5 reasons former fairgrounds redevelopment could take up to 20 years

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 8:14 AM

Sale is final but joint development firm won't take possession of land until October, 2017

Dayton Daily News reporter Max Filby takes an in-depth look at what’s next for the former fairgrounds space — and how the redevelopment of the space could influence the Dayton economy for decades to come. Read the full report here to understand what’s really going on.

Demolition at the former Montgomery County Fairgrounds will begin later this year but it could take 15 to 20 years before the property is fully redeveloped.

» UNMATCHED COVERAGE: Former fairgrounds may not be fully redeveloped for decades

The University of Dayton and Premier Health have entered a “new phase” of their plans for the 38-acre site on South Main Street, they jointly announced Wednesday. Redevelopment of the property is likely to take place in multiple phases with a completion date between 2033 and 2038.

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Here are five things we learned about the timeline of the new project:

1. What do local developers think of the project?

It often takes a decade or longer to finish a project with as dramatic a scope as the fairgrounds, said Jason Woodard, owner of Woodard Development. “I think with the two parties that are involved it’s going to be a great development for the region. People just need to have a little bit of patience,” Woodard said.

2. What does Premier envision for the space?

UD and Premier each paid $5.25 million of the $15 million purchase price. “This is not your typical capital development,” said Mary Boosalis, CEO and president of Premier Health. “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.”

3. What will the redevelopment look like? 

The university and health system released preliminary designs for the fairgrounds in January that call for a mix of housing, retail, green space and parking, among other uses. The plans propose building to begin along Main Street and work from the edges of the property inward.

4. When will demolition begin? 

Demolition on a number of structures will begin 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 announcement.

5. What will the space be used for now?

While Premier Health and Encompass Health construct a freestanding rehabilitation hospital north of the former fairgrounds, Miami Valley Hospital employees will temporarily use 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.

The Dayton Daily News is committed to bringing you in-depth coverage on topics that matter to you. Read more about the impact of the fairgrounds redevelopment in this special report

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