FAIRBORN — Fairborn officials will argue that the community is “a city in motion” — and after adding a number of new businesses, making improvements to its infrastructure, increasing housing options, continuing to remove blighted structures, offering additional local entertainment and receiving recognition in various capacities throughout 2016 — they could prove to be correct.
Fairborn Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick highlighted the city’s upward swinging movement at the latest council meeting March 20 during his annual state of the city address.
“Growth is happening — in both our business and housing areas,” Kirkpatrick said. “And it does not look to be slowing down for 2017.”
Business growth, new jobs
The Kroger Marketplace started construction in 2016 and is expected to make its grand opening in the coming months. The marketplace launching will double the size of the city’s current Kroger to 135,000 square feet, add 100-150 new jobs as well as increase purchasing options.
Tangible Solutions, a company that creates designs to help in product development in a variety of industries, moved its headquarters to Fairborn in 2016, which is expected to add more than 60 local jobs in the coming years. In addition, Tradeglobal, an eCommerce company; Gem City Business Solutions, a management services company; Alion, a technology firm that highlights engineering and science, all started calling Fairborn “home” throughout the next year.
Citizens have also welcomed Rapid Fire Pizza, a new-age pizza restaurant, to the community within the last year, in addition to PetValue. Texas Roadhouse will soon seat an additional 40 diners with a 400 square-foot expansion expected to be approved and constructed this year.
“The Community Development Department reported that commercial construction in 2016 totaled $22,279,340 — an increase of [more than] $2.5 million from 2015,” Kirkpatrick said.
Ohio and Wright Streets were completely upgraded in 2016 as the roadways underwent a total road reclamation as well as water main replacement. The Streetscape project, which was aimed to improve the aesthetics and usability of Main Street, reached completion last year. Dayton Drive will experience the same upgrade this year, as it will be widened in the coming months, impacting the Dayton Drive and Maple Avenue intersection, as well as the Main Street entrance off Dayton Drive.
Kirkpatrick reported during the address that residential construction totaled to $22,288,21 — a $7.9 million increase compared to 2015.
The Bluffs on Trebein are seeing sections two and three go up, adding 28 new homes to the community, totaling to 49 houses in that housing complex. Meanwhile, Waterford Landing is seeing sections six and seven get developed, adding 39 new homes, totaling to 109 new houses in that housing complex.
Fairfield Oaks, a luxury apartment community to include 16,000 square-feet, 17 buildings and 102 units, was initially introduced to the Fairborn community in 2016. According to the city, the properties are already leased and are awaiting the completion of construction.
Fairborn was awarded a $346,500 Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) grant in 2016, which will go toward assisting constructing three Habitat for Humanity homes and nine owner-occupied rehabs.
Removing old to make room for new
Twenty five blighted residential properties were removed in 2016, in addition to a number of commercial properties. Blighted motels along Broad Street, including the former Command Motel and Falcon Sunset Inn structures have been removed in recent times; two more are expected to be removed this year. The former Burger King building on Kauffman Avenue was also recently demolished.
“These structures were bringing nearby property values down,” Kirkpatrick said, adding that removing blighted structures allows the city to offer shovel-ready sites for new development.
Less traveling for local entertainment
The Fairborn Parks and Recreation Division created 18 new programs over the last year, which highlight hiking, outdoor education, camps, creativity and sports. The division was also able to partner with a number of downtown local businesses to create 16 entertainment programs.
“Business owners state that they see a return in offering the programs as participants are coming to them for additional business,” Kirkpatrick said, adding that more programs are expected to be developed.
The division additionally created a citizen development committee, who are focused on bringing a dog park to Fairborn. Participants help the project pick up sponsorship as well as provide input concerning the design. Construction is expected to begin this year in the spring months.
Celebrating the city’s accomplishments
The City of Fairborn was recognized on local, regional and national levels throughout 2016, receiving the following awards:
– Excellence in Financial Reporting (for the 27-year in a row.)
– PRism Award (recognizing the city’s public relations efforts, receiving the highest honor in the community relations category.)
– Water Fluoridation Quality Award (for the eighth year in a row.)
– Ohio Collaborative Law Enforcement Agency Certification for Required Standards (received by the Fairborn Police Department, ensuring that the FPD is certified in meeting “collaborative policing standards” concerning use of force, hiring standards and community relations.)
– 2016 Mission Lifeline EMS (received by the Fairborn Fire Department for providing recognizable cardiac care for utilizing the most current evidence-based treatment standards with patient care and community outcome first in mind.)
“Council continues to follow its strategic plan to make Fairborn a great place to work, live, and play,” Kirkpatrick said. “Our goal is to provide appropriate planning for the continued development and improvement of the city.”
Reach Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.