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Fairfield eyes future of struggling section of northern Ohio 4 corridor

The city intends to contract a Dayton-based company to study and evaluate the northern Ohio 4 corridor in hopes to spark development to revitalize the area. Council is expected to vote on a contract on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
The city intends to contract a Dayton-based company to study and evaluate the northern Ohio 4 corridor in hopes to spark development to revitalize the area. Council is expected to vote on a contract on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Fairfield City Council is expected to contract a marketing firm to determine the potential of the northern Ohio 4 corridor.

On Monday, the council will consider a $12,000 contract with Dayton-based Market Metrics to study the area.

“We’ve had talks in the past about that area, the blight that it’s experiencing, how it’s struggling,” said City Manager Mark Wendling.

“We want to get an objective analysis of the area. We all have different ideas of what it could be, but we need someone from the market, who’s an expert in the market and tell us what it actually can be. Otherwise, we might just be chasing dreams or objectives that just aren’t achievable.”

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Development Services Director Greg Kathman said the study would look at Ohio 4 from Nilles Road to the northern boundary, which has been designated as a local commercial district.

“It’s not a high employment area, it’s not a driver of entertainment options like the middle section (of Ohio 4) is,” he said. “This is more to serve the local community.”

Kathman said the area has changed over time, and over the 90-day contract, Market Metrics will help the city understand the current conditions and “figure out what are some opportunities we have to enhance the vitality of the corridor.”

The study will look at four land uses: office, retail, industrial and residential. Kathman said while residential is not a zone on the corridor, adjacent residential districts are drivers of the area.

City Council was presented the push to look into the area by the city administration at its Nov. 25 work session.

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Mayor Steve Miller said the study is in response for something “we’ve talked about for a long time” and for which “we don’t have a real plan or real vision.”

Councilman Tim Abbott said the study “gets our expectations in line with what’s out there.”

Kathman said the company will collect in-depth data and look at each land use to “identify opportunities that exist in the market place, or lack of opportunities.”

Council is expected to approve the contract at its Monday meeting.