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Kettering could purchase 305 acres at Miami Valley Research Park

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 5:07 PM


            City of Kettering will purchase 305 acres of the Miami Valley Research Park for $1.5 million. FILE
City of Kettering will purchase 305 acres of the Miami Valley Research Park for $1.5 million. FILE

In a push to attract new businesses to the city, Kettering could soon buy 305 acres of the land in the Miami Valley Research Park.

The city is expected to approve a contract Tuesday to purchase the undeveloped land in the Kettering portion of the giant commercial business park. The non-profit foundation, Miami Valley Research Foundation, that runs the development has been looking to sell off land and buildings.

Gregg Gorsuch, Kettering’s economic development manager, told the Dayton Daily News that if council agrees to the contract, the city would close on the deal in July. He said the deal will cost the city $1.5 million at closing, and could go up to $3 million if certain deed restrictions are lifted. The deal does not include any buildings already standing.

One of those major deed restrictions requires any business that moves into the park to be science or research-oriented. Gorsuch said the purchase would allow Kettering to lure in new businesses and help current businesses expand within city limits — a major economic driver.

» INITIAL REPORT: Kettering to purchase 305 acres of Miami Valley Research Park

“The biggest restriction is the requirement for any business operation going out there having to have a research and development component to it,” he said. “It’s fine, we can do that, but it would open it up to more business opportunities if it was lifted.”

If the restrictions are removed, the city would then be able to utilize its locally controlled zoning codes to work with prospective businesses, said Stacy Wall Schweikhart, city spokeswoman.

The business park spans 1,250 acres in Kettering and Beavercreek and is home to some of the Miami Valley’s largest companies, including Reynolds and Reynolds. In October, the Dayton Daily News reported that the Miami Valley Research Foundation was looking to sell four buildings and more than 700 acres of undeveloped land valued at $30 million.

In the early 1980s, the state granted more than 600 acres of land and $20 million to develop a business park that would focus on research, scientific, academic and related organizations. Later, more land was purchased in Beavercreek to bring the total to 1,250 acres — that land does not have a deed restriction that the original land has, which stipulates what type of company can acquire residence within the park.

» RELATED: Mass casualty exercise planned in Kettering

Land Holding LLC will assume ownership of the four existing buildings from the foundation. The University of Dayton, Wright State University, and Sinclair Community College will continue to lead efforts, in collaboration with regional leaders, to attract innovative new organizations to the complex, according to a statement.

Local college presidents from Sinclair Community College, the University of Dayton and Wright State University are permanent trustees of the foundation, and they now say the park should transition into a new phase — with new ownership of the land, different leadership in the foundation, and a loosening of property deed restrictions.

WSU, Sinclair and UD presidents are permanent Class A trustees, and MVRF board chair Steve Johnson said they don’t see the need for presidents to be required leaders of the foundation. It would require state action to officially take the presidents off the board.

“The Miami Valley Research Foundation Board is pleased with this news, both for what it means for our community and for the future of the Miami Valley Research Park,” Johnson said. “This investment provides an excellent opportunity for economic development for the future of our community and also provides the Research Park with the stability needed to move forward. This is a great day for all parties involved.”

The original purpose was to promote scientific and technology-based work within higher education while creating a tighter knit community of local universities. Johnston told this newspaper in a previous interview that the recession had impacted the economic health of the park, and it was difficult to use the same business model the park was founded under.

As the economy bounces back, the land will open new opportunities for the city, said Kettering Mayor Don Patterson. He said the universities worked graciously with the city to execute the land purchase.

“Reinvestment in the Miami Valley Research Park is essential to the long term growth and stability of our region,” Patterson said. “As a land-locked community, the opportunity to acquire green space appropriate for commercial development is rare and one we couldn’t pass up. We are confident that this is a wise investment for the future of Kettering.”

BY THE NUMBERS

1,250: total acres in the park

$410 million: amount of capital investment in park development

22: total buildings in the park

450: total acres developed in the park

4,000+: workers in the park at various companies

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FAA will require inspections of engines made by Butler County company

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 10:26 AM

Pictured is LEAP-1B jet engine as it undergoes testing. The engine is produced by GE Aviation joint venture CFM International, which is based in Butler County. CONTRIBUTED
Pictured is LEAP-1B jet engine as it undergoes testing. The engine is produced by GE Aviation joint venture CFM International, which is based in Butler County. CONTRIBUTED

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday evening it will require inspections of aircraft engines made by a Butler County company involved in the emergency that killed at least one passenger on Southwest Flight 1380.

“The FAA will issue an airworthiness directive within the next two weeks that will require inspections of certain CFM56-7B engines,” the FAA said Wednesday evening. “The directive will require an ultrasonic inspection of fan blades when they reach a certain number of takeoffs and landings.”

