bistro, in Tipp City -- announced Friday, Feb. 19 that the restaurant will shut down permanently on Feb. 27. FILE
Rob Scott -- owner of Greenfire Fresh, formerly Greenfire Bistro, in Tipp City -- announced Friday, Feb. 19 that the restaurant will shut down permanently on Feb. 27. FILE

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

“There are many factors that have led us to this extremely hard decision. While COVID certainly hasn’t helped the journey, I’m sure I’ve made my own share of mistakes along the way too,” Scott wrote. “Also, due to new codes and regulations, it has become financially overwhelming to bring our kitchen up to code, in order to serve you as best as possible.”

“It has been such an amazing ride with Greenfire. From feeding all of you wonderful people, to the gained friendships, and extraordinary humans we have met along the way.”

“We will officially close our doors on Feb. 27. Until then, please stop in and say goodbye. Grab a drink and fresh inspired food, and give Greenfire the send-off it rightfully deserves!”

In fall of 2020, Scott added a new dining option and concept called Burgers and More by Chef Rob, which operated out of Greenfire Fresh’s kitchen and focused on carryout and delivery.

Norwood Medical to add 10th plant building

Norwood Medical has received zoning approval to move forward with constructing a new, 33,120-square-foot building near its main campus in the McCook Field neighborhood.

The Board of Zoning Appeals this week approved the company’s variance request for the project, which has been discussed for at least several years.

A worker at Norwood Medical, which has more than 1,000 employees on its Dayton campus. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
A worker at Norwood Medical, which has more than 1,000 employees on its Dayton campus. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

The company, a medical device manufacturer, plans a new light manufacturing building on about 1.8 acres of vacant property at 2043 Webster St.

Norwood Medical already has nine plants on its campus in McCook Field.

In March 2017, the city of Dayton approved an enterprise zone agreement with KBK Nine Properties LTD (Norwood Medical) in support of a new manufacturing facility at the Webster Street site.

Under the agreement, the company said it would create at least 40 full-time jobs, with an average annual salary of $34,000.

The company said it planned to invest $4.5 million to $23 million into the facility, between new construction, equipment, machinery and inventory.

The approved enterprise zone promised a tax exemption on 75% of the increased value of the property, once the facility is constructed.

Economy Linen and Towel Service expansion bringing jobs

A large new laundry facility planned for one of the most depressed parts of Dayton is going to help transform the west side, according to city leaders.

Economy Linen and Towel Service plans to invest about $20 million to construct and equip a 78,000-square-foot building on vacant land in the Westview industrial park in the Miami Chapel area.

The project is expected to create about 70 new jobs and retain about 158 jobs, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said.

Economy Linen and Towel Service in downtown Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Economy Linen and Towel Service in downtown Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

“This development Economy Linen is doing in the heart of West Dayton, one of the most depressed areas in our city, it’s going to be transformative,” Dayton City Commissioner Chris Shaw said.

The Dayton City Commission recently approved a development agreement with Economy Linen in support of its planned new facility, which was codenamed “Project Nemo” earlier in the development process. The city will provide $600,000 to the Dayton company to help pay for capital improvements.

Half the money is a grant from the Montgomery County Economic Development/Government Equity Program (ED/GE). The rest comes from the West Dayton Development Fund.

The city also approved a new Community Reinvestment Area that offers a 100% commercial tax abatement for 15 years on the increased value of the property.

In Other News