LaChance to head joint venture of Premier Health and the University of Dayton to transform Dayton’s Imagination District south of downtown
DAYTON, Ohio, April 12, 2019 —onMain, a joint venture of Premier Health and the University of Dayton, has tapped Buddy LaChance, a seasoned local executive, to lead the transformation of 38 acres south of downtown into Dayton’s Imagination District. onMain is widely anticipated to become a signature neighborhood of high-tech employers, mixed-price housing, and supportive retail.
LaChance, who has deep roots and experience in the neighborhood, community and economic development of the Dayton area, will take the reins as the first CEO of the nonprofit development, effective May 6, 2019. As system vice president of real estate at Premier Health and previously as director of neighborhood development for CityWide Development Corp., LaChance has a strong track record with a wide range of complex redevelopment projects in downtown Dayton and many of Dayton’s surrounding neighborhoods.
“We were seeking an experienced professional who could manage a complex, innovative project like this and leverage local relationships to make onMain something truly special that will add to Dayton’s momentum,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “It quickly became evident that Buddy offered that unique skill set.”
Eric F. Spina, president of the University of Dayton, said the breadth and depth of LaChance’s development experience, coupled with his passion and commitment to Dayton’s growth and redevelopment, made him the natural choice.
“It has been clear from the early days of this project that Buddy understands what the success of this project will mean, not just to the two partners, but to the entire Dayton region,” Spina said. “With his development experience, he also knows what it will take to achieve that success and is excited to take on the challenge of making this ambitious vision a reality.”
“The tremendous potential of this property and the opportunity to guide it really appealed to me from the start,” LaChance said. “Opportunities to create a vibrant neighborhood from the ground up on the doorstep of downtown Dayton just don’t come along very often. I’m looking forward to working with the onMain board and other community stakeholders to harness the excitement around this property and transform it into a community asset.”
LaChance has held positions of progressively greater responsibility at Premier Health since joining the health system in 2007. While at CityWide, he was involved in signature redevelopment partnerships including the Genesis Project, which transformed the Fairgrounds neighborhood. He is a 35-year resident of the McPherson Town Historic District just north of downtown Dayton. LaChance holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati.
Premier Health and the University of Dayton purchased the 38-acre former site of the Montgomery County Fairgrounds 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.
In October 2018, the partners unveiled the new name for the site — an identity that represents Dayton’s history and future as an innovation center. onMain is envisioned as a place to attract businesses and entrepreneurs that will bring jobs and opportunities to the area as well as a sustainable and inclusive living environment with an emphasis on wellness.