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Port Authority to boost Arcade improvements, save project $1M

On Monday, the Dayton Montgomery Port Authority Board of Trustees voted to have the Port support the downtown Dayton Arcade development project, agreeing to enter into four ground leases for four component parcels of the Arcade.

The Port will enter into capital lease agreements with four limited liability companies that own the Arcade’s component parcels, said Jerry Brunswick, executive director of the Port Authority.

The support will help save an estimated $1 million in sales taxes on materials used to improve Arcade, Brunswick said.

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“That’s valuable,” he said.

The trustees voted unanimously to participate in redevelopment of the historic downtown Arcade after a closed executive session lasting more than an hour. The vote took place without public discussion.

Consisting of nine buildings covering more than 330,000 square feet — including structures that go back nearly 120 years — the newly re-developed Arcade is expected to have commercial, retail, educational and residential elements. Key possible tenants such as the University of Dayton and Dayton brewer Warped Wing have expressed interest in a place at the Arcade, as have Boston Stoker and the Dayton Visual Arts Center.

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Just last month, the city of Dayton agreed to loan $10 million to the Cross Street Partners-led development partnership that said it now has secured nearly all of the financing it needs for a $95 million rehab of the southern portions of the Arcade.

When the Port Authority owns land, it can offer construction companies and developers several tools to boost construction projects, including a shield from expensive sales taxes on construction materials.

“Our ownership facilitates sales tax exemptions for these properties,” Brunswick said. “That will save them, the project operators, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million.

“You can see that as part of the overall source of financing for the project,” he added.

He noted that the resolution trustees approved holds that the Port Authority’s participation is contingent on all the participating entities “coming together.”

“Our board’s approval of this means we’re one step closer — and it’s a significant step closer,” Brunswick said.

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