CareSource building dovetails with renaissance of downtown Dayton

CareSource will again put its stamp on the Dayton skyline with the construction of a seven-story building that will help the nonprofit add an estimated 400 new jobs.

To build the office tower at the former site of Patterson Co-op, company officials said the project will only move forward with state and local support and economic incentives. Local officials were not ready to discuss the incentives on Thursday, but all said they are confident CareSource will get what it needs to make the deal happen.

“I think all of the various pieces of the puzzle have to be put in place, and I don’t think there would be an announcement today if there wasn’t a significant level of confidence that these pieces will be put into place,” Montgomery County administrator Joe Tuss said.

The city, county, CareSource and other partners have worked behind the scenes and had discussions since 2014 about how to accommodate the nonprofit’s explosive business and payroll growth, county officials said.

Next week, Dayton city commissioners are expected to vote on economic development incentives to benefit the project. Montgomery County is also expected to vote on an intergovernmental agreement to provide funding to the city of Dayton to assist with the project, Tuss said.

County commissioners will vote on whether to approve an allocation of up to $500,000 to support CareSource’s expansion, Tuss said.

Montgomery County helped pay to construct the CareSource headquarters by providing $500,000 of ED/GE funding. The city agreed to spend nearly $2 million to help acquire and clear the property to make way for the nine-story tower.

“To preserve over 1,000 jobs and have 400 new jobs as part of the project is huge — and they are all living-wage jobs, which we need to see in the community,” Tuss said.

“It’s going to happen,” said Debbie Lieberman, Montgomery County commissioner.

CareSource already has made major financial and job commitments to Dayton, and the newest announcement shows the organization must have a lot of confidence in the direction of the city to make such a big investment in real estate and its workforce, said Dayton City Commissioner Joey Williams.

The CareSource Center City building will support many of the goals for downtown, including walkability, diversity in urban design, architecture and building size and improved connectivity between community assets, destinations and employment centers, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

“CareSource is really quite a gazelle in the community for the growth we are seeing in the company and we really want them to be successful,” Whaley said.

The project would dovetail with other development in that section of downtown. The Dayton Metro Library is spending about $62 million to construct a new main library facility, which is located about a block south of the Center City site.

A block to the north is the riverbank, where Five Rivers MetroParks is creating an in-river recreation called River Run.

The Water Street District is a short walk away and features a fairly new office building and 215 upscale apartments.

In recent years, rows of townhomes were built just of east, and the former Delco building next to Fifth Third Field is on track to become 133 loft-style apartments and restaurant space.

CareSource hopes the Center City building will open in 2019. The new main library expects to open in May of next year. Officials hope the outdoor free music amphitheater the Levitt Pavilion Dayton will open in 2018.

Developers hope the first phase of the rehabilitation of the Dayton Arade could be completed in mid- to late-2018.

“When you start to pull all of that stuff together and look at all the activity that’s happening in a space that is roughly 10 blocks by 10 blocks — it’s huge,” said Tuss.

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