Austin Pike: Where is the Dayton City Commission?

160,000 people are being ignored by the Montgomery County Commission, but, I placce the blame squarely on the shoulders of only five people: The Dayton City Commission and its mad-hatter leader, Mayor Rhine McLin.

Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin withdrew her opposition to the tax and adopted a neutral stance after meeting with county officials. “We just needed some more conversation and understanding of what it was about,” McLin said.

She said she supports the Austin Pike interchange development, but wants to make sure nothing hurts the city or region.

via Proposal for Austin Pike arena runs out of time in 2008.

It took the city years to warm to, and put the Dragons ballpark into play, yet, it seems this whole ice arena plan has been discussed without any participation or involvement of the City of Dayton. And, in case you forgot, wasn’t Mandalay working WITH the city not too long ago on “Ballpark Village” which also had an ice arena as a component?

I’ve received through anonymous sources the letter that the County has been sending out to “inform” Montgomery County “community and business leaders” of this great plan-here is an excerpt:

We strongly believe it is critical that the Austin Interchange development have an anchor amenity to differentiate the location from other developments along the I-75 corridor. We need something to encourage potential companies and employees to look north on 75 and not south. We must create a sense of “place.” Market analysis and ongoing research consistently indicate that an anchor amenity is essential. We believe the proposed event center would be a key catalyst to creating the identity which is so important to the development’s success. Negotiations are ongoing with Mandalay Entertainment, owners of the Dayton Dragons, to explore the potential of a minor league hockey team to serve as the primary tenant of the event center. Additionally, the event center would fill a current gap in the Dayton/Cincinnati arena market providing a mid-size venue for concerts and other entertainment. Another important use of the event center would be to strengthen our county’s competitiveness in the youth sports market.

What they are really saying is we need to divorce ourselves from the brand “Dayton” and put their faith and our money into a new vision- much like the Greene- building an imitation downtown to replace the one we refuse to take care of and nurture.

What’s even more laughable is that they pin their hopes on three businesses that may not be around for long:

Southern Montgomery County is home to some of our largest high tech companies including Lexis Nexis, Teradata and New Page. These companies represent over 4,000 jobs and from a competitive standpoint, they have consistently told us that access to the workforce along the I-75 growth corridor is essential to their staying and growing in the region. The interchange also provides a strong connection to the Miamisburg Mound and redevelopment there that has created over 250 jobs over the last five years. Any successful plan must be based upon a realistic assessment of the current situation. The facts are that over the last ten years, Montgomery County has lost population. However, the counties directly south of us, Butler and Warren, represent some of the fastest growing areas in the state.

Lexis Nexis is in the business of selling access to public records, something that as government catches up with technology will no longer be needed. Teradata makes massive database tools- and while they are one of the top three in the industry, the reality is that as time goes on, massive amounts of data will be handled by desktop machines. The MacPro you can buy for $4,000 today has more power than a Cray supercomputer of 15 years ago. And, the inclusion of New Page as a high tech company is absolutely laughable- they are a maker of paper.

The idea of government picking a location for building a sports complex based on three businesses is a farce. And, if you think back to less than ten years ago, we were handing money over to GM to build a better paint line at the truck plant to insure it stayed- only to be told now, that we have to tear it all down and never allow another car maker to use the site or equipment that we helped pay for.

Reality: in a time when we should be working on eliminating the distinctions between Montgomery County and Dayton- instead, we are working to align our development strategy with sprawl that was created in part by ignoring our core. Now with the total write-off of Downtown, we are hastening the demise of a sustainable city. Putting Springboro on the map isn’t using our core branding very well- but, then again- some people think we’re thinking too small- we should all “get midwest” and forget about Dayton entirely.

And, in fact, with McLin’s “neutral” position and the rest of the Commissions silence on this project, we’re missing an opportunity to balance our baseball season with a hockey season. We’re missing a chance to build an arena that could couple with Oregon District, the Convention Center and the Transportation Center garage to create a year-round attraction. A group of independent business leaders had been meeting with Dayton Bombers owner Costa Papista and Citywide Development Chief Steve Budd- discussing the corner of Fifth and Wayne for an Arena. Other possibilities would be on the Ballpark Village site, or even on Parkside homes location with great visibility from I-75.

It’s a good thing Rhine McLin, Nan Whaley and Joey Williams are up for reelection in 2009. Maybe, we can get three new faces on the Commission that understand that “neutral” isn’t acceptable.

