Deal paves way for $128M investment in Mason, creation of 190 jobs

Credit: Levingston, Chelsey (CMG-Dayton)

Credit: Levingston, Chelsey (CMG-Dayton)

One of the largest made-to-order manufacturers of aerospace industry parts in the world will construct a new campus in Mason.

Precision Castparts Corp., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, is turning to the city to build a concept research and development integration center for its PCC Aerostructures division and a manufacturing innovation center for its SPS Technologies business.

The new campus is expected to create 190 jobs within four years with a $14.55 million payroll and overall investment of $128 million. It will anchor the U.S. 42 entrance of the new 400-acre Mason R&D Park East, where PCC will invest $128 million in two facilities on 31 acres.

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“This type of project is really the city of Mason’s sweet spot,” Michele Blair, the city’s economic development director, told this news outlet Tuesday.

"Aerospace is an industry sector that we've been growing well for a long time with partners like Makino and others here that make it attractive from the talent and supply chain. The same holds true for southwest Ohio, (which has a) strong hold in aerospace."

With few exceptions, every aircraft in the sky flies with parts made by PCC.

“It was really important for us to test this new integration model in an environment where we were in close proximity to vendors and diverse engineering firms, which strengthen the talent pool,” said Mark Gancevich, PCC Aerostructures’ vice president of technology and innovation.

Mason City Council on Monday evening unanimously approved an economic agreement with the company for an incentive package to include a Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatement, Mason Port Authority Infrastructure and Wellness Incentives.

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A little less than a year ago, Mason combined its efforts with REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio to help make the economic incentive deal a reality.

The City of Mason and Mason Port Authority offered incentives that included a CRA tax abatement and land incentive that totaled approximately $6.7 million.

Ohio approved a Jobs Creation Tax Credit and plans to offer a 629 Infrastructure Grant, and JobsOhio plans to offer a JobsOhio Economic Development Grant and a JobsOhio Workforce Grant in support of the project. Terms of that deal will be made public after a final agreement is executed.

In addition, Warren County also plans to offer incentives for workforce assistance with a final value to be determined.

Mason R&D Park East encompasses 400 acres north of Bethany Road and extends between U.S. 42 west across Ohio 741. Masters Drug Company, part of McKesson Pharmaceutical, moved there several years ago as its first tenant.

A deal between Rhinestahl Corporation and Mason announced in September will pave the way at the park for a new $14 million global headquarters and the addition of 100 jobs.

The Mason R&D Park is part of a long-term economic growth strategy for the city and is its “next innovation corridor,” much like Innovation Way, Blair said.

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“The city owns all that property and really has a long-term strategy to go out and attract the best companies that will invest and grow here and create jobs,” she said. “But additionally, and equally as important, to be able to be a strategic growth partner to our current corporations.”

The site in Mason R&D Park was, in part, selected for its connection to aerospace clients and partners along Innovation Way and southwest Ohio.

“We were really impressed with the strong industry partnerships Mason has established in the business community, as well as the state and local collaboration,” said Blake Ray, vice president of Advanced Manufacturing at PCC. “This is exactly the type of environment we were seeking.”

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Mason R&D Park will include a three lane boulevard from U.S. 42 to Ohio 741, which create what Blair said will be “an impressive profile” and the type of business environment aimed at making the site an attractive one for future growth.

It is part of the SiteOhio program, which feature sites that are construction-ready for immediate development.

Mason City Manager Eric Hansen said the land had been outside of the city and had always been planned by the city and Warren County for industrial development.

About five years ago, with an effort to develop the site for high-density residential use, the city and Mason schools partnered to ensure it was preserved for the intention of job creation, Hansen said.

“Ultimately, that’s how the city acquired the parcel is in order to preserve its use,” he said. “Here we are, within five years, bringing a first-class opportunity like this. I think it’s gratifying and speaks well of both the partnership between the schools and the city, our strategic planning for the future and kind of proves the truism that in Mason, the future comes a lot faster than we anticipate. The future is today.”

PCC Aerostructures operates out of 29 facilities in the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia. SPS Technologies designs and manufactures fasteners and precision components for the aerospace industry.

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