December 6, 2020

Top business stories of the week: Mendelsons closing delayed

Mendelsons Liquidation going-out-of-business sale will last through the end of the year after delays and slower-than-expected sales caused by COVID-19.



a man standing in front of a counter: Bill McKelvey, from West Liberty, shops at Mendelsons Outlet Store downtown on First St. Monday August 31, 2020. Mendelsons originally was supposed to shut down and vacate by September.


© JIM NOELKER
Bill McKelvey, from West Liberty, shops at Mendelsons Outlet Store downtown on First St. Monday August 31, 2020. Mendelsons originally was supposed to shut down and vacate by September.

Open since 1960, Mendelsons originally was supposed to shut down and vacate its massive outlet building at 340 E. First St. Tuesday (Sept. 1) as new ownership prepares to redevelop the property into a mix of apartments, retail and restaurants.

The outlet lost two months of selling because it had to close as part of the state’s lockdown to combat the spread of the virus, and the business isn’t selling its products as quickly as it would have under normal circumstances because of the public health crisis and the poor economy, said owner Sandy Mendelson.

Dublin-based real estate development firm Crawford Hoying purchased the outlet building last year with plans to create a mix-use project. The extra time Mendelsons needs to move out won’t impact the timeline of the redevelopment project because it is still in the planning and design stages, said Brent Crawford, principal of the firm.

Meanwhile, site work is complete for the AC Hotel by Marriott, which is a new hotel that will be built on property adjacent to the outlet building, Crawford said.

American adds flight from Dayton to Miami

The Dayton International Airport this fall will offer a new weekly nonstop flight to Miami, which is the second new flight the airport has added this year to the Sunshine State.

From Nov. 7 to April 3, 2021, American Airlines will provide new air service to Miami, a.k.a. the “Magic City,” on Saturdays.



a man standing next to a suitcase: FILE — A masked passenger checks in with an American Airlines employee who is masked, and also behind a screen, at Miami International Airport in Miami on June 7, 2020. American Airlines warned employees on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, that it will furlough up to 19,000 workers on Oct. 1, saying that there is no sign that the pandemic-induced fear of travel is diminishing. (Josh Ritchie/The New York Times)


© Provided by Dayton Daily News
FILE — A masked passenger checks in with an American Airlines employee who is masked, and also behind a screen, at Miami International Airport in Miami on June 7, 2020. American Airlines warned employees on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, that it will furlough up to 19,000 workers on Oct. 1, saying that there is no sign that the pandemic-induced fear of travel is diminishing. (Josh Ritchie/The New York Times)

The flight will leave Dayton at 6:30 a.m. Saturdays and depart Miami for the Gem City at 9:30 p.m.

Dayton previously offered a flight to Miami about 15 years ago.

Dayton airport lands $500K in relief funds

Dayton International Airport has received $586,487 in a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant, the government said Thursday.

In all, the FAA awarded $2.7 million in federal relief grants to Ohio airports struggling through one of the worst eras for American aviation.

In April, the FAA awarded Northeast Ohio airports more than $46.5 million in federal grants. And in addition, 28 Ohio airports received more than $42.1 million in federal grants. There were additional grants in May, June and July, as well.

The grants come from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security) Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in late March.

Road expansion to help with development growth

Enormous development growth around the Dayton International Airport that has created thousands of new jobs and increased commercial activities has fueled growing concerns about traffic.

But a multi-jurisdictional partnership is helping pay for a $12.6 million project to widen U.S. 40 between Union Airpark Boulevard and the Dayton International Airport Access Road to address the projected increases in traffic volumes as new development projects are considered.

The project, which will expand a more than one-mile stretch of U.S. 40 to five lanes, is part of a long-term economic development and workforce strategy that seeks to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to support future growth, said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge.



a street filled with traffic next to a highway: Montgomery County commissioners approved a multi-jurisdictional financing agreement Sept. 1, 2020, to fund the local share of a $12.6 million project that will expand U.S. Route 40 to a five-lane highway and enhance its interchange with Dayton International Airport Access Road. The interchange is a key gateway not only to Dayton International Airport but to a growing cluster of logistics companies. FILE


© Provided by Dayton Daily News
Montgomery County commissioners approved a multi-jurisdictional financing agreement Sept. 1, 2020, to fund the local share of a $12.6 million project that will expand U.S. Route 40 to a five-lane highway and enhance its interchange with Dayton International Airport Access Road. The interchange is a key gateway not only to Dayton International Airport but to a growing cluster of logistics companies. FILE

“We are investing in logistics, manufacturing and distribution from top to bottom to create a more robust local economy that puts our citizens to work,” she said.

