Entertainment to be focus of fairgrounds project
Miller-Valentine Group is hoping to attract top national retailers and entertainment users to the fairgrounds site near downtown Dayton, which is now being called Midtown.
Eric Joo, vice president of Miller-Valentine Development, said landing an entertainment user for the project is a top priority for Miller-Valentine. He expects to have some letters of intent from tenants by the end of March. His company has the right to buy the fairgrounds from the Montgomery County Agricultural Society for $18 million until Jan. 31 of 2016. While the county and the fair board have OK’d the deal, Joo said Miller-Valentine will not pull the trigger on the purchase until it has enough users lined up for the project to be viable.
But he is optimistic the property will attract users because of its prime location near downtown, the University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital. He said the company hopes to start construction immediately following the 2014 Montgomery County Fair in September, but if users have not yet signed on to the project, that timeline will be delayed.
Joo said the development could fill a void in the city’s plans for urban revitalization.
“What no one has focused on is making this a fun city to work and live in,” he said. “Part of the reason why you want to live somewhere is you can go get drinks after. We want to create a catalyst for the area, and make the city of Dayton a fun place to live and work.”
Miller-Valentine has hired Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate, a retail consultant based in Cincinnati with connections to many national retailers. Working with Miller-Valentine, the city has hired RTKL, a national architectural firm that specializes in urban, mixed-use dense developments, Joo said.
Some of the tenants he hopes to attract include grocery stores, movie theaters, restaurants and clothing stores.
RTKL has designed major entertainment centers and downtown lifestyle districts such as the O2 Center in London and LA Live in Los Angeles.
Source: Dayton Business Journal by Olivia Barrow, Senior Reporter