$29M infrastructure needed for onMain early phases

The developers of the former fairgrounds plan to seek federal and state money to help pay for $29 million in infrastructure as they lay the ground work for a new neighborhood in Dayton.

The future neighborhood, called onMain, is a long planned development between Stewart, South Main and Apple streets across from Miami Valley Hospital.

The project is led by onMain Inc., a development organization formed by Premier Health and University of Dayton, which jointly bought the 38-acre site.

The infrastructure to support the first phase of the project, such as roads, sidewalks and utilities, will cost about $29 million. To help cover these costs, onMain officials want to be among local projects chosen for a list of priorities that local leaders will lobby for at the state and federal level.

Dayton Development Coalition's Priority Development and Advocacy Committee each year sorts through dozens of requests to create the prioritized list of which projects it will lobby for. Now that the list is unveiled, the public can comment on the ideas until Dec. 6 at DaytonRegion.com or by emailing pdac@daytonregion.com.

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Buddy LaChance, CEO of onMain Inc., said that the organization is interested in seeking funds from from the state two-year capital budget, which will be hashed out this spring.

At the state level, developers could also seek money from JobsOhio, which is the state’s privatized development arm, or the Ohio Development Services Agency. OnMain will also explore federal funding through the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

“Because we’ve got so much infrastructure that we need to build, we are certainly looking every place we can,” LaChance said.

The development as envisioned will be one of the largest projects in Dayton in recent years, transforming a 38-acre site just south of downtown into a hub of housing, retail, businesses and public gathering spaces.

The high-level outline for how the neighborhood will be developed calls for starting at the corner of Stewart and Main streets and building the site out in phases, gradually adding more buildings and converting surface parking to a parking garage.

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The next step in the process will be Dec. 18 when LaChance said he will go to the Dayton city commission for zoning approval. The zoning changes have already been approved by the Dayton Plan Board.

Premier Health and UD have already spent $12.5 million acquiring the property, preparing the site for development and creating the vision for the onMain District. In addition, the onMain partners are prepared to fund at least 50% of the $29.5 million required for the Phase I infrastructure via a financing plan made possible with the recent designation of the site as Community Reinvestment Area, according to documents submitted to the Priority Development and Advocacy Committee.

Completion of the Phase I infrastructure will create development sites for at least six buildings, up to 400,000 square feet of office or lab space, 40,000 square feet of retail space and 350 housing units.

The plan calls for about 80% of the site to be for buildings and streets and about 20% as common open space. The development will have an urban design with buildings built out to the streets. OnMain officials expect to work with many developers and businesses on the different projects on the site and the specific buildings will depend on which builders and businesses are interested in the site.

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