Earlier this week, the Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners approved a financing agreement with a variety of jurisdictions to help fund the local share of the U.S. 40 expansion project.

The project’s main source of funding is the Ohio Department of Transportation, which is providing $9.8 million.

Dayton considering free Wi-Fi in parts of city

More than a decade after experimenting with free municipal Wi-Fi, the city of Dayton wants to give it another try as COVID-19 increasingly forces people to use the internet for medical appointments, work, learning, communication and staying in touch.

The city is looking at using some of its federal coronavirus relief funds to offer free wireless internet in northwest Dayton to provide access to telemedicine platforms and remote health care services during and after the pandemic, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

Dayton in the mid-2000s provided free Internet access downtown and unsuccessfully tried to expand coverage to the entire city. The project failed mainly because the technology was in its infancy and the infrastructure costs were burdensome, officials said.

But city leaders believe this time around would be different.

“The technology is cheaper and better,” Whaley said

Ohio attractive to aerospace companies

Ohio ranks second among the states for “aerospace attractiveness,” according to a report released Tuesday by an international business consulting firm.

That’s an improved placement compared to last year’s ranking, with the report pointing to Ohio’s strengths as an investment destination “largely due to its attractive corporate tax structure; healthy economy; and strong industry presence,” according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers report., an international business consulting firm.

This year, Ohio ranked No. 1 number one in the tax policy category, up from eight last year. The state has no corporate income tax, but does levy business taxes on gross receipts. In addition, Ohio is the largest U.S. state supplier to Boeing and Airbus, the study said.



a man standing next to a machine: Auto-Valve Inc., an aerospace manufacturer, has 10 open positions advertised on its website. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF


© Provided by Dayton Daily News
Auto-Valve Inc., an aerospace manufacturer, has 10 open positions advertised on its website. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Ohio ranked 8th in “aerospace attractiveness,” in 2019.

“This report reinforces the strength and validity of our message that Ohio and Dayton are ideal locations for aviation and defense companies,” said Elaine Bryant, executive vice president of aerospace for the Dayton Development Coalition. “We’re encouraged the report mentions urban air mobility and autonomous aviation systems, which is an area the (coalition) and Ohio have nurtured for a decade.”

Bryant also noted that some of the biggest names in aerospace call Ohio home ― GE, Boeing and Battelle, as well as federal leaders in aerospace development such as the Air Force Research Laboratory (based located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) and NASA.

The report stands as PwC’s annual look at the aerospace industry, ranking states by labor and business costs, infrastructure, economy, tax environment and other factors.

According to a pre-pandemic JobsOhio report last year, Ohio had 38,000 employees working for the private aerospace industry, with 540-plus aviation and aerospace firms.

Ohio wants to strengthen its standing. Elected officials across the state have supported the Dayton region’s self-nomination to host the headquarters of U.S. Space Command, now based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

Plug Power to expand, add jobs

A West Carrollton company said it will expand and hire up to 25 people thanks to a tax credit approved Monday by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.

The authority approved a 1.438 percent, 7-year tax credit to Plug Power Inc. — a Latham, NY fuel cell manufacturer which has had a local presence since 2016 — for the creation of $1.5 million in new annual payroll as a result of a possible expansion in West Carrollton.

As part of the tax credit agreement, Ohio requires the company to maintain operations in the Dayton area for at least 10 years.

Ohio is competing with New York for the proposed project. A message seeking comment was sent to Plug Power Monday.

Plug Power is a provider of clean hydrogen and zero emission fuel cells. The company designs, develops, and makes fuel cell systems for electric lift trucks and materials handling equipment. The company says its technology powers electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells.

The project involves increasing existing operational capacity, according to a state description. The company’s fixed asset investment would be towards new machinery and equipment.

Plug Power opened a service center in West Carrollton, on South Alex Road, in 2016.

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