Montgomery County Fair officials considered purchasing three properties on Interstate 70 this year and discussed the plans with a local billionaire’s representatives, but ultimately decided not to pursue the location for the new fairgrounds, a fair official said Monday.
The site consisted of three connected, but separately-owned parcels on Brookville Salem Road at Interstate 70, said Executive Director Greg Wallace, who would not specify which three properties were considered several months ago.
Wallace said the fair is looking at “probably 10 parcels of land right now.” The society has also expressed interest in a site in Huber Heights also on Interstate 70.
The fair’s due diligence on the three Brookville properties included meeting with representatives of Clay Mathile, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who lives nearby, Wallace confirmed to the Dayton Daily News. The conversation was to gauge Mathile’s openness to having the fair nearby.
“They were not against it,” Wallace said.
The three properties considered by fair officials were adjacent to, but not held by Mathile and several shell companies owning properties flanking Diamond Mill Road, Wallace said. The newspaper left a message with the Mathile family, but did not immediately receive a reply Monday.
Mathile is the region’s sole billionaire, known for selling local pet foods producer Iams Co. to Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble in 1999 for $2.3 billion.
The Montgomery County Agricultural Society is looking for a new home for the county fair, even as two bids to redevelop the current location were rejected last week. Fair officials have sought for years to leave the current 37-acre grounds near the University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital.
Potential, but unsuccessful sites for the fairgrounds have included land in Trotwood and other property in Brookville.