In April 2017, Premier Health and the University of Dayton came together to purchase and redevelop the 38-acre former Montgomery County Fairgrounds site. They launched a process known as Fairgrounds to Future to create a community-minded vision for the site. As anchor institutions, the partners are committed to a plan that authentically builds on their institutional missions and values, promotes economic development, and fosters a unique sense of place that serves broad community interests. Premier Health and UD are values-based, community-serving institutions with a long history of partnership on initiatives that advance and support community and economic development.
The partners are now working to turn this vision into a reality that advances the missions of Premier Health and UD, boosts the economic vitality of the city and adds to the stability and health of the surrounding neighborhoods.
“As a result of the Fairgrounds to Future process, we envision a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development on the doorstep of downtown Dayton. A place where faculty and staff, doctors and researchers, neighborhood residents and community leaders can work, live and play. We see a place that sparks innovation and echoes Dayton’s can-do, creative spirit throughout history; a place with a distinctive identity and personality and a vibe that is open, welcoming, and inclusive for everyone.”
President and CEO Premier Health
President University of Dayton
The redeveloped fairgrounds will be a signature neighborhood on Main Street, the most prominent street in the city of Dayton. Emerged from focus groups and conversations with the Dayton community, there are a number of characteristics that support the name:
1. The eastern edge of the site is bordered by Main Street. OnMain gives the site a
geographic location marker, such as SoHo or Tribeca.
2. OnMain serves as a statement of “where things happen”, in context of:
3. The name is unique and ownable to Dayton and supports Main Street as an important corridor through the city, specifically the downtown.
The tagline, Dayton’s Imagination District is a descriptor that embodies the brand as a place of innovation, imagination and invention. It sparks a feeling of a place of interest, a place to explore, to learn, to gather and connect.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is leading the onMain process?
OnMain is a collaborative venture between the University of Dayton and Premier Health. Leadership from both institutions will be involved throughout the development process, but a non profit development organization has been formed to lead day-to-day operations.
2. Why is this project important?
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish a vision that will serve the missions of the two anchor institutions, align development of the 38 acres with downtown revitalization, and serve the broader interests of the Dayton community.
3. This redevelopment will directly affect the surrounding neighborhoods, how were they involved in the process?
The planning process was deliberate, thoughtful, and inclusive. Neighbors and other stakeholders were invited to participate through workshops, focus groups, stakeholder interviews as well as through an interactive website with opportunities to provide input.
4. Has the larger public been involved in this project?
Yes, there have been interactive sessions held with the public where participants had the opportunity to learn more about the overall planning process and to provide input. Interactive discussions centered around the long-term opportunities that exist on the site for neighborhoods, institutions, the City, and the region. Participants worked together in small groups to generate ideas and discuss opportunities about the site’s future.
5. Will the Roundhouse stay on the property?
It is the intention for the Roundhouse to be restored and incorporated as a unique space as a part of the development.
6. How long will this development take?
This is a long-term development project that will take 10-15 years to complete. The partners are committed to developing this site as a sustainable anchor to the long-term economic prosperity of the City of Dayton. This will require being extremely thoughtful to create a neighborhood that represents the best of Dayton as a city of innovation, entrepreneurialism, creativity, sustainability and inclusiveness.
7. What is so unique about this development compared to other developments that have been built in the Dayton region over the years?
This neighborhood will be unique in the way people will live and work in an integrated way. It will be a platform to attract businesses and entrepreneurs to bring jobs and opportunities to Daytonians. The development will integrate environmental sustainability and wellness into all design elements. You can find out more on the Vision page of this site.
8. How will the community benefit from this development?
The community will benefit in many ways, including:
- Access to the neighborhood
- Access to and enjoyment of the public spaces
- Access to limited mixed income housing choices as part of the development; and
- Ability for local MBE/DBE businesses to compete for contracts through a Supplier Diversity Program.
In addition, the community may participate in a variety of ways:
- Community members serving on the Board of Directors of onMain
- A community-based advisory group
- Engagement on community projects, e.g. design workshop for public spaces
9. What type of housing is anticipated as part of development?
Mixed-income housing is a key value of onMain leadership. There are a number of approaches to supporting mixed-income housing which include federally-qualified low-income housing. However, the need for taxable property to help finance the infrastructure and programmatic investments makes this difficult. The intent is to utilize an employer-supported housing model that has two components. Some residential developers will be able to lease the land at a discount. In return for receiving this land at a discount, rents for some employees working within the designated district can be leased at below-market rents. Rents could be further subsidized by employers through direct payments as offsets for the need to build parking. Encouraging the district’s workforce to live closer also helps supports the developments’ goal to promote sustainable, healthy environments.
10. What is the timeline for development?
At 38 acres, the onMain site is large. The partners are committed to working with partners as well as moving at a deliberate pace to realize the vision given the local economic conditions. It is likely to take 3-4 years before any new construction will occur on the property, and full buildout will take 15-20 years.
11. How can I learn more about the process and stay involved?
You can sign up for email updates on the Contact page and we will keep you informed of developments along the way.
12. What do I do if I am interested in investing and or developing on this property?
Please contact Buddy Lachance at info@onMainDayton.com.
Board of Directors
Richard Omlor, 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
Mike Uhl, President, Miami Valley Hospital
Omlor serves as board chair.
Ted Bucaro, Executive Director, Government and Regional Relations, University of Dayton
Gwen Buchanan, Carillon Neighborhood President
Mikki Clancy, Chief Operating Officer, Miami Valley Hospital
Ken Clarkston, Rubicon Park Business Association
Shelley Dickstein, City Manager, City of Dayton
Hunter Goodman, Executive Director, Fitz Center for Leadership, University of Dayton
Sandy Gudorf, President, Downtown Dayton Partnership
Reggie Henderson, MPA Student, McIntosh Scholar, University of Dayton
Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO, Dayton Development Coalition
Brady Kress, President and CEO, Dayton History
Nikol Miller, Community Relations Manager, Greater Dayton RTA
Mike Parks, President, The Dayton Foundation
Belinda Stenson, Director, Minority Business Development, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce