The Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority has tools to help redevelop the Good Samaritan Hospital site, trustees of the authority said Monday.
Last week, Premier Health announced that it was closing the hospital in Northwest Dayton, saying the site would be shuttered within a year, with 1,600 employees being transitioned to other Premier locations in the area.
Rick Poole, a trustee of the Port Authority, said that even before last week’s announcement, however, fellow trustees had discussed how to do more for the west side of the city and the community in a planning meeting last month.
“I think there is even more opportunity to focus on the west side of the city,” Poole, owner of Natural Foods Plus in Dayton, said at a trustees meeting Monday.
Jerry Brunswick, the Port Authority’s president and executive director, agreed.
“The importance for all of that stuff has now accelerated,” Brunswick told Poole and his fellow trustees. “There’s going to be a shovel ready site.”
Leaders of Premier said they hope to work with Dayton city government and local stakeholders on positioning the Good Sam site for the future.
Later, Brunswick said the Port Authority has several tools at its disposal, including a $14 million bond fund shared with the Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority. From that fund, both organizations can issue bonds that can help finance development in their respective service areas.
Port Authorities can also offer sales tax exemptions on construction projects and get construction started quickly in “no bid” projects, he added.
The Port Authority is also involved in redevelopment of the former Montgomery County Fairgrounds, today owned by Premier and the University of Dayton.
“We’ve got unused capacity as it stands,” Brunswick said.
He said neither Premier nor city government have yet approached the Port Authority for help.
“I think Premier and CityWide (Development Corp., the city’s private development arm) know about our capabilities,” Brunswick said.
After the meeting, Poole said addressing needs in that part of the community is more important than ever.
“We have started to take the initiative even before that devastating announcement,” said Poole, whose business is located at 2901 Philadelphia Drive, about two miles from Good Samaritan.
The Columbus firm planning NEXT will be involved in redevelopment of the hospital site on Philadelphia.
No date for demolition of the hospital has been set, since it will be operating until the end of the year.
Premier will also work with CityWide Development to help re-purpose the site. CityWide and the Port Authority have worked together on many projects in the past.