Tuesday, July 31, 2007

No Really. What About That Kroger Development?

There has been a flurry of activity regarding the Kroger development at Wayne and Wyoming Avenues in the last two weeks. Without boring everyone with details a group of neighborhood leaders met to discuss ideas that would push this project along. A letter was written and sent to the city leaders with some questions and ideas. The letter asked if the city had been in communication with Kroger directly instead of their developer Midland Atlantic. We felt that it was important that Kroger was aware of the support that they would have in the community. Letters have been sent by neighborhoods to the CEO of Kroger and an appeal went out for others to follow suit. The response from the city manager was swift and is as follows;

Dear Concerned Citizens:

I want to take the time to thank you for your interest in the redevelopment of property at the Wayne and Wyoming intersection. We share your interest in moving this project forward and are committed to bring new investment to East Dayton. City staff have been working with the Midland Atlantic development group to bring in a new development opportunity that will provide an important amenity and job generator to the neighborhood. Those discussions continue, but there are some critical issues that we are still working through.

The biggest challenge is the amount of public investment that is appropriate for a development of this size and nature, particularly in a city that is facing significant funding challenges. While financial assistance may be appropriate and some funding has been preliminarily committed to facilitate this new development, the City has limited resources. As you are aware, property acquisition costs are a significant concern given prior negotiations that homeowners and businesses had with Midland Atlantic. The City and Midland Atlantic have both worked to identify additional funding sources for the project, but we are still trying to address a funding gap that has grown threefold since the project was first proposed.

Some people have expressed concern that the reason this project is not moving forward is due to the Ballpark Village project. I can assure you that the two projects are unrelated and that Krogers is not contemplated for Ballpark Village.

I also want to assure you that this project is a priority for the City Commission and staff is working diligently to bring this project to fruition. Funding sources, such as tax increment financing, have been part of the project for quite some time and we continue to look for other alternatives.

Our immediate next step is for me and my staff to meet with the Developer to discuss project financing and refine our strategic acquisition plan in an effort to move the project forward. We certainly want to include the citizens and other stakeholders as the development evolves. As soon as we get a firm and workable financing and acquisition plan in place, we will come to the community and provide updates to and solicit feedback from our stakeholders.

I appreciate your commitment and continued interest in our community.


Rashad M. Young
City Manager

I will keep you posted as I get information.

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