Name, Vision for Former Montgomery County Fairgrounds Announced

Premier Pulse     October 2018

The former Montgomery County fairgrounds has a new name and a new direction as a place that fosters imagination, innovation, and inclusivity.

Premier Health and the University of Dayton recently announced a new name for the 38 acres at the northwest corner of Main and Stewart streets — onMain: Dayton’s Imagination District — embodying a vision for the site as a place where Dayton’s history of innovation takes off into the future. The name emerged from focus groups and conversations with members of the Dayton community.

“The name marks the district’s location on Main Street, and is an invitation to live onMain, work onMain, learn onMain and meet onMain,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “We envision a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development with a distinct identity and personality that is open, welcoming and creative and complements the rebirth and momentum of downtown Dayton.”

The long-term vision for the district will take up to 15 to 20 years to fully realize, with Premier Health and the University of Dayton committed to developing the 38 acres as a sustainable neighborhood for economic development. As anchor institutions, UD and Premier Health don’t have the profit and time pressures that typical developers do.

Key elements of the vision include:

  • A truly walkable urban neighborhood with places to work, live, and gather
  • Mixed-income housing that offers opportunities for residents to live close to where they work
  • Design standards for buildings that integrate environmental sustainability and wellness
  • Urban agriculture on land at the western end of the site and on building rooftops
  • Restoration of the property’s historic Roundhouse

Premier Health and the university are taking steps to create a nonprofit development organization to manage the development process and provide day-to-day oversight of the property. The two institutions purchased the 38-acre site in 2017 and have been working on a long-range vision for the property that builds upon their institutional missions and values, promotes economic development, and fosters a unique sense of place that serves broad community interests.

Outreach to potential funding sources – a process that is likely to take at least 12 to 24 months before any new construction might begin on the property – has begun. Such partnerships could fund initial phases of the redevelopment, such as roadways, utilities, and removal of some structures.

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Back to the October 2018 issue of Premier Pulse