Fifth giant building proposed for Dayton Airport land could mean more jobs

The company developing four industrial buildings at the Dayton International Airport wants to buy more land to build a fifth, which would bring millions of dollars more in investment and jobs to an area that is becoming a regional leader in job creation.

The city of Dayton this week is likely to approve a purchase option with NorthPoint Development for 112 acres on Lightner Road at the north end of the airport.

The Missouri-based company has a conceptual plan to develop 800,000 square feet of logistics and manufacturing space, said Terry Slaybaugh, Dayton’s director of aviation.

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NorthPoint has completed one large facility at the airport, has two others under construction and will begin construction on a fourth next month.

If the fifth building project moves forward, NorthPoint’s investment at the airport would likely exceed $90 million and its projects would be responsible for creating more than 2,500 jobs, said Terry Slaybaugh, Dayton’s director of aviation.

“If we are successful in developing this property, the way it’s conceptually laid out, this will be about 2.8 million square feet of new logistics and manufacturing space that we’ve built in a four-year time period,” Slaybaugh said.

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NorthPoint is helping make the airport such a hotbed of economic activity that the city is quickly running out of land to sell for redevelopment.

The 112 acres NorthPoint wants is the second to last parcel at the airport that the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the city to sell, Slaybaugh said. The other parcel is about 60 acres and is on North Dixie Drive.

The airport has an abundance of land that is under “grant assurances,” which the airport would need to get FAA approval to lease or sell, Slaybaugh said.

NorthPoint’s investment began with a 570,000-square-foot facility it built for Spectrum Brands, which is located near U.S. 40 and Terminal Drive. Spectrum Brands operates a global auto care distribution center at the site.

NorthPoint is working to complete a second building basically next door that will be occupied in part by Alpla, an international manufacturer of plastic packaging. Other tenants have not yet been identified, but local officials say they are consumer good companies. The building is expected to be completed within the next 30 to 45 days.

NorthPoint is constructing a third building for an unnamed tenant and plans to get to work soon on a fourth, which is being built on spec, without a known end-user.

The economy is on fire right now, and Dayton as the crossroads of America offers a desireable location and resources that attract growing companies, Slaybaugh said.

Procter & Gamble got the ball rolling when it moved into an industrial park in Union about four years ago, Slaybaugh said.

When one big company moves into an area, other big players oftentimes follow, because word spreads about the location, workforce and delivery speed of the project, he said.

Spectrum Brands established a good model, and developers are replicating that success with new building projects, said Mitch Heaton, the vice president of economic development with the Dayton Development Coalition.

“Sometimes all it takes is one to get the momentum going,” he said.

Local groups including the city of Dayton, Montgomery County, JobsOhio and the Dayton Development Coalition have partnered together to try to put the Dayton region on the map as a logistics and distribution hub, Heaton said.

The location is exceptional, but companies also are concerned with the speed, risk and cost of their projects, Heaton said.

NorthPoint is able to deliver industrial facilities quickly, and the city of Dayton and Montgomery County have worked to ensure that the permitting process is smooth and customer friendly, he said.

Building one at the airport had a capital investment of more than $17 million and was projected to create about 285 jobs.

Building 2, featuring 510,000 square feet of space, is expected to employ about 255 workers. The project’s capital investment was more than $14 million.

At a capital cost of nearly $16 million, building 3 will offer about 435,000 square feet of space and will employ 292 workers. The building is expected to be completed next spring.

Building 4, with 556,000 square feet of space, could employ 520 workers. The project, with a price tag around $17 million, is expected to be completed by the end of next summer.

The fifth phase of development could cost as much as $28 million and lead to the creation of 1,200 jobs, the airport said.

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