I will be attending the ground breaking of the AK Steel Research and Innovation Center on Friday morning. This $36 million facility is scheduled to be open in the fall of 2016 and will be visible from I-75. This is one of the more complex deals I’ve seen in my 10 years with the City. We have so many partners to thank for their contributions. City Council provided leadership and gave staff support and authority to craft a deal to win this important project. Economic Development Director Denise Hamet,, Assistant Economic Development Director Matt Eisenbraun, Public Works Director Scott Tadych, Finance Director Michelle Greis, and Law Director Les Landen all contributed to this project and I appreciate the hard work of staff. We have gotten support from the Franklin City School Board, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Warren County Commissioners and the Warren County Port Authority. Last, and certainly not least, the staff at JobsOhio through REDI Cincinnati and the Dayton Development Coalition added their expertise and incentives to the deal to make Middletown the best place for AK to modernize and expand their research facility.
Finally, I want to thank AK Steel for believing in and investing in Middletown. We will make you proud that you chose our city for this project and hope that it opens the door and shows our commitment to other potential future partnerships.
It has been disappointing that our exit was one of the last to see development along I-75. That being said, we get one chance to develop this land in a way that helps create sustainable jobs, income tax, property tax, and amenities for our citizens. These are what I call 50-year decisions. The impact of new East End development will be felt by the city in a positive or negative way for the next 50 years. This project, in my opinion, is a home run for the city. It keeps AK Steel invested in Middletown and offers a projected 15 new high paying jobs when the facility is up to full staffing in future years. It is hopefully the beginning of many new projects coming to the East End over the next several years.
Congratulations to everyone involved.