115-year-old Hamilton Caster transforms blighted area, brings new jobs with expansion

Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Pictured is Hamilton Caster President Dave Lippert leading one of the tours of visitors during Thursday's open house. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

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Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Pictured is Hamilton Caster President Dave Lippert leading one of the tours of visitors during Thursday's open house. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Company invested $7 million into area of Dixie Highway.

Hamilton Caster is ready for its next 115 years in business after it showed off its new building to the community Thursday.

The family-owned company began looking at expansion possibilities in 2013, and company President Dave Lippert, and thought about life outside of Hamilton.

“I hate to admit this in front of many Hamilton people I know and love, but we actually looked briefly outside of Hamilton, and in Hamilton,” he said, including at the city’s Enterprise Park.

But they didn’t act on anything until 2018 when Public Safety Director Scott Scrimizzi told them the former Hamilton Inn, which sat next door to Hamilton Caster, was for sale. That got Lippert thinking.

ExplorePHOTOS: Hamilton Caster opens new building
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Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

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Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

The company purchased the hotel at the end of 2018, and then spent a lot of 2019 remediating the asbestos from the former hotel before razing it. Near the end of 2019, construction on the new facility started.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the project, but by the end of 2020, they were able to resume construction and finish the facility in May 2021. The goal was to move the production equipment into the new facility slowly.

“It was intended to be a process, it’s not that we’re slow and don’t know how to do it,” Lippert said with a smile to the crowd of Hamilton officials, fellow business owners, and officials and dignitaries from outside the city.

The new facility at 1786 Dixie Highway is 65,000-square-foot that will serve as Hamilton Caster’s new corporate offices. It also houses more manufacturing space for things like robotic welders, CNC machines, and a powder paint system. In addition to manufacturing and office space, the building extends Hamilton Caster’s footprint to 6.2 total acres just south of South Hamilton Crossing, and expands its under-roof square footage from 102,000 to 162,000.

REDI Cincinnati worked with the city of Hamilton to encourage JobsOhio to play a role in the expansion. Andrea Enders, REDI’s director of Business Development, said the state economic development organization took some convincing to throw support behind the project given it was only creating 10 new jobs ― however, they’ve hired those and are still hiring ― it was “a little challenging to get the state excited” as many times it’s mostly about job creation.

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Hamilton Caster, which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Pictured is Peter Riko, of Hamilton, drilling a center hole on wheels for carts. He's been on the job for about a month. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Hamilton Caster, which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Pictured is Peter Riko, of Hamilton, drilling a center hole on wheels for carts. He's been on the job for about a month. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Hamilton Caster, which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Pictured is Peter Riko, of Hamilton, drilling a center hole on wheels for carts. He's been on the job for about a month. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

“The transformation and the catalyst this project is for this community is really, really special,” Enders said. “Between the city of Hamilton and our organization, we really made the case of how impactful this is to this community.”

Ohio Sen. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., said Hamilton Caster is part of a renaissance that’s been happening in the capital city of Butler County.

It’s with a high degree of motivation, enthusiasm and excitement that w are gathered here today to celebrate this. You are part of a renaissance,” he said. “Hamilton is on the rise, and it’s a meteoric rise and it’s going be driven by the business community, the investment the Lipperts’ have made.”

Mayor Pat Moeller is one of the city’s biggest cheerleaders, especially when it comes to the manufacturing industry, and told the crowd at Thursday’s open house, “I love the way this place smells. It smells like they’re making things here, they’re packaging things here, they’re selling things here.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

“This is kind of a legacy company,” the mayor said, talking about the longevity of some of Hamilton Caster’s employees. “Something’s going on right here.”

City Manager Joshua Smith went through a list of “thank yous” to the Lippert family, including investing in a blighted area which turned a community negative into a positive, and growing to 100 employees which makes them a top 30 private employer in the city.

But the city manager also thanked them for continuing to be involved in the community.

“Thank you to Dave, Mark, Steve (Lippert) for not only being here but for being so generous with your time,” Smith said. “Anything the community needs, you are there, and for that, we’re eternally grateful.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Hamilton Caster which has been in the city for 115 years, celebrated its building expansion on Thursday, July 14, 2022, on Dixie Highway with an open house event sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/ STAFF

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