With the troubled Hamilton Inn gone, its new 112-year-old owner is closer to expansion

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Demolition underway at Hamilton Inn

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hamilton City Council on Wednesday will be asked to give Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing Co. a $200,000 recoverable grant for expansion into a proposed 50,000-square-foot building on the site of the former Hamilton Inn.

The 112-year-old manufacturing company, which makes industrial casters, wheels and carts at 1637 Dixie Highway, has been at that location nearly 100 years.

City officials were pleased to no longer have to deal with problems at the Hamilton Inn, which was troubled in recent years and attracted hundreds of police calls during its final three years of operation, from 2014-16.

The company bought the motel for $400,000.

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The company, meanwhile, has asked the city to abandon part of Lincoln Avenue west of Dixie Highway.

In a letter to the city, Hamilton Caster President David Lippert told officials the 145-foot-long piece of Lincoln now is surrounded on three sides by Hamilton Caster property.

“Owning this parcel will be instrumental to immediate and long-term development of the property,” he wrote.

Associate city planner Ed Wilson wrote to council that abandoning the roadway strip and providing it to the company “will allow for the creation of a single campus for Hamilton Caster.”

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Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson, in recommending the $200,000 grant, noted one of the current buildings the company uses is “not ideal for modern manufacturing practices.”

Among the issues with the building the company wishes to replace, Lippert told the Journal-News, is a difference in floor levels within the structure, and low-hanging ceilings in a basement level.

“The purchase, environmental remediation, and demolition of the Hamilton Inn property in addition to the construction of a new 50,000-square-foot building, increased the overall project cost,” Gunderson wrote. “As a result, the city would like to offer a $200,000 recoverable grant to Hamilton Caster to assist in these additional project costs.”

The company now has 84 full-time workers, and plans to hire 10 more over three years with the expansion into the new building.

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Gunderson said the city will sign an economic-development agreement with the company outlining the terms of the pact. The grant will be forgivable “only if certain performance criteria are met at the Dixie Highway site,” he added.

“The company has pledged to work very hard to attract and hire people from Hamilton, when possible,” Gunderson wrote.

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