New GE re­search fa­cil­ity on track

Dayton Daily News - - BUSINESS - By John Nolan Staff Writer

DAY­TON — The city’s devel­op­ment arm, the Uni­ver­sity of Day­ton and Gen­eral Elec­tric Co. are on sched­ule to sign a lease in Jan­uary for con­struc­tion of a build­ing that will house a GE re­search and devel­op­ment cen­ter for mo­bile elec­tri­cal power sys­tems, of­fi­cials said Mon­day.

The lease will com­mit GE to the build­ing for 15 years. Un­der the en­vi­sioned plan, City­Wide Devel­op­ment Corp., the city’s devel­op­ment arm, will own the build­ing and lease it to GE Avi­a­tion, said Steve Budd, pres­i­dent of City­Wide. City­Wide will lease the un­der­ly­ing land from the Uni­ver­sity of Day­ton, which bought the prop­erty in 2005 from NCR Corp.

GE Avi­a­tion said last month that it had cho­sen the site at River Park Drive and Pat­ter­son Boule­vard for an R&D fa­cil­ity to de­sign, test and cer­tify next-gen­er­a­tion elec­tric power sys­tems for air­craft, ships and au­to­mo­biles.

The lo­ca­tion bol­sters the aero­space in­no­va­tion hub that the state des­ig­nated in 2009 to en­cour­age growth of aero­space and re­lated busi­nesses and jobs in Day­ton, of­fi­cials have said.

Con­struc­tion of the $51 mil­lion Elec­tri­cal Power In­te­grated Sys­tems Re­search and Devel­op­ment Cen­ter is to be­gin about May 1 and be done by Sept. 1, 2012. GE Avi­a­tion hopes to be­gin op­er­at­ing it by the end of 2012.

The uni­ver­sity has be­gun a pre­lim­i­nary en­gi­neer­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of the site to look for un­der­ground util­i­ties or old foun­da­tions.

GE has said it will ini­tially hire 10 to 15 sci­en­tists for the cen­ter and trans­fer oth­ers in from other GE lo­ca­tions. Em­ploy­ment there could in­crease to be­tween 100 and 200 within sev­eral years if GE Avi­a­tion achieves the busi­ness it hopes for, state of­fi­cials have said.

GE will have the op­tion to lease the build­ing be­yond 15 years, depend­ing on its busi­ness needs, Budd said. Oth­er­wise, the uni­ver­sity will have the op­por­tu­nity to buy it should GE re­lin­quish it, he said. Con­tact this re­porter at (937) 225-2242 or jnolan@Day­tonDai­lyNews.com.

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