MOREUniversity of Dayton at forefront of jet engine component testing

The Southwest Airlines Co. accident Tuesday killed a passenger after blasting debris into the jet’s left wing, the Boeing 737’s outside fuselage and even into the passenger cabin, breaking a cabin window.

Safety experts are asking whether U.S. regulators and engine makers have “underestimated the role of the engine cover” in the unlikely event engine parts break loose in flight, the Wall Street Journal is reporting Thursday.

CFM International is a joint venture of General Electric and French company Safran based in West Chester Twp. in southeastern Butler County. The company issued a statement yesterday saying it intended to participate in and assist the investigation into flight 1380.

RELATEDSouthwest victim’s cause of death confirmed 

“CFM will support the (National Transportation Safety Board) and Southwest Airlines in determining the cause of the accident,” the Butler County company said in its statement. “CFM and its parent companies, GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, will make every resource necessary available to ensure support.”

CFM also said that, by law, it cannot provide information “about the accident or details related to it.”

“I’m very concerned about this particular event,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at a press briefing Wednesday.

Sumwalt also said the widely used CFM engine has a solid safety record and it was too early to determine if the accident pointed to a broader hazard for travelers, the Journal reported.

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Whole Foods: Customer payment info hacked at stores

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 5:07 PM

Amazon Buys Whole Foods, Drops Prices

Whole Foods Market said Thursday that customer payment information at some of the grocer’s in-store bars and restaurants was hacked.

>> Read more trending news

The company did not immediately say how many customers or stores might be affected, but said payment information was not hacked at its primary checkout counters because they use a different operating system.

“When Whole Foods Market learned of this, the company launched an investigation, obtained the help of a leading cyber security forensics firm, contacted law enforcement, and is taking appropriate measures to address the issue,” the company said in a written statement.

Whole Foods, which was recently purchased by online retailer Amazon, also said that Amazon’s system was not affected.

(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)

Most of Whole Foods’ more than 460 stores do not have in-store bars and restaurants. The ones that do are usually in or near larger cities. 

It’s unclear when the hack happened and when exactly Whole Foods learned of it. Whole Foods did not respond to a message left, seeking additional comment.

The company said it would continue to investigate the matter and provide updates when it has more information. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

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Amazon to lower prices at Whole Foods after acquisition approved by shareholders

Published: Thursday, August 24, 2017 @ 3:56 PM



Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Austin-based Whole Foods Market will officially close on Monday, the companies said Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

News of the closing date comes a day after Whole Foods shareholders voted to approve the deal, and the Federal Trade Commission said it would no longer be investigating the merger, which essentially cleared it to be closed.

Amazon’s impact will be immediately seen at Whole Foods, as the company said it will lower prices at the stores and integrate its Amazon Prime program.

"We're determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. “Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality - we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards.”

Beginning Monday, prices for some of Whole Foods best-selling items, such as the Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados and organic eggs, will be lowered, the companies said.

Amazon Prime will also become Whole Foods’ customer rewards program sometime in the future, the companies said, showing that the e-commerce giant is looking to quickly integrate one of its most popular products into Whole Foods.

Beyond that, the companies said that “Amazon lockers” will be available in select Whole Foods stores, where customers will be able to have products shipped from Amazon.com to their local Whole Foods store.

“This is just the beginning,” the companies said in the announcement. “Amazon and Whole Foods Market plan to offer more in-store benefits and lower prices for customers over time as the two companies integrate logistics and point-of-sale and merchandising systems.”

Amazon and Whole Foods announced the agreement on June 16. The two companies began talks about two months before then after Whole Foods representatives first contacted Amazon.

Whole Foods shareholders are set to receive $42 per share in the sale. Amazon.com will gain ownership of Whole Foods’ more than 460 stores, as well as add the grocer’s roughly 87,000 employees to its workforce. Amazon has said it will keep the Whole Foods name on stores and retain CEO John Mackey.

"It's been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest quality food to our customers," Mackey said. "By working together with Amazon and integrating in several key areas, we can lower prices and double down on that mission and reach more people with Whole Foods Market's high-quality, natural and organic food. As part of our commitment to quality, we'll continue to expand our efforts to support and promote local products and suppliers. We can't wait to start showing customers what's possible when Whole Foods Market and Amazon innovate together."

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Elder-Beerman store closings: Everything we know now about local impact

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 9:15 AM

Elder-Beerman warns of layoffs at Dayton Mall store

After several last ditch attempts to save one of America’s oldest retailers, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. joined the ranks of companies that have succumbed to the retail apocalypse.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. officials announced on Wednesday morning that a joint bidder, including a group of the bankrupt retail chain’s bondholders, won the auction for the company’s asset — signaling the start of the liquidation process for stores.

