Wednesday May 16, 2007

Urban Revitalization

The University of Dayton and the city of Dayton will hold a public meeting May 22 to discuss a $3 million Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant proposal to remediate approximately 26.5 acres of largely vacant former NCR Corp. land between Brown and Main streets.

The city of Dayton will submit an application on behalf of the University of Dayton for a $3 million Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF) grant. If approved by the Clean Ohio Council, the grant will enable the University to clean up approximately 26.5 acres of largely vacant former NCR land between Brown and Main streets.

The city and the University of Dayton will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, on the fourth floor of the College Park Center, 1529 Brown St., to discuss the project and solicit public input.

The proposed project, known as the University of Dayton Research, Education and Development Initiative (UD-REDI), includes both remediating the soil and renovating the 477,000-square-foot College Park Center into a combination of facilities for research and development, commercial, University and secondary education purposes.

UD shared details about the proposed project at a meeting with community leaders and neighborhood residents on March 28. The public meeting will include a presentation on the history and assessment of the site, explanation of how the funds would be used, a description of the proposed development plan and a review of the CORF application schedule. The public will be invited to ask questions. The application can be viewed at the Dayton Metro Library, East Branch, 2008 Wyoming St.

"The scale of the UD-REDI project undoubtedly will be enormous over time. Based on current projections, total development costs on the full 50-acre site should exceed $200 million," according to the application. "The UD-REDI site will provide a unique setting for the largest private investment in the city of Dayton in many years."

In June 2005, UD purchased 49 acres of land and buildings from NCR Corp. for $25 million. Later, UD bought an additional acre, bringing the project area to 50 acres. Most of NCR's manufacturing facilities on the site were removed in the 1970s, and the property has remained largely unused since then.

Burt Hill, an international design, architecture and engineering firm, is currently developing a master plan for all 259 acres of campus, including the new land. UD's board of trustees is expected to approve the master plan in October.

The transformation of an urban brownfield, the largest developable parcel in the city of Dayton, has received the support of campus, community and political leaders.

In March, UD received approval from the Ohio EPA for an Urban Setting Designation, which will allow UD to remediate and redevelop the entire site from Brown Street to the Great Miami River safely and in a cost-effective manner. UD has pledged to clean up the soil in accordance with the requirements of the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, Ohio's brownfield redevelopment law. In December 2005, the city of Dayton received $2.54 million from the state's Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund for the UD Riverfront Redevelopment Project to remediate 11 acres of the land facing the river.

"The University of Dayton stands at a crossroads. We are poised to embark on the largest expansion of campus in our history -- and, with that, we have an opportunity to spur development in the city of Dayton," said Daniel J. Curran, UD president. "As a community partner, we face an unparalleled opportunity to build UD's campus for the 21st century, while driving economic development in a region that needs new jobs."

In the past five years, UD has completed $168 million in campus construction projects, some with private developers. UD officials plan to recover part of the land purchase price through some commercial development.

Written comments on the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund application will be accepted through May 25. Comments and questions should be directed to Gwen Eberly, City of Dayton, 101 W. Third St., Dayton, OH 45402, 937-333-3805, gwen.eberly@cityofdayton.org.

The Clean Ohio Council is expected to meet July 25 to allocate $43 million in Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grants to projects around the state.

Contact Ted Bucaro, UD's director of government and regional relations, at 937-229-4158.