Fourth building eyed for downtown’s Tech Town

City of Dayton developer Citywide is talking with commercial developers about the next building.

City of Dayton developer Citywide is talking with commercial developers about building Tech Town IV, the fourth building of the city’s tech-oriented business park.

“We’re far from done,” Steve Nutt, senior vice president for Citywide, said Monday.

Although there is no imminent announcement about construction, Nutt’s news came three days after civilian employees of the Air Force Research Lab talked of anchoring a downtown “innovation district” about a third of a mile from Tech Town, possibly at 444 E. Second St.

Citywide, which acts as the public development arm of Dayton city government, spearheaded development of the first buildings in the $40 million business park north and south of East Monument Avenue, most recently with Tech Town III, where construction was completed in 2011.

Now, Nutt said, Tech Town is home to 36 companies with about 450 employees. With the campus 95 percent full, it’s time for the private sector to take the lead.

“We have sufficiently primed the pump, which was always the intent, so that a private developer would come with an end user and build the next building,” Nutt said.

“We’re talking with a number of developers right now — and a couple of end users as well,” he added.

Dayton Children’s Hospital will move its chief technology officer and allied staff to Tech Town III, which is 100 percent full, Nutt said.

With construction work on the nearby Webster Street bridge slated for completion in the third quarter this year, Nutt envisions a new gateway to the northeast downtown quadrant, with traffic being routed from Interstate 75/Ohio 4 off to Webster Street, to an area that features not only Tech Town, but the growing Water Street development, Fifth Third Field and more.

“Once that (the Webster bridge) opens up, the traffic count in that area of town will only help,” said Jason Woodard, developer, along with Columbus firm Crawford Hoying, of downtown’s Water Street area.

“We’re in the pathway of development,” Nutt said.

Doug Barry, president of staffing firm BarryStaff — which has its headquarters at 230 Webster — said he’s happy in what has become a busy but diverse part of downtown.

“I think it’s the most up-and-coming area right now,” Barry said.

He and others have put together a business association for what’s called the Webster Station section of Dayton. There’s a lot of excitement about growth in an area that’s close to the river yet also close to the core downtown business district.

“It just has that nice, almost a neighborhood-type feel,” Barry said.

Woodard said he is talking with a couple of developers about bringing new dining/drinking amenities to area, perhaps at the northwest corner of Webster and Monument.

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