No Kroger coming to Wayne and Wyoming

Who says Kroger has to be the only player to put a store at Wayne and Wyoming?

This is the press release that the City just issued.

City Announces New Strategy for Wayne & Wyoming Redevelopment Project

Release Date:   Friday, December12, 2008

Contact:           Shelley Dickstein, Assistant City Manager, 333-3636
Amy Walbridge, Special Projects Administrator, 333-3813
Keith Klein, Senior Development Specialist, 333-3812

Officials from the City of Dayton today announced that the Wayne & Wyoming Project will not be moving forward as previously planned, but a new redevelopment strategy will be created. Dayton City Manager Rashad Young has sent letters to more than 60 property owners within the project area near the Wayne Avenue and Wyoming Street intersection to inform them of changes to a proposed redevelopment project originally sought by the Kroger Company.

According to Young, officials from The Kroger Company revealed earlier this month that the company had decided not to build a new 76,000 square foot store at the northeast corner of the intersection due to the declining economy and their latest market projections.

In November, 2007, the City had announced plans to work in partnership with the Midland Atlantic development company and The Kroger Company to assemble the 12.25-acre site needed to replace the current Wayne Avenue store with a larger facility at the corner of Wayne & Wyoming Streets.  In March, 2008, the City began contacting property owners to negotiate purchase prices for their respective properties.

According to Shelley Dickstein, Assistant City Manager for Strategic Development, the City successfully acquired control of all but two of the properties in the project area by obtaining signed Option Agreements and acquiring eight foreclosed properties.   The City also made substantial financial commitments and offered significant incentives to facilitate the project.

Dickstein stated, “The community did everything we asked of them, and the City has done everything that we could to facilitate this project.
We are committed to helping this neighborhood and we will continue our efforts to redevelop the area.”

In response to the decision by The Kroger Company, the City is creating a “Plan B” strategy for addressing the redevelopment of the Wayne & Wyoming area, in order to address some of the issues within the Twin Towers neighborhood.   As a first step, the foreclosed properties acquired by the City are now being demolished.

Young emphasized that the City is still considering other options for redeveloping the area.  The City will be meeting privately with impacted property owners later this month to discuss next steps. City staff are also planning a public meeting that will take place in January, 2009 to provide further details of the new strategy.   The City will seek approval from participating property owners to enter into a new Option Agreement that will carry through December 31, 2009.  The additional time will allow the City to explore every possible redevelopment opportunity for the site.

Young said, “While we are very disappointed in Kroger’s decision, it is the City’s intention to continue working on behalf of the affected property owners to find alternative solutions to the issues facing the neighborhood. It is unfortunate that the real victims in this situation are the citizens who are eager for a first-class development for their community.”

The question is now, how much did the City invest in pursuing this Kroger/Midland Atlantic pipe dream, and how much are we going to get paid back for them not following through?

What do we do with an area we decimated- by calling it “blighted” and pursuing a red herring?

Plan B better be better than the non-existent plan A.

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12 Responses

  1. Gene December 12, 2008 / 1:28 pm
    Interesting situation, but PLEASE David don’t think that this was not a blighted area to begin with. I have walked that area for a number of years, and it has always been run down. They may have added to it a bit, but it has been a shit hole for a while.

    I don’t know why there is a crusade to make people in Dayton look like they are functional, clean, sober, healthy, and self supporting. It is just not the case, and in this area it most certainly is not the case.

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  2. tg December 12, 2008 / 4:26 pm
    “I don’t know why there is a crusade to make people in Dayton look like they are functional, clean, sober, healthy, and self supporting. It is just not the case, and in this area it most certainly is not the case.”

    Oh come on Gene, I know you’re just looking for a response and I’m going to give you one. It’s exactly that kind of smart a**ed uneducated generalization that causes more harm than good. If that’s all you have to offer, then please refrain. All you are doing is insulting a lot of really good people who believe in the City, even if you don’t.

    @ David – I’ve suggested on the DMM Forum, and through an email to some City staff that they see if funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Fund could be used to cover demolition of those properties. I’d rather see a shovel-ready, green corner than what is there now. When the economy rebounds, it’ll be more valuable to a developer and the City can charge a premium for it. Short term pain (the costs involved) for a long term gain.

    In the meantime, those of us (myself included) that own property along Wayne & Wyoming need to make a commitment to beautifying the exterior. The City can help by providing non-financial assistance to those owners – design services, tree pruning, waiving permit fees or at least making the process more user friendly, etc.

    We can’t 1) expect the government or a large corporation to solve our problems and 2) expect a company like Kroger to invest millions of dollars when we won’t even take care of what we have now. We have to clean up our act in order to attract future development.

    This is what Obama is talking about when it comes to grassroots efforts. We need to be the change we want to see.

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  3. Jeff December 12, 2008 / 4:27 pm
    I think the area was hit and miss. Some places bad (in some cases REAL bad) others not so much. In any case, more vacant lots. yay.

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  4. Gene December 13, 2008 / 10:46 am
    Truth hurts TG. I call like ’em like I see ’em.

