Oct. 23--A state association of economic development professionals has named the GE Aviation EPISCENTER on the University of Dayton's campus as 2013's best economic development project.
The EPISCENTER, built at a cost of $53 million, contains 138,000-square-feet of lab and office space. It will open on Dec. 13 to conduct research on aircraft electrical power systems.
The university applied for the award, which was endorsed by Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell, the city commission and three community organizations -- Fairgrounds Neighborhood Association, Rubicon Park Business Association and Rubicon Mill Neighborhood Association. The official announcement will be made Oct. 24 in Dublin, Ohio, during the association's Annual Summit.
"The project represents the university's long-term commitment and collaboration with the city and many other stakeholders to return this gateway area to a thriving economic engine of the city," Leitzell and the commissioners said in a letter of support. They called the project a "signature development for the city, if not the entire state."
Said Daniel J. Curran, University of Dayton President: "This project serves as a cornerstone in the revitalization of this part of the city and is the foundation of the university's vision to transform a former urban brownfield into a thriving academic and research development."
The EPISCENTER is on eight acres on River Park Drive overlooking the Great Miami River. It's part of a 50-acre largely vacant parcel the University of Dayton purchased from NCR Corp. in 2005. Once the home to NCR manufacturing, the site was vacant for nearly 30 years.
GE Aviation has increased its employment in Ohio by 7 percent in the past two years and plans to double its jet engine production over the course of a decade, UD added.