Former fairgrounds may not be fully redeveloped for decades


Demolition at the former Montgomery County Fairgrounds will begin later this year but it could take 15 to 20 years before the property is fully redeveloped.

The University of Dayton and Premier Health have entered a “new phase” of their plans for the 38-acre site on South Main Street, they jointly announced Wednesday. Though a detailed timeline of the project hasn’t been released, Wednesday’s announcement projects redevelopment of the property being taking place in multiple phases and being completed some time between 2033 and 2038.

LOCAL NEWS: TV antenna not working? Area channels start changing frequencies soon

It often takes a decade or longer to finish a project with as dramatic a scope as the fairgrounds, said Jason Woodard, owner of Woodard Development

“I think with the two parties that are involved it’s going to be a great development for the region. People just need to have a little bit of patience,” Woodard said.

Woodard’s company is known for its development of Water Street town homes and flats and the Delco Lofts in downtown along the Great Miami River. Woodard pointed to Austin Landing as a development that started around 2009 and is just now finishing up its first development phase around nine years later.

Wednesday’s announcement comes after UD and Premier jointly bought the fairgrounds last year. UD and Premier each paid $5.25 million of the $15 million purchase price.

“This is not your typical capital development,” said Mary Boosalis, CEO and president of Premier Health. “We have an ambitious vision that will take considerable public and private support to realize. As we said from the beginning, we want to do this right versus fast, and that will take time.”

The organizations have started to seek funding for the property and will continue to do so for the next year or two. The university and health system are looking for partners who would be willing to pay for or help build roads and utility infrastructure such as water and sewer lines, according to the Wednesday announcement.

BIZ BEAT: Kroger to unveil new remodeled area location

Woodard said he hasn’t been approached about helping to redevelop the fairgrounds but he said it will not be hard to find people who want to. The fairgrounds redevelopment — just minutes from downtown’s central business district — is one of the most anticipated projects in recent Dayton history.

“They’re two of the biggest entities in the region so the ability to attract financing is certainly there,” Woodard said. “I don’t think getting the money will be an issue.”

The Story So Far 

Then: UD and Premier purchased the fairgrounds in 2017 and announced preliminary plans in January that call for a mix of retail, housing, green space and offices. 

Now: UD and Premier are seeking funding to build on the site. The organizations will spend a year or two seeking redevelopment funds. 

Next: No new construction will begin for one to two years and redevelopment may not be finished for 15 to 20 years, which is considered a fairly standard time line.

The university and health system released preliminary designs for the fairgrounds in January that call for a mix of housing, retail, green space and parking, among other uses. The plans propose building to begin along Main Street and work from the edges of the property inward.

“Our early emphasis is putting in place the resources and partnerships to support and ensure the success of the vision we introduced in January,” UD president Eric Spina said Wednesday in a prepared statement.

Though UD and Premier haven’t decided on specific plans for the future of the fairgrounds, they’ll be using it for other purposes in the meantime.

HIGHER ED: Sex harassment complaints under Title IX greatly increase at colleges

Demolition on a number of structures will begin during the second half of 2018. The Roundhouse at the former fairgrounds will be preserved and a property management firm has been hired to maintain the grounds and keep the buildings secure, according to the announcement.

While Premier Health and Encompass Health construct a freestanding rehabilitation hospital north of the former fairgrounds, Miami Valley Hospital employees will temporarily use a portion of the north end of the property for parking. Passersby may also notice new landscaping and iron gates being installed at the former fairgrounds.

“The vision remains the same: to create a vibrant, mixed-use development that builds on Dayton’s history of innovation and entrepreneurship and can propel our next wave of jobs and opportunity,” Spina said.

FIVE FAST READS

• Ohio public university presidents fight for more funding at Statehouse

• Wright State may fire suspended provost despite recommendation, attorney says

• Algae plaguing Ohio lakes could force Kasich to take executive action

• PHOTOS: Retail tycoon’s former Ohio mansion on sale for $3.95 million

• Ohio colleges taking steps to avoid unchecked sex abuse cases

THANKS FOR READING

The Dayton Daily News is committed to bringing you independent, in-depth stories. Help support our journalism by signing up for a print or digital subscription.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Baby alligator walks into South Florida gas station
Baby alligator walks into South Florida gas station

So, this baby gator walks into a gas station … >> Read more trending news  It sounds like a beginning of a bad barroom joke, but attendants at a gasoline station in South Florida were not amused when the reptile strolled into their building early Tuesday, WPLG reported. “You have a what in where?” the dispatcher at...
Man flees in minivan with 3-year-old child, shoots at officers, police say
Man flees in minivan with 3-year-old child, shoots at officers, police say

A man accused of shooting at Baltimore police while fleeing in a minivan that contained a 3-year-old girl was arrested Monday night, The Baltimore Sun reported. >> Read more trending news  Butch Brandford, 32, was charged with first- and second-degree assault, multiple handgun violations and assault by shooting, police said. No officers...
Consumers are about to feel the effects of tariffs on Chinese goods. Here’s how.
Consumers are about to feel the effects of tariffs on Chinese goods. Here’s how.

The escalating tariffs on Chinese goods haven’t hit most consumers just yet, but that’s about to change. Every American household — especially low- and middle-income families — could start feeling the pinch as early as January. The Trump administration this year has issued three rounds of tariffs — each one followed by...
Dayton man indicted for February deadly crash
Dayton man indicted for February deadly crash

A Dayton man was indicted on 10 charges connected to the death of a 57-year-old man struck by a vehicle on Free Pike in February. Charley R. Strickland, 38, was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of OVI, two counts of aggravated vehicular assault and two counts of vehicular assault, records show...
Sheriff reacts to charges in sex offender death: ‘This meth is going to be problematic for us’
Sheriff reacts to charges in sex offender death: ‘This meth is going to be problematic for us’

A New Mexico “drifter” was arrested in Wisconsin and charged with the murder of a registered sex offender found in a field in Clay Twp. off Arlington Road on A. Brown & Sons Nursery property. Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said David Savage, 61, admitted to investigators that he killed Steven T. Johnson, 47, of Clay Twp. during...
More Stories