US$ 16M Project to Convert Former Sears Building in Dayton into Trotwood Business Hub

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The Trotwood Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) is working on a $16 million redevelopment project that will convert a former Sears building in Dayton into a new Trotwood business hub. These redevelopment plans will also include the former Salem Mall site, which has sat vacant since 2014.

The Sears building was purchased by Trotwood CIC in 2019 and the initial idea was to transform the space into a community-based market, but the plan was modified after receiving feedback from the community. 

The Executive Director of Trotwood CIC, Chad Downing mentioned that he had worked with his team, a group of University of Dayton Senior Engineering students, and some institutional partners in the region to create a survey, which gathered the thoughts and opinions of the Trotwood community members on the redevelopment project. 

Construction on the new Trotwood business hub is expected to commence within the next 12 to 18 months.

Targeted sectors

According to Downing, the new Trotwood business hub will focus on three main components which include Entrepreneurship support to provide co-working concepts, utility spaces, and vendor space; workforce development opportunities, such as certification and skills training for residents; and Food access.

Also Read: Tri-County Mall Redevelopment project update

He mentioned that the Food access component would involve building a local produce market, which will be set up at the location of the Sears building’s former auto center; this will enable residents to buy produce and food products from gardeners and farmers within the vicinity. A hydroponics system is also being designed for the new Trotwood business hub, along with an educational community kitchen and market.

Trotwood CIC has been collaborating with a group of University of Dayton engineering students on integrating this hydroponics system, which will grow crops in mineral solutions rather than in soil. Cross Creek Hydroponics is also providing some technical assistance on the project, in hopes of providing this technology as a tool for the local entrepreneurs and farmers.

Funding for the Trotwood business hub

Through the assistance of the Ohio Republican Congressman Michael Turner, Trotwood CIC was recently awarded US$ 2M from the Appropriations Bill. Other sources of funding which will be pursued for the Trotwood business hub project, include Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, historic tax credits, and potential funding through JobsOhio

Downing also mentioned that the estimated US$ 16M price tag for the Trotwood business hub project, does not include the redevelopment costs for the former 55-acre  Salem Mall site, located at 5200 Salem Ave, in Dayton. He said the former mall site would be a future development and the planning for this area would soon commence.