The first brownfield the city cleaned up will finally get a new use when it become the hub for an expanding local business, bringing new jobs and tax money in exchange for a tax abatement.
After more than a decade since the rehabilitation began, the former D&H Manufacturing site, 1601 Sheridan Ave., will be the site of a new $395,000, 12,000-square-foot facility for Springfield Overhead Door.
“We’re excited to get some activity there,” said Tom Franzen, assistant city manager and director of economic development. “There’s been spot investment down there, so it’s nice to have additional investment come in.”
The city approved an eight-year, 50 percent tax abatement that will result in four additional full-time and two part-time positions in the next two years, resulting in $152,000 in new payroll. The company will also retain 10 employees.
“It was crucial,” owner Kathy Lloyd said. “We feel very fortunate to have received it.”
With the abatement, the site will still provide about $38,000 in property tax revenue per year to the Springfield City School District, according to Josh Rauch, the city’s deputy economic development administrator.
The company, currently located at 950 W. Leffel Lane, purchased the former brownfield for $8,000, which Franzen said was negotiated to put the site back into productive use.
The city used about $3.6 million in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Clean Ohio grant money to remediate the site, beginning in 2001, according to Shannon Meadows, the city’s community development director who spearheaded the first brownfield projects. Less than 1 percent of the costs were paid for by the city.
“The lessons we learned through the process, I would contend laid the groundwork for the redevelopments we have enjoyed over the last 10 to 15 years,” Meadows said.
The brownfield site development on Sheridan Avenue led to many other brownfield projects around town, which eventually became sites for the new Springfield Regional Medical Center, Springfield Regional Cancer Center, Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital and Delille Oxygen Co.
The National Trail Parks and Recreation District’s Family Ice Arena and the city’s Champion City Business Park — both currently in construction phases — were also brownfield redevelopment sites.
The new investment is good for the community, Meadows said, and provides “the highest and best use” for the site and neighborhood.
“It’s not just about cleaning up contamination and demolishing buildings, but really trying to invest in community,” Meadows said.
Construction on the new building will begin in the next two weeks and it likely will open in June.
Lloyd said the business, which also operates a Select Services, a concrete finishing service, and Royal Hidden Fence, had outgrown its current facility.
“We felt strongly we needed to stay in the city, supporting local causes, because that’s who we are,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd has owned the 50-year-old business for more than 20 years. She operates it with her husband, Marc Lloyd, a retired battalion chief with the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division, and partner Brent Krajicek. Marc Lloyd’s father, William C. Lloyd, worked at the manufacturing plant previously located at the site of their planned expansion.
Kathy Lloyd said once construction is completed,the company will consider adding more buildings to the four-acre site to help other entrepreneurs start local businesses.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to stay in business,” Lloyd said. “We feel fortunate we were able to stay in business, and that’s due to a loyal customer service base. We feel very blessed to have it.”
Springfield News-Sun Reporter Michael Cooper is committed to providing in-depth, complete coverage of construction projects in Springfield. The News-Sun has written extensively on topics like construction wages, public housing, new business developments and low-income senior housing.