» CONTINUED COVERAGE: 15 memories at Elder-Beerman that influenced your lives

Company employees were told they will lose their jobs and that all 212 Bon-Ton stores, including local Elder-Beerman locations, will close — with going-out-business sales starting imminently. Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group —and the holders of Bon-Ton’s second-lien secured notes will acquire the retailer’s inventory and certain other assets, Bon-Ton said in a statement.

Here’s what we know today:

1. BANKRUPTCY HEARING A bankruptcy court hearing to approve the venture and wind down Bon-Ton operations occurred on Wednesday.

The bondholder group has wanted all Bon-Ton stores to close since the beginning of the bankruptcy process. Bon-Ton employs about 24,000 people, including hundreds in the Dayton region. The company operates roughly 250 stores in 23 states under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers brands.

“While we are disappointed by this outcome and tried very hard to identify bidders interested in operating the business as a going concern, we are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve,” said Bill Tracy, Bon-Ton’s CEO.

» The rise and fall of Elder-Beerman: A timeline of Dayton’s dying store

2. SAD CUSTOMERS Some shoppers were disappointed by the closings. Now, consumers are looking for other options for their shopping. Alyssa Mitterholzer, a Centerville resident, said online shopping is killing off what’s left of traditional brick-and-mortar stores. More than 12,000 stores are expected to close in 2018 — up from roughly 9,000 in 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a marketing and data analysis firm.

“I mean it’s kind of depressing, actually. I’ve been a long-time shopper at Elder Beerman,” she said.

Bon-Ton had been working with U.S. mall owners Washington Prime Group Inc. and Namdar Realty Group to secure a bid that would have kept open a large portion of Bon-Ton locations. It would’ve benefited the mall groups as Bon-Ton Stores are major tenants for both companies. Washington Prime owns both the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons.

» Elder-Beerman history: A journey from simple downtown dry goods store

Chris Kershner, executive vice president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, said Bon-Ton’s liquidation is reflective of retail changes happening across the country. Despite economic planning and a diverse retail landscape, a national retailer’s demise is beyond anything local malls can salvage, he said.

3. LOCAL IMPACT Most Elder-Beerman stores are located within local malls, so closures could have a detrimental effect on multiple shopping centers. Elder-Beerman has stores in Piqua, Huber Heights, the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, the Kettering Towne Center, among others in Ohio. The stores employ hundreds of workers in the region.

Miami Valley Centre Mall officials said the closure and liquidation of all Bon-Ton stores is disappointing for the local shopping center. “As owners of the mall since 1993 we have seen many changes in retail both locally and nationally. The Mid-America Management Corporation’s commitment to the mall and the city of Piqua remains as strong as ever,” the mall group said in a statement.

The Dayton Mall was busy on Tuesday afternoon. Shoppers have flooded area stores and malls returning unwanted gifts they received this holiday season. Most stores have made it an easy task, but others have made it difficult for a reason. According to the National Retail Federation’s latest Return Fraud Survey, retailers estimate that 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent, up slightly from the estimated 3 percent reported last year. Holiday return fraud is expected to cost retailers $2.2 billion, up from approximately $1.9 billion last year.. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

» CONTINUED COVERAGE: 5 retailers closing stores in Ohio this year

4. FAIRBORN PREPARES FOR CENTER CLOSING The liquidation will also impact the distribution center in Fairborn. About 96 employees work at the facility, and Bon-Ton leases the facility. Matt Owen, executive director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, told this news organization that the liquidation wasn’t a surprise to the community.

“We’ll have some workers out of work, and it will definitely affect some families in our region,” he said. “We’re really resilient. We’ve been through this before with Delphi and GM and NCR, and we do a good job of getting our workers back to work.”

5. HISTORY OF ELDER-BEERMAN IN DAYTON Elder-Beerman has a deep-rooted presence in the Miami Valley — and it can be traced back to another store, Boston Dry Goods, in 1883. The Boston Dry Goods store was opened by Thomas Elder, William Hunter, Jr. and Russell Johnston on East Third Street in the early 1880s. It sold textiles, clothing and groceries, and it later became the Elder & Johnston Co.

In 1962, Dayton businessman Arthur Beerman, who had opened two Beermans for Bargains junior department stores in 1950, merged his store with the Elder & Johnston Co. During the 1960s the Elder-Beerman Co. opened numerous department stores in the region, including Hamilton and Richmond, Ind.

The company continued to expand, acquiring department stores in Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky. In 1993, the 50th store opened at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek. In 2003, Elder-Beerman was acquired by Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

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