Property owner and developer Cory Heitz said last year when the company began demolition of Hara Arena that they were negotiating with a “global company” to occupy the space. Heitz didn’t cite specifics on why the plans fell through but did say that the ongoing pandemic was a factor.
Heitz said the goal is to sell the entire acreage.
“The rest of the acreage we are still working to get the tax issues cleared up with both the county and the IRS,” he said.
Hara Arena, which sat empty before it was damaged by a Memorial Day tornado in 2019, originally started as a ballroom in 1956. The arena held 5,500 seats and the property included four exhibition halls, a conference center, pub and golf course.
Warrior Excavating started demolition on the arena last fall and have plans to have the site completely cleared in the next six weeks. While the arena brought memories for many people, Trotwood city manager Quincy Pope has high hopes for the future of the property.
“This is an ideal location for redevelopment, because of the proximity to the east and mid-west market areas. Interstate 70 and 75 is five miles from the site and Dayton International Airport six miles. This is very attractive to potential developers,” Pope said.
Pope said he would like to see the acres used for its original purpose based on its zoning.
“First, in terms of land use, the site is a planned unit development (PUD) with an overlay zoned “Light Industrial District”. Therefore, the principal uses for the site are laboratory, advanced manufacturing, scientific or research facility, logistics/distribution center or public offices. We would welcome these principally permitted uses with sustainable jobs and higher paying wages for our community and the region,” Pope said.
The letters on the building were sold in a silent auction and proceeds of about $3,500 were donated to the African American Community Fund through the Dayton Foundation, Heitz said. The fund contributes to civic, economic, cultural, educational, religious and human service initiatives throughout the Dayton community.