Nearly four years after the modernization of the Interstate 70/I-75 interchange was finished, communities surrounding the project are still reaping the benefits.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said at the time the $145 million upgrade, finished in November 2009 after seven years of work, would give the Dayton region “a strategic advantage.”
Vandalia and Butler Twp. have seen more than $105 million in combined development or expansion projects in the last five years, officials said.
More than $100 million in private capital investments have been invested in development or expansion projects in Vandalia, according to Greg Shackelford, Vandalia’s assistant city manager. The city also has seen up to 2,000 new jobs created in that time frame.
Butler Twp. has raked in at least $5 million in development projects, according to Kim Lapensee, township administrator. She said the township has added approximately 100 jobs during that time period.
“It’s a great location. What sales real estate? Location, location, location,” Lapensee said.
Since 2008, Montgomery County has awarded Vandalia at least $2.3 million in ED/GE grant funding, according to the county’s Economic Development Office. Butler Twp. has been awarded at least $125,000 during this time frame.
Just this year, Independent Can Company started construction on its new 98,500-square-foot warehouse on Peters Pike in the Stonequarry Crossings development in Vandalia. Also, the newly built $8.2 million Pilot Flying J Travel Center was put up at 175 Northwoods Blvd.
The newly built $2.1 million Progressive Insurance Service Center at 8090 North Dixie Drive in Butler Twp. is scheduled to open for business this month.
Erik Collins, director of the county’s Community and Economic Development Department, said the two communities have seen new development in the areas of manufacturing, logistics, commercial and industrial development.
“Vandalia and Butler Twp. has seen a lot of growth not only from their existing companies, but also from new investments,” Collins said.
Businesses are attracted to these areas because the infrastructure is there and the labor force is there or nearby, Collins said.
For example,Vandalia purchased 200 acres east of Airport Access Road, west of Peters Pike and north of Stonequarry Road, known as Stonequarry Crossings, for $4.2 million in 2005. White Castle’s new 75,000-square-foot frozen food facility and Independent Can Company’s 98,500-square-foot warehouse are currently being built there.
Stonequarry Crossings has about 70 acres left to develop, Shackelford said.
He credits the city’s past administration with taking measures, like creating Stonequarry Crossings, to bring in new business.
“The city is in a really good position from the way that it’s structured with community and reinvestment, the tax abatement areas that are in place,” Shackelford said. “Essentially, all of our industrial areas are in a really good position now.”
Although it is important for cities to attract new businesses, they also need to also focus on business retention, according to Collins. He added that one of the reasons why Vandalia and Butler Twp. are seeing success in economic development is because they focus on business retention.
“One of the things that (Vandalia) has done successfully has been the Business First program. It’s the regional business retention and expansion program,” Collins said. “(Vandalia officials), along with Butler Twp. (officials), go out and meet with their companies. Eighty percent of your jobs come from your existing businesses.”
Some of the businesses who have moved into or started construction projects in Vandalia or Butler Twp. within the last five years:
*Independent Can Company started construction on its new 98,000-square-foot warehouse on Peters Pike in Vandalia. The purchase cost was less than $200,000.
*Progressive Insurance built its 16,000-square-foot service center at 8090 N. Dixie Drive in Butler Township. The project cost $2.1 million.
*The 11,610-square-foot Pilot Flying J Travel Center opened up at 175 Northwoods Blvd. in Vandalia. Project cost was $8.25 million.
*Construction started on White Castle’s 75,000-square-foot frozen facility on Peters Pike in Vandalia. The project will take a total investment of $22.5 million over four years in two phases. The initial phase is estimated at $18.3 million.
*Scene 75 opened its $5 million entertainment center at 6196 Poe Ave. Square-footage is 124,000.
*The $6 million Carter Express facility opened in Vandalia. The project included a 100,000-square-foot trucking facility.
*Miami Valley Hydro moved into a 4,000-square-foot building at 8220 North Dixie in Butler Twp.