The city of Dayton has given out about $4.5 million in economic development incentives to private companies since 2013, including more than $1.5 million awarded just this year, according to data obtained by this newspaper.
But the city says its economic development fund investments have resulted in or will result in more than $78 million in private spending, and those employers have pledged to create or retain 2,760 jobs.
The city’s biggest awards have gone to some of the most highly anticipated projects in the center city, including the redevelopment of the Dayton Arcade, the building of CareSource’s new office tower and the construction of a new hotel at the Water Street District.
The city invests its economic development funds strategically, officials said, and those payments have persuaded large and important employers to remain or expand in Dayton, including some which have been courted by other communities.
“With the economy improving, there’s more need for economic development incentives,” said Ford Weber, Dayton’s director of economic development. “As the economy strengthens, the projects get bigger — even though our incentives are increasing, we’re leveraging more money than we have in the past.”
Recently, Dayton city commissioners approved giving Water Street Hotel LLC $500,000 out of the city’s development fund to support the building of a six-story Fairfield Inn & Suites at the corner of Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard, across from Fifth Third Field.
The award will help pay for unexpected engineering and construction costs related to a 5-foot storm sewer line that cuts through the property. The hotel, the first to be built in downtown in more than 15 years, is expected to cost $13 million and will have 98 rooms.
In March, the commission also approved giving $1 million to help pay for architectural, engineering and demolition services for the Dayton Arcade.
The funding, which will be matched by the team developing the complex, will help ensure developers have an accurate cost estimate for the project before closing on the purchase of the property, city officials said. That is important for developers to put together the financing for the project.
The rehab of the arcade could exceed $75 million, which is not yet reflected in the city’s estimated return on investment for its economic development fund awards.
The city also expects to give Taylor Communications $500,000 out of its economic development fund to help the company move hundreds of workers from their offices on the west side to a building at 111 W. First St. in downtown.
The move benefits a major employer in the city and brings many workers downtown, which hopefully will help existing businesses and will spark new investment, officials said.
In November, the city commission approved spending $500,000 to help CareSource build a new six-story office tower on the 100 block of East First Street that has about 800 office spaces.
CareSource, which employs about 2,100 people downtown, is one of the fastest growing health insurance plans in the nation.
Dayton pitched in funding for the expansion project because it has to compete with other communities to attract and retain major employers, and the entire city benefits from the tax revenue generated by the payroll growth related to the expansions, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said last year.
Here’s a look at the 31 projects that have received economic development grants since 2013 and the amount of private investment involved and the number of jobs employers agreed to create or retain.
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