UD, Premier form corporation for fairgrounds redevelopment

The University of Dayton and Premier Health are creating a nonprofit corporation to guide redevelopment of the former Montgomery County Fairgrounds.

The school and health care provider announced in October that they would rename the fairgrounds onMain: Dayton’s Imagination District. The new corporation formed by the two organizations will be called onMain Inc. and will “oversee day-to-day management of the property, according to a release from UD and Premier.

The corporation’s board of directors recently convened its first meeting and a community advisory committee will also be formed this spring, according to the press release. UD and Premier will soon launch a national CEO search for the corporation.

» PHOTOS: See renderings of what ‘onMain: Dayton’s Imagination District’ will look like

“This opportunity to reshape the southern doorstep to downtown Dayton is both inspiring and complex, and it merits considerable deliberation and oversight,” Premier CEO Mary Boosalis said in a prepared statement. “This governance structure will provide both.”

This spring, demolition is expected to begin on existing fairgrounds structures as will engineering and design work for the overall site, according to UD and Premier. A plan for the site’s infrastructure will also be completed later this year.

UD and Premier are continuing to discuss potential development and funding with partners, according to the two organizations.

UD and Premier jointly bought the fairgrounds in 2017. UD and Premier each paid $5.25 million of the $15 million purchase price.

Full redevelopment of the fairgrounds is expected to take between 10 to 15 years, Jamie Greene, principal of planning NEXT has said. Planning NEXT is the firm tasked with developing a vision for the site.

In January 2018, planning NEXT unveiled an early vision for the fairgrounds, which calls for the first phase of development to have about 245 unites of housing, 225,000 square feet of office, 60,000 square feet of retail and four acres of urban agriculture.

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The first building will not necessarily be “a UD building or Premier building,” University of Dayton president Eric Spina has said. The building, which will be located at the corner of Stewart and Main streets, will include “several partners,” Spina said in October.

“We’re making great progress in putting in place the organizational and operational pieces needed to start realizing our vision for onMain,” Spina said in a prepared statement. “While we know that fulfilling the complete vision will take many years and many partners, we’re pleased with the accelerated pace we’ve kept since purchasing the property.”

onMain’s board of directors

• Richard Omlor, board of directors chairman, retired president/CEO of YSI Inc., and UD trustee

• Anita J. Moore, retired vice president of human resources for the Berry Company, and Premier Health trustee

• Helen E. Jones-Kelley, director of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services for Montgomery County

• Andrew Horner, executive vice president for business and administrative services for UD

• Barbara Johnson, system vice president and chief human resource officer for Premier Health

• Mary Ann Recker, vice president and general counsel for UD

• Buddy LaChance, system vice president for real estate for Premier Health


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