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SteveMacDJohn IseGreg HunterTeri LDavid Esrati Recent comment authors
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For the last time, The Greene is in Greene County, not Montgomery County. That’s competition – but when you own county does not support you then you are f*cked.

160k may be ignored, but if the other 400k convince Mont Co. that Dayton is shit then you cant do much – that is the problem. Get the 400k who DONT live in Dayton to support Dayton. How? I don’t know. But crying never helped, and there is no crying in baseball.

The arena would serve Mont Co. best in DT Dayton, next to/near the Hospital. But the powers that be don’t listen to Dayton – Dayton has no leverage. Get leverage and you win, if not you turn into Dayton.

All we can do it vote – and pound sand. We need real leaders who have the big nuts, but no one will step up. Hate to say it but Dayton just may be dead. Let’s make a New Downtown, bc the one we have will never change. The West side votes based on a sense of obligation, the east side hardly votes, the north side is too corrupt. Geez, we have Rhine Mclin as our mayor, f*cking seriously people. My dog is smarter than her, but bc she is connected and she is black she is the mayor. That is just the truth.

Until we get REAL politicians with some pull into all offices we are stuck with that mentality. Clay Dixon? Seriously folks. Who are we kidding. We elect people with IQs below 100. We get what we deserve/vote for.


I have no opinion on Dayton politics as I neither live there nor have business interests there.

But I will say this: I disagree with the 4th/Wayne site for an arena. There are very good historic preservation reasons for restroing or adaptively re-using that factory instead of tearing it down for a hockey rink. Maybe time for another Ye Olde Factory Buildinge blog post over at Daytonology to show y’all what you have but don’t know you have.

Gene’s suggestion for a site near MVH (or UD), or the BPV site, makes more sense (it really does make more sense for BPV as it works well with the ballfield to generate a potential year round customer base for BPV, like the Newport Aquairum does for Newport on the Levee.


i like the area next to/north of mvh, now all houses, bc it could tie the campus to DT. It would go campus to brown street corridor, to mvh, to hockey arena ,then go to south DT, just north of 35 (a goof area to locate any new buildings) to central business district and to the east Oregon district and then in the corner ball park village and the “never to be finished” tech town. South Park and OD would anchor the HOUSES, while continue to renovate/build new apartment, not the $1100 a month BS, but $400-$700 stuff that would attract young people. Renovate/rebuild/re-use the fairgrounds, tie those streets from campus to DT, then you have a little lively city that transportation could run north/south, pedestrians walk east/west. simple.



I don’t agree with you a lot, but I agree 100% that a new arena would be great at 5th & Wayne…

I know you and others voiced opinions for 5/3rd Field to go there originally, and I think that would have been much better… The OD would have been hopping before and after every game… now people from the ‘burbs just come down, park, watch the game, and leave…

I think the reason that the city commision and city manager haven’t pitched a fit over the Austin Pike development is the Joint Economic Development District the city has with Miami Twp down around Wright Bros airport… The city actually stands to gain some money from the development down there… of course, unfortunately we stand to lose a lot as well when more companies pull out of the center city to go to the new office space down there…

I kinda see both sides on this one… As a supporter of the city, and downtown specifically, I’d love to see a new sports arena/concert venue downtown somewhere… but I’d also rather the arena go in southern Montgomery County over Warren or Butler County, which is probably inevitable if the Austin arena gets shot down…

Nothing burns my ass like having to take my dollars into Greene County to see the Dayton Bombers play, or to go to any of the big-name concert tours that come to the area…

Downtown would be best… but Montgomery County would be better than Warren, Butler, or not at all…

David Esrati

There is enough land for an arena on the old Cliburn Manor site- with no need for demolition- but, it’s not close enough to the eateries on Brown.
The Fairgrounds or the UD land on Stewart could work- and since UD has a lot of East Coast transplants who already know hockey- it could work well.
All said and done- anywhere but Austin Pike.


Demo the homes directly north of MVH – redevelop the fairgrounds.

What is the modern day purposes of our fairgrounds? Put shit there.

Connect UD to Downtown.

Teri L

I live in Mont. Co. and what happens in Dayton affects us, these folks are representing us although we don’t vote for them. The silence of the Dayton City Commission is so disturbing to me- this is just one example. There appears to be a certain amount of self-loathing going on there that has rendered them ineffective.

