Federal funds to boost riverfront project, incubator, interchange, Good Sam site

Millions were earmarked in omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden

Millions of dollars in federal earmarks are expected to help more than half a dozen local projects, including a business incubator and a health clinic in West Dayton, plus a health and wellness campus in northwest Dayton.

Federal funds will be set aside to assist efforts to develop the riverfront and a whitewater park in West Carrollton, improve the Interstate 675 interchange with Wilmington Pike in Greene County, and turn one of Dayton’s oldest buildings into a high-tech co-lab space.

The fiscal year 2023 omnibus spending bill that passed Congress and was signed by President Biden late last year contains billions of dollars in federal earmarks, now referred to as Congressionally Directed Spending or community project funds.

Projects in Ohio have been awarded about $180 million in funding.

The northwest Dayton health and wellness campus project will receive $3.5 million, while a low dam modification project will get $3 million that officials say will help create a river district and whitewater park in West Carrollton.

A project to improve the I-675 and Wilmington Pike interchange also has been awarded $3 million.

Old Good Sam site

Federal money will help construct a new $17.8 million facility that will be the anchor of a new health and wellness campus on the former Good Samaritan Hospital site in northwest Dayton.

The new 52,000-square-foot facility will be home to the YMCA of Greater Dayton, Premier Health, Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley, County Corp, CareSource and Wright State University.

“Our hope is that this facility complements other great work that is already being done in northwest Dayton,” said Dale Brunner, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Dayton.

West Carrollton on the river

West Carrollton is working to bring a project to the banks of the Great Miami River that would include a hotel, medical offices, restaurants, service retail and a small watercraft marina, plus 26 high-end townhome condominiums and a 214-unit apartment project.

Located just off the city’s Interstate 75 interchange, the development would be part of a planned river district with an adjacent whitewater park.

The federal funding is critical to completing the first phase of a low dam improvement project that will enhance river safety and access, officials said. This will precede a $15 million whitewater park development project and $85 million in private investment along the riverfront.

“This funding goes a long way to kick start the development at the interchange,” said Mike Lucking, economic development director of West Carrollton.

Mayor Jeff Sanner said the city has been working toward enhancing river access and redeveloping the riverfront for a decade and a half.

“These developments will change the face of West Carrollton forever, and we are so excited to watch the progress and growth of our great city,” the mayor said.

I-675 and Wilmington Pike

The I-675 and Wilmington Pike interchange project will make improvements to increase the capacity of the interchange, said Crystal Corbin, executive director of the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District.

The corridor serves major employment and commercial centers, housing and recreational uses and is one of the main routes to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Corbin said.

This multi-jurisdictional project could cost between $44 million and $68 million, she said, and this funding will help pay for necessary engineering work.

“Growing congestion issues, along with continued opportunity for economic growth in the area, has prompted local interests to consider improvements to both the interchange and the local roadway network to support the city of Centerville, Sugarcreek Township, and Greene County,” Corbin said.

Homefull, Infinity, incubator

Homefull will use its $2 million federal earmark to help create a new health clinic and pharmacy in West Dayton, while Infinity Labs and Wright State University will use a $2 million award to create a new research and development center in downtown.

Homefull plans to build a new $17 million facility on the former Carlson school site on the 800 block of South Gettysburg Avenue, which will have a full-service grocery store, an entrepreneurial farmer’s market and a health care clinic and pharmacy.

Infinity Labs, a defense-contracting firm, plans to turn the vacant old Dayton Power & Light steam power plant building at 118 E. Fourth Street into a “power house” collaborative space.

The state-of-the-art research and development prototyping facility will support local workforce development and economic growth, the firm said.

A $1.5 million earmark will help the Greater West Dayton Incubator move to a larger, permanent location on the city’s west side.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

The resource center, which has served more than 200 entrepreneurs, currently is located in a 1,500-square-foot space at 1105 W. Third St. in the Wright Dunbar area.

A larger facility would allow the incubator to offer co-working space and offices, as well as classroom and meeting areas, said Whitney Barkley, director of the Greater West Dayton Incubator.

The incubator supports entrepreneurs who are Black, women or members of other underrepresented groups with access to working space, consulting, training, mentoring, capital and other assistance.

The final appropriations bill contained funding for about 100 Congressionally Directed Spending projects that were submitted by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Some local projects also were supported and recommended for funding by U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton.

“Because of my advocacy, over $55.4 million in funding will be provided to organizations across multiple sectors — healthcare, childcare, job development, Wright-Patterson and more,” Rep. Turner said. “These dollars reflect my ongoing commitment to supporting projects that foster economic development in OH-10.”

“We are grateful to Sen. Brown and Rep. Turner for their support of this funding, which makes the project viable,” said Barkley, of the Incubator. “We would not be able to move forward now on identifying and then opening a permanent location to better serve entrepreneurs in Greater West Dayton without it.”

Millions of dollars in federal awards also were approved for projects at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to construct a new child development center and plan and design a human performance wing laboratory.

The “Flight Line” rails-to-trails project also will get federal money, which will create a multi-use trail and open space amenity that connects downtown Dayton to east Dayton and Kettering.

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