Butler County company planning a $15M to $20M expansion project

At least 55 new jobs would be created as a result of the investment, according to Hamilton officials.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A $15 million to $20 million expansion project in Lindenwald will see at least 55 new jobs created, but Darana Hybrid is seeking some financial help from Hamilton by way of a tax break.

Hamilton City Council will consider next month approving a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) and spending Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars to help support Darana Hybrid’s expansion.

The manufacturer plans to construct a new 100,000-square-foot building on Belle Avenue that will provide space for the company’s three divisions. Darana Hybrid will take up 65,000 square feet for warehouse and training, and DESCO, the company’s electrical manufacturer, will take up 25,000 square feet. The remaining 10,000 square feet will be office space for Darana Hybrid, DESCO and AMPS Staffing, Darana’s staffing division.

Though a construction timeline was not mentioned at Wednesday’s meeting, the project will create 55 new jobs with a total additional payroll of $2.8 million. The company has an annual on-site payroll of $4.1 million for its current 61 employees.

In support of the project, the city of Hamilton is considering a 15-year Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement of 60% property tax abatement and will have three years at the completion of the project to hire the new employees. Specific details on some aspects of the project, like a building construction timeline, were not presented.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A $4.8 million public infrastructure improvement will be led by the city, said Hamilton Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson. The road improvements will include the reconstruction of Belle Avenue from the railroad tracks to Erie Boulevard, and the construction of a direct intersection for Belle Avenue and Ohio 4. Gunderson said engineering for the public improvements is underway.

The public improvements will be paid for with funds from a newly created TIF district over 30 years.

City Council will consider the legislation at its next two meetings in February, the first of which is scheduled for Feb. 14. The expected council vote would happen on Feb. 28.

“I think it’s been a good relationship the city has had with Darana Hybrid,” said Mayor Pat Moeller, following the presentation of the project.

Darana Hybrid, a Native American-owned business, does the design work, manufacturing and installation of conveyor systems, such as for fulfillment centers and bottling companies, and has done work for several large businesses, including Amazon, FedEx, Coca-Cola and KraftHeinz.

Gunderson said Darana Hybrid is like many Hamilton businesses, where they not only invest to expand their business but also in the community.

“They’re a great corporate citizen,” he said.

Darana Hybrid started as Darana Electric in 1996 in Niagra Falls, New York, and relocated in 2005 to Memphis, Tenn. They expanded in 2007, transitioning into Darana Hybrid and formed AMPS Staffing to manage all of Daran Hybrid employees and its DESCO division, which stands for the Darana Electrical Supply Company.

In 2016, Darana Hybrid and AMPS Staffing moved to Hamilton, and the operations expanded a year later in 2017 to 160 employees. In 2019, Darana Hybrid relocated DESCO to Hamilton.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“The Lidnenwald facility has been a boom for the residents of the area,” said Gunderson.

Darana Hybrid has not just been a business in the community, but a partner, the mayor said.

This past summer, they launched with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton a 10-week long manufacturing summer camp where young people learned about the manufacturing business. The group’s final project was an LED sign that welcomes people to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hamilton location on Grand Boulevard.

In 2022, the company restored a memorial bench in Rotary Park in honor of fallen Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman. Time and weather caused the coating on the bench to flake, and rust and damage started to show. Darana Hybrid stripped the bench and applied a powder coating pro bono.

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