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Dayton zoning change clears path for company’s new $6M headquarters

Dayton city commissioners approved a zoning change along North Keowee Street that will allow 2J Supply to build a new headquarters and distribution center, seen in this architect’s rendering. SUBMITTED
Dayton city commissioners approved a zoning change along North Keowee Street that will allow 2J Supply to build a new headquarters and distribution center, seen in this architect’s rendering. SUBMITTED

A longtime Dayton company, 2J Supply, will press ahead with plans for a new $6 million-plus headquarters and distribution facility after city commissioners on Wednesday approved the rezoning of 11 acres along North Keowee Street.

The new 61,000-square-feet facility to be built on the east side of the street between Leo Street and Stanley Avenue will continue the area’s renewal, said City Commissioner Matt Joseph.

“I don’t think there is a place in the city, a corridor of the city, that has been transformed as much as Keowee has in the last 10 to 15 years,” Joseph said. “2J coming in is just another step toward making an even more thriving corridor.”

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The heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment wholesale distributor has outgrown its Valley Street location, said Larry Trimbach, formerly an owner of the family business but who still runs the company’s real estate arm.

“This will meet our needs, we believe, for the next 40 years,” he said. “And we’re very excited about what’s happening on Keowee.”

Trimbach said “pioneers” like the Dayton Kroc Center and smaller businesses that invested in the McCook Field neighborhood in recent years made the location appealing, along with the new Keowee Street bridge and nearby interstate access.

The planned building, which will also include a showroom, will have a footprint about 50% larger than the company’s current location, but the new warehouse will gain eight feet in ceiling height, Trimbach said.

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Rezoning the area for light industrial use to accommodate 2J Supply had the support of the McCook Field neighborhood and the city’s Plan Board, said Ann Schenking, the board’s secretary and city’s chief planner, at a hearing during Wednesday’s commission meeting.

The company has 135 employees at 10 locations in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. In addition to Dayton, where 45 work, Ohio locations include Cincinnati, Columbus, Lima, Piketon and Toledo.

Trimbach said a new 32,000-square-feet Columbus facility will open within two weeks, but the Dayton location will be the largest building effort to date with an investment of more than $6 million that could reach $7 million.

“This project is the biggest one we have ever done,” he said.

The company was founded in 1962 by Trimbach’s father, Jerry. Trimbach and his brother Greg have now turned daily operations over to the next generation, he said.

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The new location is about three miles from where the company has been since 1972 at 872 Valley Street between Dayton Children’s Hospital and its Child Health Pavilion. The hospital has a purchase agreement with 2J Supply for when the company moves out, Trimbach said.

Earthwork has already started at the new site that once held two defunct fast food restaurants and the old Royal Motel that erupted in fire in 2011 and later was cleared. The site has been mostly underutilized since, said Jeff Green, a city of Dayton planner.

“By and large the site has been vacant with usage or just nothing going on for quite a while,” Green said. “This would go about reusing a fairly vacant site and add some significant value to the area and basically beautify it as well.”

Trimbach said the company considered locations outside of Dayton but decided to stay where it has roots.

“It’s our hometown,” he said. “We just felt strongly if it were at all possible, we want it to still be smack dab in the center of the city.”