Is there hope for Hara site? Trotwood approves new zoning for property

Trotwood City Council this week approved new zoning for Hara Arena property, opening the door to possible light industrial uses on that site.

Council on Monday approved the rezoning of the area from recreational to a PUD (planed unit development) that permits light industrial uses, said Chad Downing, executive director of the Trotwood Community Improvement Corp.

What happens next will be up to property owner Michael Heitz, who has held the property since before the devastation of last year's Memorial Day tornadoes.

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“Our hope is that with the changing of this, that will really start to give him (Heitz) the chance to have real looks from companies who would like to locate there,” Downing said. “He has been great to work with. He has been up front about the process and about what the hurdles are.”

MORE: Hara Arena suffered extensive damage in Memorial Day storms

RELATED: A legacy of memories at Hara Arena

Messages were left for Heitz Wednesday. Heitz is a member of Tax Redevelopment LLC, a Lexington, Ky.-based developer who has a history of finding new uses and possibilities for Dayton properties long past their prime.

Heitz and others have praised the Hara site as being especially promising, with 120-plus acres and a building that covers some 650,000 square feet.

Heitz has purchased other local properties — such as the Rita Construction building in North Dayton, a former inn at Wagner Ford Road off Interstate 75 and the old Executive Lodge at 2401 Needmore Road — in tax lien sales.

Hara closed in 2016 after 50 years as a performance and event locale.

PHOTOS: Hara Arena through the years

RELATED: A legacy of memories at Hara Arena

SPECIAL PROJECT: Walking the Path of the Storm 

PHOTOS: Daylight reveals widespread damage from Memorial Day storms 

STORY: State of Emergency issued for Trotwood; Hara Arena roof blown off, schools closed after tornadoes

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