Plans for the center of West Carrollton are expected to include a domed sports complex, a plaza and tens of thousands of square feet of commercial business space.
The three-phase strategic plan for the city’s Olde Downtown also will likely preserve longtime landmarks, and feature a community center, volleyball courts and a dog park – all spanning about 60 acres from Elm Street to Miami Avenue.
Those are key elements of a draft of the plan designed to revitalize the city’s center over about 20 years to attract people, businesses, jobs and traffic to vacant land created by the demolition of a century-old paper mill, said West Carrollton Planning Director Greg Gaines.
In the initial phase - which features a sports complex, volleyball courts and a plaza that includes a landmark water tower – a priority is “reactivating the property with what may or may not be temporary uses,” he said. “Some of that can be done within the next few years.
“The idea is to get some activity generated on the property and get people back on it so that we can then hopefully generate more interest and do something more permanent with it,” Gaines added.
The plan is being finalized by the city and the consultant – OHM Advisors – it hired last spring. West Carrollton officials have held public forums, planning commission reviews and city council is expected to get it next month, officials said.
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The draft plan does not include any cost estimates, Gaines said. But its elements are likely to include multimillion dollars of investments.
West Carrollton City Manager Brad Townsend noted “the most important and helpful part of this plan is the market-driven element that provides guidance on the types of interim uses and activities that can be conducted on the site now, while the market develops for the future.”
Phase III, which Gaines estimated would be 10 to 20 years away, includes an office building, a community center, a post office and mixed-use commercial space, he said
The 79,000 square foot domed sports complex is part of each phase – as are the plaza, about 29,000 square feet of commercial/manufacturing space and the dog park. The athletic facility was one of the first items OHM Advisors included and was a popular item during public forums, Gaines said.
“Maybe that’s in part because there’s so much interest and demand for youth sports and club sports these days that there’s a real premium on space – especially indoor,” he said.
“But I think also as you look at the renderings a bubble grabs your attention and I think it’s kind of a cool factor,” Gaines added. “That the people are seeing that (it) could be like another icon for the development.”
The water tower plaza is also a priority, he said.
“It’s kind of a visual anchor for the development. And that would basically be a public gathering space,” Gaines said.
“Things like the volleyball park….that’s one of those more immediate things that we could do to generate activity on the site,” he added. “But I’m not sure that type of thing is necessarily seen as being permanent.”
PHASE 1 GOALS
• Preserve historical structures;
• Generate activity on site;
• Reinforce center of Olde Downtown (Elm Street and Central Avenue) with new development;
• Begin streetscape improvements to improve walkability downtown.
SOURCE: City of West Carrollton