Greg Hunter
Greg Hunter

The DDN opinion piece for the 22nd of December is more propoganda for Austin Road. It is totally disengenious about the origins of sprawl between Dayton & Cinci. The degradation of Cinci occured when Butler Cty. utilized the TID process to build 3 interchanges North of 275. The whole concept is built on false data and false promises. If you need to read some comedy, go read Phil Parker’s Chamber Forecasts. Wasn’t Husted financed by these Stooges?


north interchanges of 275 seem to do well……… do you have the “false” data or is that your own opinion? numbers/data help. i am not in denial, but actual econ. dev./current data is helpful…….from “boff” sides of the coin.

Greg Hunter
Greg Hunter

Cincinnati and Dayton were designed ie have the infrastructure to support a larger population, but we used Tax Dollars to finance the middle and upper class away from the core to the detriment of all. Gene you seem like a bright intelligent individual, so why does this data cause you a different analysis.


What false data,in your second to last post, are you talking about?

It always seems to me these are issues with counties, counties who are led by people who are generally pissed at the base city, have money and connections, generally are smart people who know how to massage the politics of it all, and who, for lack of a better word, want to f#*k the core. They want money in their pockets and could care less about the core cities, in this case Dayton and Cincy. These leaders always state something like this: We want to see Greene County grow.

Core cities counties, ie Montgomery and Hamilton, have too much red tape and people want to build so they go out to where they can build, and do it cheap. Look across the Ohio river, not that much red tape in Kentucky. But DT Cincy, hell, you can’t fart there without 19 permits, 184 licenses, pay this guy and that guy, etc………. Kentucky just gives the green light.

Well, if that is what they want then that means it hurts Mont Co and specifically Dayton. They don’t care, they want to grow. And they are REALLY competing with the other bordering counties, ie Miami and Warren, to a certain extent.

I guess what I am getting at is I don’t understand your statement, Greg. I do not agree or disagree at this point, I am just a bit confused. Clarify if you will, thanks:

“The degradation of Cinci occurred when Butler Cty. utilized the TID process to build 3 interchanges North of 275. The whole concept is built on false data and false promises.”

what was the false data – and what were the false promises/promises not kept? That is what I am asking – your link is a population stat – sure, I know surrounding counties are growing, but I am not disputing that point.


Im not sure what three interchanges he’s talking about, but I can guess two of the: Union Center and that highway to Hamilton from I-75 (which was in the plans as early as 1970).

The highway to Hamilton makes sense as you’d want to connect a smallish city like Hamilton to the interstate system.

Union Center doesn’t, really, as the intent there was to open up more land for development. That’s the one interchange that has a lot of parallel to Austin Road, as it wasn’t really needed for traffic relief purposes, or to connect an already developed place to interstate. It was built just to foster new speculative office and spec-warehouse/industrial stuff.

There is a good argument for Austin Road/Social Row as a traffic relief thing for southern Mont. Gounty as traffic is getting pretty bad down here. There is a good argument for Austin Road to connect the old Mound property to the interstate as that makes that land more marketable. But the thing a lot of us see is this big development thing that would kill the traffic releif aspect, and maybe not help the Mound site be redeveloped.

So some questionable rationalizations behind the development agenda, as it would cancel out the ostensible reasons for building the interchange in the first place (and ther reasons seem to change through time, too).


they are trying to beat Warren Co to the punch.

I still have issues with the “false data.” We know what the dealings are, and we know it is about money. But are there lies, and can we prove it?

John Ise
John Ise

Fight this Dayton! Does Dayton want to become Detroit? Read the Weekly Standard’s heartbreaking take on Motown and cry:

Money quote: “the most murderous city, the poorest city, the most segregated city … [and] the place with the most heart attacks, slowest income growth and fewest sunny days. The town also has more than 60,000 vacant buildings that are prone to catching fire. “I’ve never seen anything in a non-Third World country like the east side of Detroit,” the author writes


For all the factors that say Dayton should by rights be a small Detroit the city is actually better than that, and that’s a testament to how relatively well-governed the city is, and to the tenacity and stubbornness of Daytonians to not let their city go down the tubes to the extend Detroit has.

WIth that, a happy Holidays to the Esrati poster community and to Dave himself. A toast to folks who give a durn about this place!


All I can say is I hope that there will be hockey in the area for years to come. Yeah, Downtown Dayton would’ve been great, but Miamisburg ain’t bad, either. If I had to choose between Miamisburg and Downtown Dayton, I’d choose Downtown Dayton. But if it was a choice between a facility in Montgomery County or another county, then Montgomery County wins, even if that means Downtown loses. I suspect the choice here is the latter.