The updates on the project came from officials University of Dayton and Premier Health, who own the fairgrounds site. They presented the new details to the I-70/75 Development Association at the group’s Friday morning meeting.
Planning NEXT, the master planning contracted to the project, in January unveiled the early vision for the fairgrounds, which calls for the first phase of development to have about 245 unites of housing, 225,000 square feet of office, 60,000 square feet of retail and four acres of urban agriculture.
As the site is built out, Planning NEXT says the development should have flexible spaces that can transform as the neighborhood expands inward from Main Street. For example, surface parking can be later replaced with multi-story parking structures as the neighborhood becomes more dense.
Project officials with UD and Premier have repeatedly emphasized that the vision for what could happen is still being formed.
They still want to get other parties involved like private developers and future tenants, and while Premier and UD plan to have money involved, they are going to seek other ways of financing the development.
The renderings and ideas from the project master planner demonstrate what kind of development is feasible and what the community would want to see at the site, but to get to the point of things being built, there will have to be additional committed partners and money.
MORE: Early vision for former fairgrounds released
When coming up with the vision for the site, project officials held focus groups and took comments online to collect a broad database of suggestions that were each reviewed — including one comment that just said “Detroit” and a flood of football enthusiasts suggesting a new UD football field (Which Horner said is not something that will happen).
Some of the feedback that became key pieces of the master plan included housing intended for a mix of incomes, space for urban agriculture, and a walkable design to give a neighborhood feel.
The Montgomery County fairgrounds redevelopment is being planned at the same time that a different high-profile development project is coming together less than two miles down the road to revive the Dayton Arcade.
MORE: Arcade is definitely happening, developer says: ‘We’re way too pregnant’
While UD is partnering with Premier on redeveloping the fairgrounds, the university has also pledged to be a key anchor tenant at the Arcade.
Horner said he sees the two projects as complementary developments, not competing projects.
“We wouldn’t be involved in both projects if we thought they weren’t going to be complementary,” Horner said. “There are limited resources to go around, but we think there’s going to be enough for both to be exceptionally successful and bring additional investment into the Miami Valley.”
PREVIOUSLY: In January, the master planner unveiled the early vision of how the fairgrounds could be redeveloped.
WHAT'S NEW: UD and Premier are interested in owning or being tenants in the early buildings at the redeveloped fairgrounds, which would be on the southeast corner of the site.
WHAT'S NEXT: The next step is for UD and Premier to line up project partners and financing.