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Huffy brand started in Dayton in 1800s: What you need to know

Huffy is planning to move the headquarters where it designs all the bikes bearing its iconic brand to a new home in Miami Twp.

Huffy Corp., now based in Centerville, is planning to move to a 50,000-square-foot headquarters that will give the company 40 percent more space to design and showcase its sample bikes.

“For the past decade, the Centerville location handled our growth; we’ve simply outgrown our current building,” said Bill Smith, Huffy Corp. president and chief executive officer.

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The privately-owned company expects to move by the end of the year to 8877 Gander Creek, where about 100 employees will work out of the leased office.

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“The Miami Twp. building is ideal for our home operations which allows us more room and better facilities for our new business initiatives and planned growth,” Smith said in a statement. “We can expand and stretch the footprint of marketing, sales and operations to meet our growing needs. All of our product innovations and creative designs happen right here in Dayton, Ohio, and the new space gives us more flexibility for our customer meetings.”

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The corporate headquarters, which had been in Centerville for about 10 years, is where the company does design, sales, marketing, product development and other corporate operations. The new facility will have amenities for employees like a new fitness center.

Huffy can trace its roots in Dayton back 125 years, to when produced its first bicycle in Dayton in 1892 while originally operating as the Davis Sewing Machine Company.

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The current Huffy name derives from the last name of George Huffman, of the same Huffman family that helped shape Dayton and continues to mark Dayton like with Huffman neighborhood that bears the name.

The company says it introduced the world’s first training wheels for bikes, created 4,000 military bikes during World War II and in 1979 Huffy’s 30 millionth bike made it into the Smithsonian Institution.

It manufactures in China and stopped making bicycles domestically about 20 years ago, citing at the time sharp competition from Chinese imports.

Representatives from large corporations like Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us and Disney come to Huffy’s headquarters to work with the bike brand. Huffy bikes are sold at more than 10,000 retail locations shipping 5 million bicycles annually throughout the U.S., as well as more than 50 countries.

Huffy’s announcement is “really good news for Miami Twp.,” township Administrator Greg Rogers said.

Its move to Gander Creek Drive will fill one of the remaining “large vacant spaces in that office park,” said Miami Twp. Community Development Director Chris Snyder.

“We’ve seen a lot of revitalization the past few years,” he said.

“We’ve had a number of companies moving not just their operations – but their headquarters – to Miami Twp. and that office park in particular. We’re glad to see that. It’s good to see office development springing up throughout the township,” he added.

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Companies relocating to the Newmark Office Park area have included Acclimate Technologies Inc., which tripled its size after from downtown Dayton. Late last year, Verso Corp. announced the Memphis-based company was moving its headquarters to that area as well in a move local officials would stabilize more than 200 jobs.

Also last year, Sensor Technology Systems Inc. said its move from Beavercreek would result in 120 jobs. The maker of night vision goggles and other electro-optical products for special operations forces, defense forces and law enforcement is consolidating operations at a 50,000 square foot Newmark Drive location.

The building Huffy is moving into was built in 1988 and sits on about 5.4 acres, valued at about $3.9 million, according to property records.

The property is owned by Florida-based F9 Properties LLC, represented by Dave Dickinson and Russell Maas of NAI Bergman. Aaron Savino, of Miller-Valentine Group, represented Huffy in the lease.

The choice by Huffy is a “testament” to the township’s staff, the Miamisburg school district as well as other partners, said Trustee Doug Barry.

“We’re obviously a community (that) is on the radar beacon of economic development folks as a place that’s easy to do business with and a place they want to call home,” he said.

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