Business projects with secret code names seek county cash to bring 800+ jobs

Cities compete for $2.5 million in Montgomery County ED/GE grant incentives, as companies seek funding to expand or start new local sites

The city of Dayton is negotiating with an unnamed professional services company on bringing 110 new jobs, with an annual payroll of more than $13 million, to the Delco office building in downtown Dayton.

An Italian producer of medium- and high-voltage transformers, also unnamed, is considering Dayton, as well as sites in Union, Miami Twp. and Trotwood, for 230 new manufacturing and office jobs.

And Trotwood is courting a “content factory” that is considering a site in the former Salem Mall area for production of movies, commercials, video games and more.

Those are three of the business moves seeking Montgomery County development incentive dollars.

An advisory committee heard pitches for all of the projects on Monday. Next Monday, committee members will decide which applications are worthy of funding and how much each should get.

Some of the applications will be rejected, reduced or delayed. There is just over $2.5 million in funding available while the applications seek more than $3.1 million altogether.

The picture that emerged from Monday’s two-hour meeting was one of eight Montgomery County municipalities vying for more than $3 million in county ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) dollars for more than 800 potential jobs total.

Communities apply for ED/GE funding on behalf of companies moving to or expanding in Montgomery County. There are typically two funding deadlines for a pair of funding rounds, in November and April.

Some of the companies eyeing the area want to remain anonymous before making investment decisions. That’s the case with several of the applications, including the Dayton Delco office project, which the city has said represents a total $88 million investment that could draw jobs with an average salary of $118,000.

Meanwhile, “Project Swifty” is the code name for the Italian transformer manufacturer, which is considering several local sites: Park 70/75 in Dayton, Ascent Industrial Park and Airpark 70/75 Logistics Center (both in Union), the Trotwood Industrial Park and the First Flight Commerce Center in Miami Twp.

Sarah Custer, a project manager for the Dayton Development Coalition, told the advisory committee that the transformer project needs a building of about 215,000 square feet, ready to be operational by June 2025.

Custer said she feels the company involved will decide on a location by the end of April.

“They have shown they have a real desire to be in Montgomery County,” she said of the company.

In Trotwood’s “Project Sunrise,” the unnamed content producer is looking for dual sound stages, office buildings, including space for a headquarters, and a mill for set fabrication, all to bring about 124 new jobs to the city, said Chad Downing, executive director of the Trotwood Community Improvement Corporation.

There is significant demand for video production space in locales that have a lower cost of living than larger cities, Downing told the committee.

In Moraine’s “Project Crispy,” a company seeks $250,000 for an unnamed snack food manufacturer to establish itself at the former General Motors paint shop off Stroop Road.

That project could create 250 new jobs as part of a $106 million investment, filling the last of a former General Motors production complex, Moraine City Manager Mike Davis said.

Other projects up for consideration:

· In Kettering: ETI-Starwin, an aerospace-defense company, hopes to expand its facility by 40,000 square feet. The company wants to invest $3.5 million, and the project would create 20 new jobs while protecting 42 current jobs, the county says.

· In Miami Twp., Square Rock LLC/Rushlight Assets Inc. seeks $500,000 to build a 25,763-square-foot building for a headquarters. This projected $10 million investment would create 25 jobs and retain 101 jobs.

· In Miamisburg, a Killer Brownie expansion seeks $100,000 to fuel an investment of $1.9 million for improvements, creating 20 new jobs and retaining 127 existing jobs. The Killer Brownie Co. bought a 27,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Miamisburg in 2019.

· In Riverside, Mechanical Systems and Design seeks $460,000 for the building of a 26,000-square-foot facility to create up to 30 jobs. The company’s main operation is in Dayton, adjacent to the proposed site, the county said. The expansion will support the retention of the company and its current 147 jobs.

Montgomery County ED/GE grants have been a Dayton-area economic incentive since 1992. The program is based on countywide sales tax proceeds from participating communities.

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