Stratacache real estate arm sues Dayton Racquet Club

The Dayton Club will not reopen, suit says executive told owner

A limited liability corporation representing the owner of Stratacache Tower is suing the Dayton Racquet Club, saying the club has failed to make its April and May lease payments and left perishable items in an “unsecured” space on the top floors of the tower.

The suit also alleges that certain people have been availing themselves of the club’s “fully stocked” bars since the club’s closure in March.

The lawsuit by Arkham Tower LLC was filed against Dayton Racquet Club LLC Friday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

The lawsuit alleges that the club has been left unsecured since it was closed in about mid-March.

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“On or about May 12, 2020, Arkham, through its security and property management personnel, discovered that the leased premises had been left unsecured and unattended by defendant,” the lawsuit states. “As a result of the failure of defendant to secure the leased premises, certain individuals (who may or may not have been affiliated as members with DC) have been going into the leased premises without restriction and having unfettered access to certain amenities at the DC, which includes freely open and available alcohol at two fully stocked bars.”

“DC” refers to the racquet club, called “The Dayton Club,” which is owned by Dallas-based ClubCorp.

The suit states further that Tom Bennison, chief development officer of ClubCorp, “has indicated that it (the company) will not make any future rental payments to Arkham” and that the club would not reopen.

ClubCorp’s general counsel, Emily Decker, declined to comment.

Chris Riegel, owner of Dayton-based digital signage technology company Stratacache, bought the tower — downtown Dayton’s tallest building, formerly known as “Kettering Tower” — in early 2019.

The tower has since been rechristened “Stratacache Tower.”

Stratacache’s real estate acquisition arm, Arkham Ventures, purchased the tower for $13 million. That purchase came less than two months after the company also bought the Courthouse Plaza tower at 10 N. Ludlow St. for nearly $1.7 million.

A global entrepreneur who has remained focused on Dayton, Riegel has talked of using the tower purchase as a launching pad for revitalizing the center of downtown, building a rooftop open-air restaurant and boosting occupancy of the key building.

The racquet club closed in mid-March, along with many other Ohio restaurants, due to the historic pandemic. “This is a terribly unfortunate state of affairs we are all coping with; the Dayton Club staff thanks you for your patience and understanding. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions,” the club says on its web site.

A representative of the club could not be immediately reached for comment Monday. A message seeking comment was left for the club’s general manager.

Riegel Monday said he believes the space atop the tower, with its unique views of Dayton and beyond, can be utilized better.

“The opportunity to develop that space and bring it to its highest potential is very much on our radar,” Riegel said.

He said ClubCorp has been trying to leave the space “since the day we bought the building.” He believes the virus is simply a “convenient excuse.”

Stratacache has surveillance cameras all through the building, which is why Riegel said he knows that people were taking advantage of the club’s bars.

Some of the items and stock found in the club will be donated to local food banks, Riegel said. Some club members have personal collections of wine in that space; they can contact Stratacache to arrange to retrieve their property, he said.

The lawsuit contends that the tower owner is owed “in excess of $25,000 plus costs and expenses, including its attorneys’ fees, incurred in connection with this matter.”

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