New plan for health center near UD incorporates old church

A rendering of the new Premier Health building that would go in near the University of Dayton. Contributed.
A rendering of the new Premier Health building that would go in near the University of Dayton. Contributed.

After feedback from the community, a proposed medical building on South Brown Street serving University of Dayton and the surrounding area would incorporate the former South Park Methodist Church into its design.

In addition, the updated plan for the site reconfigures the building’s parking lot and maintains mature trees along the site’s north property line. The plan would also expand a buffer between the parking area and residences to the west of the property, the university said.

UD, Premier Health, Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development were scheduled Wednesday night to meet privately with members of the community who wanted to see the building preserved. The meeting was scheduled to discuss plans with those involved and listen to any feedback.

“We appreciate our partnership with the neighbors and Preservation Dayton and their encouragement to take a second look at the site,” said Jason Woodard, principal of Woodard Development. “It is not always possible to reuse a long-vacant, special-use building such as a former church. But by taking a second look in this case, we were pleased to find a feasible way to balance the preservation of the building while integrating a new structure that will together provide the necessary space for these medical services.”

ExploreUD, Premier health center plans on pause over push to save old church

South Park Methodist was built in 1925 but closed in May 2016 after years of shrinking attendance.

The 11,000-square-foot church property sits along Brown Street between Sawmill and Stonemill roads.

Preservation Dayton Inc., a nonprofit organization that advocates for the preservation of historically significant properties in the Dayton area, has been encouraging people to write or call UD about the proposed medical building.

A leader with the group told the Dayton Daily News in June that she was “encouraged” by talks with the developers.

UD owns the land already but has been meeting and working with Preservation Dayton. The plans are still subject to city of Dayton approval.

The four organizations announced plans in April for a building on the former church’s lot with Premier Health as the anchor tenant. It would primarily serve University of Dayton.

ExploreUD, Premier to build new medical facility on Brown Street

The building will house primary care and orthopedic physicians, imaging, lab and comprehensive physical and occupational rehabilitation services available to meet community needs and will also provide an employer clinic to UD’s nearly 2,700 full-time employees. This clinic will include evening and weekend urgent care for UD staff and students.

In the project announcement, officials had said they would remove the buildings on the site and begin construction this spring, with completion expected in summer 2022.

The church had been up for a potential redevelopment before.

A Dublin firm bought the building in 2016 for $550,000 but no development got off the ground. In 2018, the property sold for $850,000 to Redhawk Down LLC, which has a Columbus address.