Exclusive: $33M project ahead of schedule, plans to move operations here

With construction ahead of schedule, a $33 million distribution, manufacturing and development center for Spectrum Brands will be done near the airport before the end of the year.

Work on the $33 million, 570,000-square-foot hub that is being built off Concorde Drive will be completed before the end of the year and the company is now preparing to move several operations from elsewhere in the country to the new hub which will have 350 people working there, said Ken Burns, vice president supply chain, Spectrum Brands Global Auto Care for the company.

The building is slated to be finished Dec. 29, Burns said, and move-in will start Jan. 3. Some equipment will move in during December as the facility is finishing its build out, such as storage and filling tanks for the company’s Big Chill and AC Pro product lines, Burns said. Spectrum is working our final details with the county’s building inspector and fire marshal.

“It’s just going great quite honestly,” Burns said.”We had always hoped to see things done sooner and the contractor has been able to keep up.”

Good weather has helped the building’s development team, led by Kansas City-based NorthPoint Development and including StudioNorth Architecture as designer, Pepper Construction as manager and a host of local businesses as subcontractors.

“We had given the contractor an aggressive schedule,” Burns said. “We had some decent weather when they needed it, and they worked weekends to put the walls up. Yeah, they’ve done an amazing job.”

The company has also decided it will consolidate operations from two other sites; it is closing a plant in Painesville Ohio that makes auto care products including STP and Armor All, while another site in the Southwest United States produces AC Pro and R-134A.

Staff in Painesville were informed of the move in mid-October, Burns said. Last day of production in Painesville is Jan. 23 before operations there begin moving to Dayton. Everything will be up and running by the end of March from that business.

A nearby warehouse business in Mentor, which is run by a third-party logistics group and does secondary packaging and warehousing for the Painesville site, is moving between February and June of 2017.

Burns said the company has offered jobs in Dayton to about 20 employees in each site — they have several more months to decide on whether they will move and not all of them will likely relocate, he said.

Spectrum, headquartered in Middleton, Wisc., has more than 15,000 employees and $4.69 billion in revenue last year. The project means $7.5 million in new payroll in the city of Dayton.

The project involves $20 million of Spectrum’s own money, including $5 million for the capital investment, though it will ultimately lease the building from NorthPoint. NorthPoint is itself leasing the land from the airport for 50 years in an agreement that will mean close to $7.5 million in payments to the city over that time frame.

Incentives for NorthPoint have come at state, county and local levels. Earlier this year, Montgomery County granted $350,000 to support the project. Dayton will give $150,000 and the project got a tax credit from the state worth $617,000, with the remaining $32 million coming through bank financing and equity.

At the airport, a 500,000-square-foot speculative building is also being built near Spectrum’s hub.

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