New GE research facility on track
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.