West Carrollton eyes special events center in entertainment district

Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 @ 10:04 AM


            The former Carrollton Plaza buildings have now been demolished and the city is looking to explore the possibilities of have a special events center at the site. FILE
The former Carrollton Plaza buildings have now been demolished and the city is looking to explore the possibilities of have a special events center at the site. FILE

The city of West Carrollton is in the initial stages of seeking proposals for a regional special events center at the former Carrollton Plaza site.

Demolition of buildings is complete at the nearly 14-acre site just off Interstate 75’s Exit 47, the city’s gateway near the Great Miami River that is key land for a state approved 600-acre entertainment district.

An events center is part of the city’s strategic plan. It has been discussed for the area since before approval earlier this decade of Miami Bend, envisioned as a multi-million dollar entertainment district with the former Carrollton Plaza site as a cornerstone to riverfront development.

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“I’d say that’s our primary objective,” West Carrollton Economic Development Director Michael Lucking said of the events center concept. “But that doesn’t mean that we won’t also look at other types of plans.”

“In talking with the (city) council, their overall objective is to have something on that site that causes West Carrollton to be a destination location in a positive way,” he added. “So it could be a mixed-use type of development. It might be something that’s got some public space or some element of retail or activity driven.”

Crews are still working at the former plaza, the longtime site of Roberds and land the city bought in 2017 for about $3 million. Workers are in the final stages of grinding the building materials remaining at the site, and Lucking said he expects the project to be completed about June 30.

Additional properties the city purchased across the street give it about 5 contiguous acres of riverfront land to market, possibly as part of the events center concept.

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The city hopes to have requests for proposals sent out by the end of the summer, Lucking said.

“We are going to pursue the concept of an events center at that location and see if we can get that done,” he added.

If responses to the RFP are promising, Lucking said the city would then approach regional organizations. Those may include Montgomery County, Greater Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Dayton and South Metro chambers of commerce, he said.

“It’s going to take time. It’s going to take other private and public partners in order to accomplish that. That’s not a task the city can accomplish on its own. It would require other partners,” Lucking said.

“I think we will need some buy-in from the regional community in order to accomplish something like that,” he said.

“But I think that there would have to be some regional consensus that an events center would be built that would service Montgomery County – and that’s a dialogue that needs to take place.”