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  5. tg December 13, 2008 / 10:54 am
    Gene – you may call them like you see them, but I’m just suggesting you’ve got a limited view of things. There are in fact many that fit your description of functional, clean, sober, healthy, and self supporting – that you seem to imply is fiction. I know them, many are my friends, and I hang out with them at the South Park Tavern and other places. Short answer – stop insulting my friends!

    Now, is that area blighted? You bet it is. Yet there are a few good houses still in the middle of the blight. Is it worse than it was? You bet it is. If you owned a property there knowing the ultimate goal was to demolish it, how much would you invest in it?

    But insulting the good people of Dayton is no different than insulting the good people of Dayton’s suburbs…it doesn’t accomplish anything positive. It’s very damaging and counterproductive and I am doing my best to graciously ask you to stop.

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  6. Gene December 13, 2008 / 11:08 am
    Whatever. I am talking about those people who live in Dayton that are indeed Not functional, Not clean, Not sober, Not healthy, and Not self supporting, If you are not this then do not be offended.

    This area was run down BEFORE any Kroger proposal. That is a fact – i used to live right next to the proposed area in the late 1980’s. It was a dump then, it is a dump now.

    I hate the phrases “hard working Americans” and other bs like that – my experience tells me most Americans are not all that hard working, and David implies that people in Dayton are as such, which is BS. A LOT OF THEM ARE LOSERS. Until you except the truth then you are not helping.

    These “hard working Americans” act as if people in the ‘burbs are slackers, don’t get their hands dirty. The fact is they are more employed, work longer hours, are better educated, spend and support our economy, are less likely to be thieves and drug users, etc but somehow these “hard working Americans” are the frickin God’s gift to our society. Give me a break. Most spend their time at work bitchin about wages and smoking cigarettes.

    Why do we proclaim out citizens as “the hardest working'” – it simply is not the case. We are too busy patting ourselves on the back while our competition is lapping us. Grow up and man up.

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  7. Gene December 13, 2008 / 6:48 pm
    I live and work in Dayton, and fully support Dayton. The area and residents in question are not as GREAT as Esrati makes them out to be (in this particular post and other posts pertaining to Kroger.) I don’t mind trashy people, I just think they could help themselves a little more.

    I lived near that area for four year in the late 80’s – it was trash then and it is trash now. What do you want me to say? That people in the area are great, contributing people? Well, for the most part, they are not. I think they are getting a sweetheart deal to get bailed out of that neighborhood. They should want the deal to go down, but don’t think for a minute they stopped upkeep on their homes bc of this potential development. Heck, most of Dayton does not have any pending development in their area and their houses are not kept up either. Why do we act like the citizens of Dayton are putting their very best effort into their homes and neighborhoods – they are not doing such a thing. A few people are, but MOST treat their place like a toilet. Those are just facts.

    Don’t say money. People can pick up trash off their lawn, clean up their porches, etc. That is elbow grease, not cash.

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  8. Jeff December 13, 2008 / 10:08 pm
    “Why do we act like the citizens of Dayton are putting their very best effort into their homes and neighborhoods – they are not doing such a thing. A few people are, but MOST treat their place like a toilet. Those are just facts….
    ….People can pick up trash off their lawn, clean up their porches, etc. That is elbow grease, not cash.”

    I agree with you. Dayton is Dirt-town. It looks run-down and dirty. I also hold businessess accountable for this, too, becuase what you see driving into the city are the shabby, dated, and just plain trashy looking business establishments as much as run-down houses. I could do a whole gallery of this on my blog, but why bother.

    There are the handfull of people TG is talking about doing restorations and fixing up things, but they are fighting an uphill battle against a general trend of what Gene is talking about, the ongoing, almost willfull trashing of the city (im thinking of the growing wave of graffitti and tagging)

    People sometimes romanticize this as urban grit & cool. I don’t. I think it looks like shit and makes a city look like shit.

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  9. Bruce Kettelle December 14, 2008 / 1:17 pm
    “People sometimes romanticize this as urban grit & cool. I don’t. I think it looks like shit and makes a city look like shit.”

    Jeff you get the ‘best use’ of a four letter word award. I agree wholeheartedly.

    This is a real difficult time to expect economic develoment to be easy. Kroger is not the only company to change plans recently to hold off expanding. Until this economy bottoms out there will be a select few opportunities for new development. During this time we should really have our eye on getting our infrastructure in order. Besides streets, bridges, water, sewer, etc we need to look at all our public spaces and how they will contribute to the success of the neighborhood and city in the future when businesses are actively expanding again.

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  10. tg December 14, 2008 / 3:35 pm
    http://projects.daytondailynews.com/cache/galleries/Entertainment/Holidays/121308southpark/

    Self supporting, clean, respectable people socializing in an urban neighborhood. Not much different than the party I attended in the burbs last night.

    I agree – the City (mostly the residents in it) literally and figuratively needs to clean up its act. We can’t expect a company like Kroger to come in and invest tens of millions of dollars when we’re not willing to invest in a paint job or pick up our trash. It’s up to the surrounding neighborhoods to start investing in their own properties, even if it’s just picking up the trash, cutting the grass, pulling the weeds and getting the couch off the front porch and the car parts out of the tree lawns.

    My only mission here is to try to show there is more than one face of Dayton…and I really believe that things will get better if we focus on the positive and not keep driving home all that is wrong with it.

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