April 5, 2018

Mound Business Park Transforms Cold War Relic into a Center for Innovation

In its heyday, Mound Laboratories was at the forefront of nuclear weapon and space exploration technology. For more than 50 years, the 306-acre campus was one of the Department of Energy’s premier sites for research and development.

As the Cold War waned, so did the need for Mound Laboratories. But now, more than two decades after it was closed, the campus is once again a thriving hub of innovation—this time, led by the private sector. As the preferred broker for the Mound Business Park, Miller-Valentine Group has assisted with attracting a diverse mix of tenants and buyers to the sprawling campus.

A Campus with Good Bones

Launched in 1946, Mound Laboratories was the nation’s first nuclear-weapons research facility opened by the Atomic Energy Commission. Power sources for deep-space exploration, such as the battery for the Cassini satellite, were also invented here. Over the course of 50 years, the site grew to more than 100 buildings.

When the U.S. Government shuttered Mound Laboratories in 1993, it donated the site to the Mound Development Group, a nonprofit community improvement corporation. Under the leadership of President Eric Cluxton, the Mound Business Park has transformed into a self-sustaining entity.

But it has had to overcome a complicated reputation to get there.

For decades, the site was critical to Cold War readiness. Yet its history of nuclear research gave it a reputation as “glowing in the dark.” Tucked away in the south Dayton suburbs, the campus also suffered from a perception that it lacked amenities.

In reality, the site has undergone $1.1 billion in remediation to industrial standards. And it is just minutes from downtown Miamisburg, Austin Landing, and Dayton Mall, each offering an array of dining and entertainment options.

Furthermore, it is one of the few industrial parks in Dayton’s southern suburbs that is multi-use, with office, lab, and industrial space. Its location is ideal for drawing talent from both Dayton and Cincinnati. And the park offers a 15-year tax abatement on improvements and new construction on the shovel-ready building sites.

Just as important, the site has excellent bones. The facilities were built to very high standards to withstand natural disasters. That makes the park an excellent choice for companies and organizations that deal with delicate operations or that are vital to public safety.

Creative Reuse of Space

One such organization is the Montgomery County Consolidated Dispatch Center. The county was leasing its space from the Mound Business Park, but Miller-Valentine Group recently sold the facility to a private investor for $5.2 million. The transaction was a win-win for everyone. The investor has a guaranteed lessee for 10 years, plus two vacant floors that are available to lease out. And the Mound Business Park racked up a sale and is free of its obligations to maintain the building.

In the past eight years, Miller-Valentine Group has brokered five sales and nine leases in the park. Our efforts have brought together companies in the alternative and renewable energy technologies, medical, aerospace, and defense industries.

The park also includes a museum devoted to Mound Laboratories, a woodworking business, and Alien Workshop, a marketing and creative firm owned by skateboarder and MTV star Rob Dyrdek. Alien Workshop transformed a 5,800 square foot former emergency backup command center into a design studio, showcasing the range of options available at the site.

Space Still Available

The Mound Development Corporation has done a brilliant job making the business park a self-sufficient success—and there is still room to grow. The business park has 190 shovel-ready acres available, as well as some industrial and office space.

Available properties include a 121,000 square foot underground facility, complete with 16-foot-thick perimeter walls and blast doors that are ideal for data storage or a lab. The opportunity to market a business housed inside a bomb-proof-designed facility could be lucrative for the right organization! Also available is the 90,000 square foot Department of Energy Executive Office building with free parking for hundreds and a commanding view of the Miami Valley.

For more information on locating your business at Mound Business Park, contact Gerry Smith at 937.293.0900.