Evenflo has agreed to keep its headquarters in Miamisburg, strengthening the region’s potential to keep hundreds of company jobs and possibly add others, an executive said Monday.
The five-year lease deal – part of a $2.3 million modernization project - keeps about 130 jobs at its 225 Byers Road site with a plan to add about 20 more. It also enhances the company’s Piqua manufacturing operations, where it employs more than 300, said Bill Gross, Evenflo executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.
“All of the discussions this time were around our lease here in Miamisburg,” he said. “But one, hopefully, will grow with the other. And that will be a different set of negotiations and discussions at the appropriate time. But there are many potential different options in the future, including moving more manufacturing here to Ohio as well.”
Evenflo’s decision, which Gross said was finalized last month, included incentives from Miamisburg and Montgomery County. The city agreed to a $400,000 forgivable loan while the county approved $175,000 in funds for the infant care products maker.
Area jurisdictions’ willingness to “work with us” bodes well for the state to keep – and possibly add – Evenflo jobs, Gross said.
“We all want to stay here. We’re all Ohio folks,” he said. “This is all helping us enhance our image and our brand to our parents overseas to make Ohio look attractive and when it comes time to grow in certain areas, we’re going to be in a better position to advocate for bringing the work here to Ohio.”
Evenflo’s future in Miamisburg had been in question for months as it sought to modernize office space to satisfy the concerns of its new owner, China-based Goodbaby International.
A move out of Miamisburg would have been “devastating on city finances,” records show, as Evenflo’s $12 million payroll generates about $260,000 annually for the city, according city data.
“We’re certainly glad they’ve come to terms with their landlord and it looks like we’re going to keep them - at least for the next five years,” said Miamisburg Development Director Chris Fine.
Miamisburg Mayor Dick Church Jr. said “Evenflo has been a key member of our corporate community in Miamisburg, and we look forward to extending that relationship.”
Keeping Evenflo in Miamisburg will bring 20 more jobs that would add about $1.6 million in payroll, documents show. However, “our incentive didn’t count heads per se as much it calculated payroll,” Fine said. “Our incentive with them does include some payroll escalation based on some of their assumption for job growth.”
The lease calls for Evenflo to maintain its 65,000 square feet of space. But the key to the new agreement is the ability to modernize facilities, including heating and cooling systems, Gross said.
The company has brought in an architect to determine “what the building should look like and we’re going to make some of those changes in the coming months.”