Dayton and Cincinnati metroplex "within the decade"
DAYTON (WKEF/WRGT) -- There is a real push to combine Dayton and Cincinnati into one giant metroplex.
"It's not if that's going to happen, it's when," Jill Meyer, President & CEO of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, said.
The idea being discussed by local leaders in both cities is to combine Dayton, the 72nd largest metropolitan statistical area, or MSA, and Cincinnati, the 27th largest. Meyer says combining the two would make the region of Southwest Ohio the 18th largest MSA in the country.
"That's big," Meyer said. "It's great for exposure from everything from companies locating as well as potential opportunities for federal designations and funding grants and additional economic opportunities that come from being on the radar."
"When you look at the folks that are associated with Interstate 75, that's going to continue to fill in over this next decade," Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Phil Parker said. "It's going to be more robust."
Meyer estimates this will come to fruition within the next decade and the timing is ripe.
"If you look nationally, Southwest Ohio is on radars and maps it's not been on before."
One of those includes online giant Amazon. Dayton and Cincinnati recently teamed up in hopes of landing the company's second world headquarters.
"Employers want to know that they have a talent base, that they have a university base to draw from to continue to build," Meyer said. "If you combine the Cincinnati MSA with the Dayton MSA you have a wealth of education institutions and people."
But all of the excitement doesn't come without concern, especially for the Dayton market.
"Cincinnati is this great, big 800-pound gorilla," Parker said. "We're the 400-pound gorilla. We have to be cognizant of our own needs. We want it to be a win, win, win situation. I still think we've got some challenges and there's plenty of room for conversation on this thing."