Port Authority assists possible fairgrounds move

Port Authority trustees voted unanimously Monday to enter into an option agreement with the Agricultural Society and MV Commercial Development LLC, an affiliate of Miller-Valentine Group.

The agreement positions the Port Authority to hold the current fairgrounds land and give MV Commercial Development an option to develop it, should that happen, said Joseph Geraghty, chair of the Port Authority’s Board of Trustees.

The agreement, however, depends on the Agricultural Society leaving the current fairgrounds for a new fair site.

“It’s not definite that this will go forward,” said Brad Evers, the Port Authority’s general counsel. He said the Port Authority will not take title to the site “until we know they’re going to go.”

County leaders told the Dayton Daily News last month that the Fair Board, which controls the land, is working with Miller Valentine’s investment arm to consider other potential sites for the annual county fair. No new sites have been announced yet.

It’s possible that the current approximately 34-acre fairgrounds site just west of Miami Valley Hospital — land long considered a prime site for development by downtown observers — eventually could be sold to a user who will then redevelop it.

Montgomery County commissioners own the property at 1043 S. Main St. across from the hospital in Dayton. The Fair Board operates and maintains the land.

John Yancik, vice president of the Agricultural Society Board of Directors, and Eric Joo, a partner at Miller Valentine, did not return calls seeking comment.

Also on Monday, Port Authority trustees agreed to amend an earlier resolution, agreeing to seek a heftier State Infrastructure Bank loan for a potential distribution site at the Union Global Logistics Airpark.

The loan sought would not exceed $14 million, according to the new resolution approved Monday. That’s up from an earlier resolution, which approved seeking a loan of $10.4 million.

County and Union officials are positioning themselves to prepare for an as-yet unnamed client of California developer Prologis to build a distribution center at the airpark.

Those involved said the client could employ up to 1,000 workers at the Union site, near the Dayton International Airport.

The Port Authority could hold title to the land briefly before transferring it, and it also could secure a loan for infrastructure improvements leading up the site, Evers said.

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