Dayton leaders pledge to harness the Dayton International Airport as an economic engine following Tuesday’s announcement that the airport landed its first non-aviation company.
The Dayton Daily News first reported Monday that Spectrum Brands Global Auto Care will build a 577,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution site at the airport along Concorde Drove, creating about 350 new jobs.
Economic development leaders have been steadily meeting with developers since the Procter & Gamble/Exel distribution facility went up in the nearby Union industrial park in 2014, said Terrence Slaybaugh, Dayton aviation director.
The 1.8-million-square-foot center in Union employs more than 1,000 workers for two companies — Quality Associates, a West Chester Twp.-based contract packaging company, and contract logistics provider Exel.
This is just the beginning, city officials said.
“Let’s get one done,” Slaybaugh said. “And this is the one. We know how to do it.”
Spectrum is the first non-aviation development the city has been able to bring to the airport, he said.
City leaders expect other businesses will be drawn to what building plans refer to as “Dayton International Airport Industrial Park.”
Though the city has not officially created such an entity, city staff says they do have the land and location for industrial users.
“We have the location,” said Ford Weber, Dayton economic development director. “There’s a lot of development potential here. We would like to be a catalyst for additional development.”
The area has what city leaders consider a priceless attribute: It’s near the intersection of two key interstates, I-75 and I-70.
Weber said the city intends to improve the roads at the airport to attract additional development.
“We certainly hope it’s just the beginning,” Weber said. “It’s a pretty darn good beginning.”
The city has the regulatory latitude for development. In 2009, Dayton received Federal Aviation Administration approval to release almost 500 airport acres from federal grant assurance purposes, Slaybaugh said.
That freed the city to use land for purposes other than aviation or airport support. It also allowed the city to sell the 39-acre site to developer NorthPoint and Spectrum, he said.
“That was a pivotal change, and that was in 2009, seven years ago,” Slaybaugh said. “Now it’s finally coming to fruition. We’re seeing development as a result of the vision the city had at that time.”
The Spectrum building will be devoted to distribution, manufacturing and in time, research and development efforts.
“Research and development, manufacturing, and logistics are some of our region’s top industries, and we have a skilled workforce and robust educational pipeline in those fields,” Jeff Hoagland, Dayton Development Coalition president and chief executive, said in a statement. “More than half of the country’s population will be within 600 miles, a clear advantage for leading national brands like STP and Armor All. We believe this new facility will be a great fit for their company and our community.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said further development has always been in the cards.
“We have a great opportunity to really build on logistics and manufacturing,” Whaley said. “For us, we want to make sure the jobs are of good quality.”
The mayor also said the project is a good example of how multiple levels of government can work together.
Who is Spectrum?
Based in Middleton, Wisc., Spectrum Brands Holding — parent company of Spectrum Brands Global Auto Care — is a worldwide company with a lot of consumer brands under its umbrella, including Hot Shot, Black Flag, Kwikset, Weiser, Baldwin, Armor All, STP and others.
The company acquired Armored AutoGroup, a consumer products company consisting primarily of the popular Armor All and STP brands, in May 2015.
The $4.98 billion company has 15,500 employees worldwide.