Downtown Dayton’s Tech Town has a new tenant as of this week: 100 employees from the IT department at the Dayton Children’s Hospital are beginning to move into a third of Building III while the hospital does a major new construction project.
The development has been gradually filling up since it opened in 2009, but Tech Town leaders have repeatedly expressed optimism about a major new tenant yet to materialize in Building III, the last of the buildings in the business park. Tech Town was envisioned as a "live-work-play" hub for technology and innovation in downtown Dayton, and its most prominent tenant is the Entrepreneurs Center, an incubator for tech start-ups.
The boxy modern business park near Fifth Third Field was conceived in the early 2000s, and has since spent tens of millions on environmental cleanup and three shiny new buildings. Building III has now been empty since 2011.
“The overall growth of the economy, especially from a jobs perspective has been flat, and there’s been new product brought online,” said Steve Budd with CityWide Development, the organization that manages Tech Town. The Austin Landing development in Miami Township is one example of unanticipated competition. “We’ve got more product than we have tenants at the moment.”
The Dayton Children’s Hospital goes beyond the three years of construction on a new tower at the hospital, but it's unclear whether the hospital staff will stay on permanently. Tech Town has promised to eventually house over 2,000 jobs, and more than $25 million in government funds went into the project. Environmental remediation and construction on the site were also supported with $9 million in private investment and $6 million in loans. Currently around 350 people work in the business park.