Here’s one of the lessons that the current residents of the Rustbelt have learned in the past few decades: Cities are fluid. They change, they morph, they grow and they stagnate, they change, they morph, they grow again and again. It’s kind of the beauty of the pulse of a city- what’s new becomes old and everything old is new again. For the past few years we’ve been watching quite a bit of decay and deconstruction in the Dayton area, but there’s been growth, too.
Austin Landing gets a lot of attention, but north of the river is a residential development called Carriage Trails, and its proposed anchor shopping mall, The Heights, has potential to bring a new interest, money, and energy to the Montgomery/Miami County border. Development in this part of Dayton is a healthy, thing and the timing is good. We’ve watched the demise of the Salem Mall, and retail pull out of downtown- what were once the two most convenient locations for shopping for Dayton north of I-70. So the northern Dayton area could use a bold plan. Today’s Dayton Daily News has a comprehensive look at The Heights, you can read that here.
I’ve heard mixed opinions from northern residents. With limited northern retail options, some of the comments I’ve heard suggest that finally we don’t have to drive to Beavercreek, Kettering, or Centerville to shop at a mall. I’ve also heard that Huber has seen some tough times recently so why would anyone put in upscale shopping here? Someone expressed the sentiment that we already have bus service so it could fill a void that the Fairfield Commons is unwilling to address.
This mall is likely to attract residents from all over the northern Miami Valley- residents from Brookville or Greenville to the west, Piqua, Troy, Sidney to the north, and Springfield from the east. It’s just off I-70 and 5 minutes east of I-75 so it could be destination for a largely under served area. The real estate side to this is that for homes in the area, this will make them more attractive and bring renewed interest and energy to the area, because the truth is that most people like to live in a somewhat concentrated area, not far from their jobs and retail, and this development will compliment a prime real estate combination- we have variety. The Huber Heights/ Bethel Twp/ Tipp City area has a wide range of older and newer housing stock, and a wide range of home prices, making for a nicely diverse selection for home buyers to choose.
With all the changes Dayton has seen in the last few years, growth is good to see, but this isn’t everyone’s idea of positive growth. I’m curious what you think? Are you looking forward to seeing a new mall in northern Dayton?