Former fairgrounds may not be fully redeveloped for 15 to 20 years

The University of Dayton and Premier Health have entered a “new phase” of their plans for the former Montgomery County Fairgrounds near downtown Dayton.

Over the next year to two years, both UD and Premier will be conducting outreach to potential funding sources for redevelopment of the 38-acre site, according to a joint statement from the university and Premier. No construction will occur on the property until the funding phase is completed.

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It could take 15 to 20 years for the property to be completely redeveloped, according to the university and Premier.

“This is not your typical capital development,” Mary Boosalis, CEO and president of Premier Health said in a prepared statement. “We have an ambitious vision that will take considerable public and private support to realize. As we said from the beginning, we want to do this right versus fast, and that will take time.”

UD and Premier are looking for organizations that would be willing to help pay for roadways, utilities, water and sewer, and selective demolition of existing structures, according to the university and Premier.

Workers will begin demolition of some buildings on the fairgrounds during the second half of 2018. The Roundhouse at the former fairgrounds will be preserved and a property management firm has been hired to maintain the grounds and keep the buildings secure, according to the university and Premier.

While Premier Health and Encompass Health construct a freestanding rehabilitation hospital north of the former fairgrounds, Miami Valley Hospital employees will temporarily utilize a portion of the north end of the property for parking. Passersby may also notice new landscaping and iron gates being installed at the former fairgrounds, according to the university and Premier.

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“The vision remains the same: to create a vibrant, mixed-use development that builds on Dayton’s history of innovation and entrepreneurship and can propel our next wave of jobs and opportunity,” UD president Eric Spina said in a prepared statement.

UD jointly purchased with Premier Health last year. UD and Premier each paid $5.25 million of the $15 million purchase price.

The 38-acre fairgrounds redevelopment is one of the most anticipated projects in recent Dayton history. Though Premier and UD have not made a final decision for the fairgrounds, they’ve proposed a number of ideas that include housing, retail and green space.


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