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Former fairgrounds needs $17M in infrastructure

The initial infrastructure for the redevelopment of the former Montgomery County fairgrounds will cost $17.1 million.

Premier Health and University of Dayton — who jointly own the property — are seeking $5 million in state funding to help pay for the infrastructure at the 38-acre site.

The proposal is being considered by a committee under the Dayton Development Coalition. The coalition each year reviews proposals for projects seeking public support and then decides which ones it will prioritize and lobby for at the state and federal level.

The Dayton Development Coalition is looking for economic development projects that would support the creation, recruitment retention and expansion of high value jobs.

The former fairgrounds is across Main Street from Premier’s Miami Valley Hospital, and will be redeveloped into a neighborhood with housing and offices, starting from the corner of Stewart and Main streets.

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There have been several other mixed-use projects in the region in recent years similar in size to onMain, including Austin Landing, The Greene and Cornerstone of Centerville, but this will be the first within Dayton city limits.

In about three or four years, the initial phase of construction will be a researched-focused building that might end up being used by UD, Premier or private companies.

But before construction can get started, the site will need initial infrastructure work. Some examples include $7.5 million for stormwater management, $1.4 million for sewer service, $825,000 for water service.

Premier Health and the University of Dayton bought the former fairgrounds in April 2017, for $15 million. Each institution spent $5.25 million and Montgomery County and the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority contributed the rest.

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In early October, the partners announced plans to rename the site onMain: Dayton’s Imagination District. Redevelopment could take 15 to 20 years to complete in phases.

The onMain’s partners have committed a combined $16.6 million for demolition, environmental remediation, infrastructure development, and project management for the first five years of the redevelopment project. That money includes the planning process throughout 2018.

“The redevelopment of the onMain District site can be a focal and coalescing point for the area’s new job opportunities in research, health care, and the industries that serve those sectors,” the proposal stated. “Furthermore, the site will create a setting that connects people, neighborhoods and institutions in and around the immediate area.”

The proposal estimates about 101 to 250 jobs will be created in a two-year timeframe, and stated “if the jobs are not physically on-site by the end of 2020, it is reasonable to assume significant motion toward redevelopment will be underway that will put the new jobs just over the two-year horizon.”

Planning NEXT, the master planning contracted to the project, in January unveiled the early vision for the fairgrounds.

The initial vision for the property called for the first phase of development to have about 245 units of housing, 225,000 square feet of office, 60,000 square feet of retail and four acres of urban agriculture.

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