Developer buys large Oregon East commercial property

The Kentucky real estate development firm that already has spent nearly $30 million creating the new Oregon East district has bought another rundown eyesore that it plans to bring back to life.

Weyland Ventures has purchased a vacant five-story building at 101 Bainbridge St. that is a former cold storage facility.

Weyland Ventures say it does not yet have specific plans for the building, but the facility is a critical piece of the firm’s redevelopment strategy in the area.

“We will revitalize the building so it continues to connect the neighborhood and bring a mix of uses to the area,” said Lee Weyland, Weyland Ventures’ director of business development.

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Recently, the city of Dayton approved selling 101 Bainbridge St. for $10 to Oregon Innovation District II LLC, which belongs to Weyland Ventures.

The city bought the property for less than $100,000 in 2013.

Designed by famed Dayton architectural firm Schenck and Williams, the building is a concrete structure with curtain wall construction that was erected in 1913 for Union Storage, said Amy Walbridge, the city’s downtown development coordinator.

The property is slated for a mixed-use project that supports Weyland Ventures’ redevelopment of the nearby Wheelhouse and Motor Car buildings, as well as the construction of new housing called The 503, Walbridge said.

Since 2013, the city and the Oregon Innovation District development teams, led by Weyland Ventures, have collaborated via a private-public partnership to transform the area between Wayne Avenue and Keowee Street, Walbridge said.

This acquisition will help Weyland Ventures connect and strengthen the sense of place in the emerging Oregon East area, she said.

Weyland Ventures and its investment partners have spent close to $30 million on the historic renovation of the Wheelhouse building at 210 Wayne Ave. and the Motor Car building at 15 McDonough St., Walbridge said.

Work is expected to begin later this year on the $24 million 503 project, which will create more than 150 new apartments at East Fourth Street and Wayne Avenue, she said.

Weyland Ventures has proposed investing more than $120 million to create 730,000 square feet of new development in the what it says will be a new dense, active, pedestrian-friendly and mixed-use neighborhood

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The Bainbridge Street building is in bad shape and caught fire in 2015. An adjacent warehouse facility was destroyed by arson in 2018.

The building has a concrete shell and few windows, which makes it expensive to demolish and challenging to revitalize, said Weyland.

But city officials and developers believe the building has promise.

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Less than two blocks away, core and shell work on the Motor Car building is mostly complete and tenant fit-ups will begin later this month, Weyland said.

Tenants should start moving in this summer, beginning with Gosiger, which is leasing the first and second floors, he said.

Gosiger, headquartered at 108 McDonough St, is a machine tool distributor and manufacturing “solutions provider.”

Weyland hopes to break ground on The 503 new apartment facility this summer, which will be a new, four-story building offering loft-style units.

This wasn’t the first time the city has sold a large commercial property for next to nothing to support new jobs and development projects.

In 2018, the city sold the six-story building at 601 E. Third St. to Woodard Development for $10. Woodard is converting the building into offices for tech and other uses.

In 2015, the city sold the Dayton and Power and Light plant two doors down for the same amount.

Now called the Steam Plant, the building been renovated into new offices and popular upscale event space.

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