Tenants are already moving into a new multiphase industrial park expected to create more than 1,000 jobs and drive economic growth for Butler County.
Located on about 100 acres on the corner of Ohio 747 and Union Centre Boulevard in West Chester Twp., NorthPoint Development’s West Chester Trade Center already includes two of its seven planned buildings that are expected to eventually span nearly 1.9 million square feet of commercial space.
The center at 8586 Trade Center Drive will be a hub for companies driven to be innovators in their fields, according to West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch.
At least three companies have already leased space in the $75 million industrial park, including TSC Apparel, MSI Stone and Amarr.
“These companies and others to follow will benefit from the best attributes of our community — our location, access, workforce, utilities and infrastructure — and they will find good company among the more than 3,600 businesses that call West Chester home,” Welch said.
“Just imagine all the possibilities, the new developments in science, new products, new ideas, all happening on this property.”
The development is the product of a collaboration between county officials, the Butler County Port Authority and West Chester Twp. Board of Trustees. It is being constructed within West Chester’s Ohio 747 TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District, and West Chester has partnered with Missouri-based NorthPoint Development to make public infrastructure improvements to support the project.
West Chester will invest approximately $5.1 million in reimbursement to the developer to fund public infrastructure on the site. That includes some pedestrian pathway connecting with nearby residential paths.
The next two buildings to be constructed will add approximately 600,000 square feet of industrial space to the site, according to Tim McElroy, NorthPoint’s vice president of development.
When an eventual third and final phase of the project is complete, it will be the largest Port Authority project in the port’s 15-year history and one of its biggest jobs creators, said Michael McNamara, executive director for the Butler County Port Authority, which assists local governments and developers in supporting job and revenue-creating projects.
“Having available structure also allows a company to be quicker to market when they’re looking to locate somewhere … as opposed to waiting 18 months for the bureaucracy and the build to happen,” he said.
Northpoint’s McElroy said West Chester Trade Center’s first three tenants have created approximately 100 jobs so far for the county. A fourth yet-to-be-disclosed company that signed a lease two weeks ago is set to move into 170,000 square feet at the center.
That “pretty well-known company” will bring leasing for the first phase of the project to 80 percent and create another 250 “very high-paying” jobs for the county, McElroy said.
“All engineering, R&D (research-and-development) and a space in advanced manufacturing that is really … generation changing,” he said. “What they’re going to do in this facility … truly is state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology.”
Butler County Commissioner Don Dixon called West Chester Trade Center a “first class” development and an asset for the county.
Joe Hinson, president and CEO of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, said the project shows the importance of collaboration when entities work together to bring in such an opportunity.
Development of this site with partners like Northpoint and Butler County “makes sense for the community,” according to township Administrator Larry Burks.
“Developed with intention and purpose, the West Chester Trade Center will result in increased property values supporting future infrastructure demands through payment to the TIF and opportunity for job growth in the region,” Burks said.
Construction of a new road and bridge leading to the site from Ohio 747 will start in about two months, McElroy said. The road will be named after the Brate family whose farm previously occupied the site, he said.
The location of the West Chester Trade Center is “unparalleled,” McElroy said.
“Many developers have passed on this site over the years because of challenges related to infrastructure, flood plain, soil issues, access to the site and through some smart engineering and with a lot of help from the township and the Port Authority and the Butler County folks, we were able to make this site work,” he said. “Without them, this project wouldn’t be possible.”
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.