New jobs coming to Fairfield: Business park lands manufacturer as key tenant
Credit: Michael D. Pitman
Ambrose Property Group is nearing completion of its first two of potentially five new buildings in the Fairfield Commerce Park business park on Seward Road in Fairfield. The light industrial and manufacturing business park is being developed on 137 acres of mostly undeveloped land and designed to attract 600 to 1,000 new jobs to the city. The city hopes to capitalize on more development projects through a proposed Transformative Economic Development (TED) Fund. In all, the fund would provide a critical, strategic framework for future growth and redevelopment resources to ensure a high quality of life can be sustained for years to come with a focus on job creation, business recruitment and retention, identify and capitalize on strategic properties, and remove blight. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
Upwards of 200 jobs are expected to be created in Fairfield’s newest business park with expansion of U.S. operations of a global eyewear company.
Hilco Vision announced Monday its plans to establish a new 246,000-square-foot manufacturing operation at Fairfield Commerce Park.
Ken Miranda, Hilco Vision’s chief operating officer, said this move will expand its manufacturing capabilities and reach in the United States, “which will further enhance and expedite our ability to deliver solutions to our valued customers in the surrounding regions.”
The company plans to create 150 new jobs in its first year of occupancy. The company plans to have a total of 200 jobs at the Fairfield facility by 2024, which would generate $6.4 million in new annual payroll, according to the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.
Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group announced its $50 million development project on Seward Road in 2020. The 137-acre business park has the potential to be up to a six-building site, which would include five new buildings and the existing former Liberty Mutual building. Ambrose officials have said the Fairfield Commerce Park could attract between 600 and 1,000 new jobs to the city.
Hilco Vision signed a 12-year lease to occupy the recently completed 246,000-square-foot with the building’s owner Black Creek Group, and plans to make significant investments immediately, according to REDI Cincinnati, a leading economic development firm in southwest Ohio.
Nathaniel Kaelin, Fairfield’s Economic Development manager, calls Hilco Vision “a signature manufacturing tenant” for the business park.
“The city’s hope was to see a mix of manufacturing and distribution in the development, and manufacturing can sometimes be the harder piece to attract,” Kaelin said. “Hilco plans to bring a good number of jobs to the site and we believe they have strong growth potential in the future.”
Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president and CEO, said the decision to locate in Fairfield and Greater Cincinnati is due to the infrastructure and access to the rest of the country.
“We continue to see more and more manufacturers choose the region to both make and distribute their products, thanks to the depth of talent and easy access to the rest of the country, including CVG, the sixth-largest cargo airport in the U.S.,” said Lauterbach. “The partnership of the city of Fairfield, JobsOhio, and the Ohio Development Services Agency was instrumental in the success of this project.”
Fairfield Commerce Park is less than 3 miles from Interstate 275 and accessible to the distribution corridors of Interstates 71, 74 and 75. The city is also close to a large skilled labor pool, which includes higher education programs like Miami University’s Work+ Program and Butler Tech’s Fifth Day Experience.
The city of Fairfield previously passed a performance-based property tax abatement with Ambrose Property Group, and has agreed to waive building permit fees for tenant improvements. The Ohio TCA approved a 1.186%, seven-year Job Creation Tax Credit for this project.
Hilco Vision, which produces eyewear solutions, including cases, lens cloths, lens wipes, and kits, for retail consumers as well as products and tools for corporate clients, is now recruiting and hiring various positions, including technicians, production operators, and administrative support roles. Potential candidates can visit the company’s website, www.hilcovision.com/careers, for more information.
Michael D. Pitman has been a reporter in southwest Ohio since 1999. He's covered local governments in Warren and Butler counties, as well as state and national issues. He currently covers Fairfield, Fairfield Twp. and local politics.