Construction on the new Goodwill Easter Seals campus just south of downtown could begin as early as September, after Dayton City Commission unanimously approved the planned development Wednesday night.
Amy Luttrell, president of Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, said construction bids have been received, and the group’s board of trustees will meet next week, hopefully to move the development forward. If the project moves smoothly, Luttrell said GESMV staff could move into the new building in about a year.
“Goodwill Easter Seals’ headquarters has been located in the city of Dayton since 1934 when we were founded,” she said. “We are very excited to make a new commitment.”
Phase One of the project is a three-story, 80,000 square-foot building at the northeast corner of Main and Lincoln streets, along with a 248-vehicle parking lot. Seven buildings, some of them vacant, were demolished in the past nine months to make room for the project. Phase Two could eventually add two more buildings and more parking.
Phase One had been estimated at $11 million, but Luttrell said Wednesday it will likely be more than that, with the board deciding what features to include.
She said the two largest funding sources will be Goodwill’s capital campaign, which has surpassed $4 million, and new market tax credits from CityWide Development Corporation. Those credits are tax incentives rewarding investment in low-income communities. Goodwill also got a $2 million Clean Ohio grant to help clean up the site.
Goodwill plans to move its vision services, job training programs, adult day services, mental health programs and other support functions to the new center. The group serves a 23-county area of Western Ohio, with a primary mission of helping people with disabilities become more independent.
Luttrell said about 125 employees who work at Goodwill’s Kuntz Road headquarters off Stanley Avenue will move to the new site. Some other Kuntz Road workers will move to Goodwill’s warehouse facility on Woodman Drive, and still other workers and functions will remain at the old headquarters while Goodwill seeks a buyer for the property.
“We are committed to add at least 50 new jobs over the next five years under the terms of the Clean Ohio grant,” Luttrell said. “But we believe that we can do quite a bit better than that.”