Monday December 21, 2009

University Buys NCR Headquarters

The University of Dayton has purchased 115 acres, including NCR Corporation's former world headquarters and Old River Park, for $18 million from the global technology company.

The University of Dayton has purchased 115 acres, including NCR Corporation's former world headquarters and Old River Park, for $18 million from the global technology company, University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran announced today.

The University will move its expanding world-class Research Institute into the building at 1700 S. Patterson Blvd., providing a signature facility for its research arm. UDRI conducts nearly $100 million annually in sponsored research and just received its largest contract in history — $49.5 million to develop advanced jet fuels and combustion technologies for the Air Force.

The 455,000-square-foot, five-story building along the Great Miami River also will provide a prominent home for a proposed Alumni Center envisioned in the University's master plan, as well as for graduate classes, executive development programs and conferences. One of the largest office buildings in the region, the furnished facility includes offices, classrooms, an auditorium, a dining facility and a 1,600-space parking lot.

"This is an exceptional opportunity for the University of Dayton to invest in our future — and this region's destiny," Curran said. "This striking facility offers a tremendous venue for education, research and National Alumni Association programs. It's a real statement about the forward-thinking nature of the University of Dayton."

NCR officials believe the transfer will provide continued momentum for the University of Dayton and a boost for the Dayton region. "NCR is proud to complete this transaction with the University of Dayton," said Jeff McCroskey, NCR vice president of global operations. "The prominence and unique nature of the property make this sale beneficial for the University of Dayton, and we are confident that this property will provide benefit to the community of Dayton for years to come."

The Research Institute has added 35 employees over the past year and has been constrained by space for several years. This acquisition provides the institute with much-needed space for expansion, and the consolidation of operations will provide opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

Approximately 260 researchers, support personnel and students are expected to move out of Kettering Laboratories, Caldwell Street Center and other campus locations and into the building over the next three years. About 160 researchers will continue to work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and leased space around Dayton. The institute will maintain the Shroyer Park Center, though some operations may move to the new building while others replace them to take advantage of synergies.

The vacated space in Kettering Laboratories will allow the School of Engineering to expand and provide space for the Ohio Research Scholars; the ETHOS program that sends engineering students to developing countries to provide technical know-how; and, potentially, a STEM Center envisioned in the University's master plan. UDRI's move will allow for more parking on the historic portion of campus.

University officials say the Fortune 500 company's former headquarters also will provide consolidated space and ample parking for graduate classes and an administrative office. This fall, graduate enrollment climbed 11 percent — a 12-year high for fall semester enrollment. The University enrolls approximately 3,000 graduate students and is projecting future growth.

A portion of the building will be renovated for an Alumni Center — providing a highly visible venue for alumni events, lifelong learning programs and chapter meetings.

"This will be a new landmark location for the University of Dayton's 100,000 alumni," Curran said. "Alumni value and cherish their alma mater. This center will engage them in powerful ways. We'll be able to tell our story in an outstanding way in this building by having a venue to showcase videotaped oral histories and memorabilia."

Above all, the facility will build upon the University of Dayton's momentum in research growth. The University is ranked as a national research university and has turned into an advanced technology powerhouse in the state. Sponsored research has nearly tripled in the past decade, rising from $37.1 million to $96.5 million. During a down economy last year, the University of Dayton experienced a double-digit jump in research revenues and remains second in the nation in materials research, according to the National Science Foundation. No other Catholic university performs more sponsored engineering research.

"The University of Dayton's research prowess and reputation —; particularly in areas such as high-performance materials, sensors, nanotechnology and energy — attract excellent students, scholars and researchers to Dayton, where we are working hand in hand with the region to create a future of innovation and invention," Curran said.

The University, primarily through its Research Institute, has built a strong reputation for combining technology development with economic development. This reputation gave the University and its partners — the city of Dayton, Montgomery County, the Dayton Development Coalition and CityWide Development Corp. — a competitive edge in securing the state's first Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity. The Aerospace Hub will focus on growing technology jobs in the areas of materials, advanced manufacturing, sensors and sensor integration — all areas of research strength for the institute. The new facility has the potential of serving as a collaborative research enterprise similar to the University's successful IDCAST venture at Tech Town. A portion is envisioned as innovation space for start-up technology companies focused on high-performance materials.

The 48-acre Old River Park will continue to be managed by Dayton History through an operating agreement. University officials say a portion could be used as an environmental lab for faculty and students.

NCR will lease its former headquarters through part of 2010. It will continue to own and maintain a data center located near the former headquarters building.

With the new purchase, the University of Dayton's campus now spans 373 acres. In 2005, the University acquired from NCR Corporation a 50-acre parcel of property that extended the core campus from Brown Street to the Great Miami River. Since then, the University of Dayton has purchased an additional five acres from the global technology company.

In the past decade, the University has invested more than $200 million in new construction and renovations. During the same time frame, the University raised more than $278 million in private support for scholarships, endowed faculty positions and facilities while increasing first-year applications to record levels.

For more information, contact Teri Rizvi at 937-229-3255 or rizvi@udayton.edu.