The owners of a medical-device manufacturing company plan to build a multimillion-dollar facility in north Dayton, creating at least 50 middle-class jobs within about two years.
KBK Eight Properties wants to construct a 75,000-square-foot facility in the 2000 block of Webster Street, just north of the Norwood Medical campus.
KBK Eight is owned by Brian and Kenneth Hemmelgarn. The Hemmelgarn family owns Norwood Medical, a manufacturer of components, implants, and instruments for orthopedic care and minimally invasive surgery.
Norwood Medical in the last decade has spent millions of dollars improving its facilities and building new ones, adding hundreds of workers to its payroll.
Dayton commissioners today are expected to approve an enterprise zone agreement with KBK Eight that provides a 10-year property tax abatement in exchange for its job-creation commitment.
Local officials said advanced manufacturing is a promising and growing part of the local economy.
"We see a strong future in Dayton in the advanced manufacturing arena," said Chris Kershner, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of public policy and economic development. "The demand for medical-device manufacturing and precision manufacturing seems to be ever increasing."
KBK Eight plans to spend at least $7.5 million and as much as $13.5 million on the new facility at 2020 and 2042 Webster St., according to the company's proposed enterprise zone agreement with the city.
Construction costs are estimated at between $2.5 million and $3.5 million. KBK Eight plans to spend $5 million to $10 million on manufacturing equipment.
The facility would employ at least 50 new full-time workers by the end of 2016, with an average annual payroll of $2 million (or $40,000 per employee), the agreement states. Construction should be complete by the end of next year, and the building will be used by the Norwood Tool Co., according to city documents.
The proposed site is along a cul-de-sac with a cluster of abandoned industrial buildings. Located just south is the Norwood Medical campus, which consists of six buildings along Winners Circle.
Norwood Medical, which changed its name from Norwood Tool Co. in 2008, specializes in designing and manufacturing components, implants and instruments for medical devices used for arthroscopic, spinal, trauma-surgery and joint-reconstruction procedures, according to the company's website.
The company also helps its customers create devices used for wound closure, general surgery and other medical activities.Norwood Medical has grown into one of the largest manufacturing companies in the city.In 1998, Norwood Tool said it employed about 119 workers, with plans to add 15 more by 2001.
By 2008, the company announced facility expansion plans to help retain 524 jobs and create another 30.Two years later, local officials announced the company was expanding yet again, adding another facility, creating 256 new jobs and retaining 644 existing jobs.
"We are fortunate to have a company like Nor-wood Medical in the Dayton area," said Kershner.
Advanced manufacturing is one of the few segments of the industry insulated from being shipped overseas, because it is more expensive and requires workers with strong skill sets, said Dayton Commissioner Matt Joseph.
Joseph said the city is selective when giving out tax incentives, but a project that creates 50 well-paying jobs in an important industry is worth supporting."This really is kind of our wheel house, as far as what we do in the city," he said.
Dayton commissioners will vote today on an agreement that abates 75 percent of the value of the improvements to the site for 10 years.
The abatement is intended to offset the costs of acquisition, demolition and redevelopment of a distressed property, according to city documents.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the manufacturing industry is evolving and remains an important part of the local economy, and the growth shows Dayton's workforce is suited for the future demands of the sector.
"It's not our father's factory; it's a factory that requires a lot of skill, and people get paid well for that skill," she said.