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Great Miami Riverway coalition says region is gaining economic momentum

A paddle boat launch ramp along the Great Miami River in Sidney, Ohio.
Alejandro Figueroa
A paddle boat launch ramp along the Great Miami River in Sidney, Ohio.

At their annual meeting on Friday, The Great Miami Riverway coalition announced major economic developments are underway along river corridor communities. Leaders at the event said the region is gaining momentum with tourism and job investments.

The Great Miami Riverway, a program of the Miami Conservancy District, is a corridor of Ohio cities that starts in Sidney and ends in Hamilton. The coalition works together to bring in private and public sector investments in jobs, tourism and housing.

In the last year, the group estimates the total economic impact of tourism alone in the area was just under $1 billion.

Riverway communities have also invested more than $150 million in public projects that include Treasure Island Park in Troy, RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton and RiverCenter at Bicentennial Commons in Middletown and connecting more trails and green spaces along the river.

Dan Foley, the director of the Riverway coalition, said the idea of the coalition is to promote the Great Miami River, which will lead to more growth in local jobs and housing.

“Our elected officials and community leaders are investing in long term riverfront development plans,” Foley said. “The better that we can make our communities not only in riverfront downtowns but housing with restaurants, more bike path connectivity, the better likelihood we're going to be able to retain existing companies and also add new ones.”

Private sector investment has also increased along the corridor, including the planned redevelopment of the former Dayton Power & Light Hutchings Station power plant into a 200-acre mixed-use development in Miamisburg.

Additionally, a new company in Sidney announced plans to manufacture electric vehicle battery components and create approximately 1,200 jobs.

“It is incredible the amount of public private partnerships that we do have here within the city,” said Andrew Bowsher, City of Sidney City manager. “We’re all working cohesively together, and when you take that it really creates an entrepreneurial system that is vital to these cities up and down the river corridor.”

The coalition is currently working on several key projects, including attracting more private investors, particularly for much-needed affordable housing and cultivating more relationships with developers for potential downtown projects.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming

Email: afigueroa@wyso.org
Phone: 937-917-5943