Developer wants to rehab landmark Dayton building

Familiar building gets a facelift

A Washington, D.C.-based developer has purchased a Santa Clara neighborhood building minutes from downtown Dayton.

Richard Holzer said he intends to find retail and residential tenants for the 14,000-square-foot, art-deco building with a curving front at 1921 to 1931 N. Main St., near the intersection of Santa Clara and Victor avenues. The building is across the street from the building that once housed the Upper Krust restaurant.

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Holzer said he bought the property about three weeks ago with a partner, Gilad Segev, via a limited liability corporation that has not yet been officially registered with Ohio.

Montgomery County had not recorded the land transaction as of late Monday, but he said he paid $15,000 for the property, which was the property’s owed back taxes.

Princeton Commercial B Holdings LLC most recently bought the building for $240,000 two years ago, according to local records.

Major renovations are underway, Holzer said. Every window is being replaced, the art-deco trim and the exterior will be sand-blasted and repainted, power is being restored and more. The building offers seven residential units, some upstairs and downstairs. (Two units are still occupied.)

“You can already see the changes happening,” Holzer said in a recent interview. “A building that has been blighted and boarded up, it’s a huge building.”

Holzer says he has not worked in Dayton before, but he has developed properties elsewhere in Ohio, including in Warren, Columbus, Youngstown and beyond. “This was a deal that was available, and I jumped on it,” he said.

Why did he want the building? “Let’s put it this way: If you draw a line from that building to the big buildings in downtown Dayton, it’s a mile and a half,” he said. “If you draw a circle around my building, I have 140,000 people living there. If it were the equivalent of a Washington, D.C. property, it would be on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Macomb (Street NW).”

“And that property would go for $35 (million) to $40 million,” he added. “That is exactly why I am buying Dayton, plus I believe in Dayton.”

He said he has spent “tens of thousands” on the building so far.

A building next door, at 1933-1943 N. Main, is slated for demolition. Holzer said he would buy that building, too, with a little help from Dayton government.

“I reached out to the mayor’s office,” he said. “I don’t know if anyone will call me back.”

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