Board to narrow list of firms for mall area plan

Project draws seven proposals from firms throughout U.S., Canada

Seven firms from the U.S. and Canada submitted proposals for the plan to focus on redeveloping the 44-year-old mall and its surrounding area to help ensure its vitality in the Dayton market in the coming years, officials said Thursday.

The mall accounts for more than $200 million in annual sales and master plan area is home to an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 jobs.

Miami Twp.-Dayton Mall Joint Economic Development District Board members were impressed with the number of businesses interested in the project. But they agreed it would not be practical to invite them all in for presentations.

The finalists will be determined by planning staff, board members said, and then go before a selection committee - likely next month.

“I feel comfortable we’ve got a good selection of firms – the quality of companies and their ability to handle the scope of the project,” said Miami Twp. Planning and Zoning Director Chris Snyder, a JEDD board member.

The focus of the master plan will be a two-square-mile section encompassing Ohio 741 and Ohio 725 in Miami Twp. and Miamisburg, Snyder said. The first study of its type for the mall and its surrounding area, it will also impact Washington Twp. and West Carrollton, he added.

The seven proposals range in cost from $200,000 to more than $500,000 and come from businesses in Seattle, Atlanta, Boston and Ontario, Canada, among other locations, Snyder said. He declined to release the specific costs each business submitted for their proposals.

JEDD officials would be willing to spend more money on the project than is currently planned to make sure it properly addresses the mall area’s needs. The board has $230,000 budgeted, but more than $400,000 could be available for the right proposal, officials said.

“The Dayton Mall area is one of the most important retail areas in Montgomery County and it deserves a good plan,” said Miamisburg Development Director Chris Fine, a board member.

Board Chairman Tracy Williams agreed.

“The idea is to try to identify the firm that can do the best job for us,” he said. “But if it is a high-end firm, maybe we’ll be able to negotiate.”

The plan’s ability to draw interest from several regions of this country – as well as Canada – speaks well of the mall area’s importance and future, Williams said.

“There’s so much potential in the Dayton Mall area,” he said. “And we look to continue it to be a vital member of the community.”

Williams said officials need to investigate the track records of the firms submitting proposals. After the list of companies is trimmed, those remaining will be invited for interviews tentatively scheduled for September, board members said.

A selection committee comprised of JEDD board members, staff, members of the business community and Miami Twp. residents will then meet with those firms chosen for interviews, Snyder said.

He said a contractor is likely to be selected this fall. Once that choice is made, the estimated time to complete the master plan will be 12 to 15 months, Snyder said.