Plans for 1,400-acre village that could include up to 4,500 homes, a college campus and hospital facilities unveiled in Warren County, Ohio; plan would replace one approved in 1998 that allowed for 3,735 homes

DAYTON, Ohio , April 9, 2014 () – Plans for a 1,400-acre village -- one that could include thousands of houses, a college campus and hospital facilities -- were unveiled Tuesday in Warren County.

Otterbein, known for developing and operating retirement communities around Ohio, submitted to county officials plans for a multi-generational, multi-use development on land across Ohio 741 from their original retirement community in Turtlecreek Twp., Warren County.

In addition to up to 4,500 homes, the Union Village plan calls for amenities including a sports complex as well as office, commercial and retail centers.

Otterbein and consultants hired to develop the plan are expected to present it to the Warren County Regional Planning Commission on April 24. Officials said the development could take place over 20-40 years.

"I don't think we have a timetable," Rob Noonan, vice president for properties and construction with Otterbein said. "It all depends on what kind of interest evolves."

Premier Health Partners and the University of Dayton are among the potential partners considered for the project.

The land stretches west from the corner of Ohio 741 and Ohio 63, in an area between I-75 and I-71 and Dayton and Cincinnati already home to the Miami Valley Gaming racino and the Cincinnati Premium Outlets mall.

The new plan would replace one approved in 1998 that allowed for 3,735 homes.

"It sounds pretty positive when you're talking about a college campus, hospital facilities in there," Turtlecreek Twp. Trustee Dan Jones said. "I'm not sure how many homes we want in there."

The plan calls for town centers within the proposed village to be within a five-minute walk of surrounding residential areas. The consultants used standards popularized by new urbanists to design "compact, mixed use walkable neighborhoods where residential, commercial and civic buildings are within a 5-minute walk," Jill Hreben, president of Otterbein, said in a cover letter with the proposal.

Otterbein officials estimated $100,000 has been spent over the past six years on the plan.

"We like most of the things Otterbein does," Jones said.

The initial county approval process would involve the broad plan for the entire 1,430-acre Otterbein property, including existing retirement community and Otterbein offices.

"We want to create connectivity between the new community and the existing community," said Gary Horning, vice president of marketing for Otterbein.

Otterbein envisions a village where single people and families could live near senior citizens, including elderly family members, and eventually move into a retirement living.

"We see tremendous leverage between that and what we do in our retirement community," Horning said.

The developers would have to win approval of more detailed final plans before beginning any construction, Commissioner Pat South said.

Rather acting as the developer, Otterbein would work with residential builders on the neighborhoods, Noonan said.

With the new plan, "Now you can get somebody's attention," Noonan said. "Our focus is on the senior. That's where we are going to stay."

The Otterbein proposal is part of the I-75 plan, mapping development of thousands of mostly undeveloped acres east of I-75 in Warren County, also including plans for a cheetah recovery center by the Cincinnati Zoo.

County officials held meetings in anticipation of the filing of the plan.

"I'm anxious to see what their plan is," South said.


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