NorthPoint executive on Dayton area: ‘These are great places for investments’

If five years ago you had told Brent Miles, a founding partner of Kansas City-based NorthPoint Development, that his company would oversee the creation of nearly five million square feet of industrial space in Dayton, Ohio, he might have laughed.

“If you went in a time machine and told me, ‘You’re going to develop 4.7 million square feet in Dayton in the next five years,’ I would have told you you’re crazy,” Miles said Tuesday in what was a NorthPoint representative’s first interview with the Dayton Daily News.

But that’s what Miles and his colleagues have done, with the cooperation of local and state leaders, as well as a CBRE brokerage team and more than a few companies willing to take a chance on locations near Dayton International Airport.

The growth continues. On Monday, NorthPoint told Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority trustees of plans for the company’s ninth and tenth overall Dayton-area industrial projects.

ExploreDevelopment, expansions near Dayton airports expected to create 583 jobs

The ninth building will be a $45 million project on 86 acres near Frederick Pike and Jackson Road. The tenth building will be a $25 million endeavor near Peters Road and Macy Lane in Dayton.

“We’ve always believed in the simple idea that Dayton should be on the map because of location,” Miles said.

And it wasn’t lost on a Kansas City-based team that could things could happen in the Dayton area.

“We might be flyover country, but these are great places for investments,” Miles said.

Easy access to the intersection of Interstates 70 and 75, a ready workforce and local governments ready to welcome projects have been “a recipe for success.”

Said Miles: “Capital goes where capital is welcome.”

Neither tenant for the new buildings has been identified, although Miles said both have agreed to terms. He expects somewhere around 400 jobs between the two, with the lion’s share of jobs (about 300) slated for the ninth building

The tenant in the tenth building, a manufacturer, should be operating by late 2022 while the ninth building’s tenant, a well known company, should be up and running by early 2023, said Tim McElroy, NorthPoint vice president of development.

They could be identified in the next 60 to 90 days, Miles believes.

Their work is comparable to companies who have already found success in the area near the airport since Spectrum Brands (now Energizer Global Auto Products) first set up shop off what is now Concorde Drive in the summer of 2016.

ExploreHow the area around the Dayton airport became a hub for distribution jobs

Spectrum was the first NorthPoint building. Other established companies include pet care goods e-commerce company Chewy on Lightner Road and shoeware company Crocs, which has operated in three buildings, all told, near Dog Leg Road.

They fit “right in that mold,” Miles said of the next tenants.

“It’s a great company. It’s an international company, actually,” Miles said of the tenant eyeing the 622,300-square-foot warehouse, the ninth building.

A jobs audit by NorthPoint Development given to the city of Dayton in July pointed to what were then eight companies employing 2,715 workers.

Asked about hitting diminishing returns in finding qualified workers, Miles said that’s a concern in every market.

“Columbus is concerned about workforce,” he said. “Indy is concerned about workforce, Louisville is concerned about workforce.”

However, Miles and his colleagues are big believers in transportation infrastructure as an economic driver. “You want to make sure trucks can get in and out, your people can get in and out,” he said.

Last October, Dayton and Montgomery County officials formally launched the $14.9 million effort to widen U.S. 40 to five lanes, boosting access from Union Airpark Boulevard to the Dayton International Airport Access Road.

McElroy praises Union city manager John Applegate for seeing to it that a wide, five-lane Union Airpark was built, which made possible the Procter & Gamble facility there, a key early project in the area.

“It’s a great road,” McElroy said. “We don’t see industrial roads of that capacity developed for one building. John knew back then, that at some point in time, that area was going to take off.”

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