Economic development in the cities of Middletown, Monroe and Trenton boils down to what major projects are already on the horizon, but also which ones are percolating below the surface.
That’s the case in Middletown, especially in the more than 500 acres of the city’s Renaissance East District, which Middletown Assistant Economic Development Director Matt Eisenbraun said is the city’s “best opportunity for future growth.”
“Atrium has made the decision to work with Duke (Energy) and their site readiness program to look at the 80 acres they have between Union Road and I-75,” Eisenbraun said Thursday during a Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe & Trenton economic forecast luncheon.
“That’s going to help them plan out and look at acreage and the resources and the infrastructure that is there to develop and that’s a last step before we see a development taking place.”
Here are five other development projects expected to have a major impact in 2018 and beyond.
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Kettering Middletown medical center (Middletown)
Kettering Health Network plans to build a $30 million medical facility on 15 acres of land it purchased in Middletown on Ohio 122 just southeast of Interstate 75.
The 67,000-square-foot medical center — Kettering Middletown — will offer a full-service emergency department, outpatient lab and imaging services and medical office building for physician practices. It is expected to create 110 new jobs, including registered nurses, respiratory therapists, imaging and lab technicians and support staff.
Amazon and the remainder of Park North at Monroe
Amazon is working to open at Park North at Monroe industrial park a fourth Ohio fulfillment center that will create more than 1,000 jobs in the city. The nearly 1.4 million-square-foot facility near I- 75 will house employees who will pick, pack and ship larger customer orders.
The fulfillment center on Gateway Boulevard is being developed by IDI Logistics, which is bringing the second Monroe location of retailer Hayneedle and pet food distributor Blue Buffalo to the Class A industrial park. Building 10 includes 750,000 square feet of spec space.
“(That’s) not something we see a whole lot of in this area, but Monroe’s been really fortunate to benefit from that speculative development,” said Jennifer Patterson, Monroe’s assistant to the city manager focusing on economic development.
Plans are in the works to build another spec building on the site with 180,000 square feet of space, Patterson said.
Atrium Medical Center health center
Premier Health’s Atrium Medical Center plans to build a health center in Monroe at the northwest corner of Ohio 63 and North Main Street. The more than 19,000-square-foot facility will house a primary care practice, specialty physicians and potentially other services.
Atrium purchased the 16.3-acre property for $2.2 million, according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office records.
The expansion of aluminum extruder Magnode at 400 E. State St. in Trenton revolves around a new 45,000-square-foot building and is centered on a new 3,300-ton extrusion press line designed by UBE, a Japanese manufacturer of extrusion presses, according Martin Bidwell, Magnode’s president and CEO.
“They had to get a new press to replace one that they had that dated from 1950,” said James Foster, Trenton’s economic development director. “It was a wonderful press, but it was also 67 years old.”
The building and press line, part of a $13 million expansion, will be commissioned Feb. 28, company officials said.
“This is an example of … a traditional manufacturer that is making a huge commitment to our region,” Foster said. “There will be a considerable employment increase.”
Jeff Couch’s RV Nation
Trenton also will see the completion of construction on and opening of Jeff Couch’s RV Nation, which is consolidating its inventory from three separate locations, including one in New Miami, to 38 acres at Trenton Industrial Park, 5555 Kennel Road.
“One of the things that will do is improve the utilities greatly in the remainder of the park,” Foster said. “It also will include electric and gas extensions. We anticipate it being much more attractive than it has been in the past.”