Kettering plans Miami Valley Research Park access road to attract jobs

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

KETTERING — The city plans to build an access road at Miami Valley Research Park to help attract jobs and development on land it owns.

The nearly 350-foot roadway would be built next year in conjunction with Kettering’s plans to sell about eight acres to Life Connection of Ohio for its new, larger regional headquarters, a deal that would add jobs and both sides said they want done by early January.

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

The access road — to be called Donation Circle — is “essentially an incentive for the Life Connection project,” Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said.

“What it also does is make sure we have roadway access to the remaining parcels in that area,” he added.

The city two years ago bought about 300 undeveloped acres at the 1,250-acre business park that straddles Beavercreek and Kettering.

Kettering is budgeting about $400,000 for the road, which officials said would connect to College Drive, an entrance to the business park from Research Boulevard.

Schwieterman said Donation Circle would end in a cul-de-sac designed “so that Life Connection can tap into the roadway and so can anybody else who buys property back there.”

Life Connection of Ohio is an organ donation center which plans to move its regional office from Dayton to Kettering as part of an expansion that could eventually nearly double its number of jobs, its Chief Executive Officer Matthew Wadsworth has said.

Earlier this year the organization signed an agreement with the city to buy about 9 acres in Miami Valley Research Park near the intersection of Woodman Drive and Research Boulevard.

The access road plan has decreased the amount of land Life Connection plans to buy to about 8.2 acres, Wadsworth said Wednesday.

But it “doesn’t impact our plans for future expansion,” he said. “It worked out well for us” and “improves access to our land.”

Life Connection’s current regional headquarters at 40 Wyoming St. will not accommodate the organization’s growth, he said.

The move would eventually more than triple the expanding non-profit’s square footage at a site it would own, bring it closer to a business with which it works closely and allow for workforce growth from about 58 to nearly 100 jobs within five years, Wadsworth has said.

Projections have shown the rate of expansion would increase the organization’s $5 million annual payroll to about $9 million, he said earlier this year.

The move would also bring Life Connection of Ohio closer to Community Tissue Services, which also is located at the research park and “closely aligned” with his organization, Wadsworth said.

Life Connection of Ohio also has a regional site in Maumee near Toledo, but the Kettering location would be its primary office, Wadsworth has said.

Under the deal with Kettering, Life Connection would buy land at the northeast corner of Woodman Drive and Research Boulevard for $85,000 an acre, city records show.

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