An 11-story Courthouse Square building across from the Arcade has been bought by a chief executive with a track record of local employment, global success and Dayton-region investment buys.
The investment is seen by some leaders as a boost for revitalization of the area around the Arcade, which is under construction.
Chris Riegel, founder, owner and CEO of digital signage and monitor company Stratacache, confirmed that he bought the long-watched tower at 10 N. Ludlow St.
ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY:Stratacache CEO buys downtown Dayton building for $1.7 million
The building was purchased at auction for $1,669,500, according to property records.
Riegel said he was drawn to the property by the slow but sure redevelopment of the historic downtown Arcade located across the street from Courthouse Square. He also promised further investment announcements in the near future when the Dayton Daily News asked him about the purchase.
“It’s absolutely good news,” said Peter Benkendorf, founder of the Collaboratory, a non-profit group which had been located on Courthouse Square for more than seven years.
“Anybody who wants to invest in Dayton should be welcome, if they’re going to be a hands-on investor,” Benkendorf said.
But he said there’s something reassuring about having locally based owners and developers — people like Jason Woodard, Charlie Simms and others — involved in local investment and work.
“That is the best of all possibilities,” Benkendorf said. “I’d rather have a local owner, because it does show a commitment to the community.”
Matthew Sliver, principal of marketing firm Catapult Creative, which is located on the first floor of 10 N. Ludlow, welcomed the news of Riegel’s involvement.
“I’m extremely pleased to hear that a guy with a solid investment in Dayton is taking over one of the premier buildings downtown,” Sliver said. “Can’t wait to see what he’s going to do with it.”
Riegel and his company have steadily invested in local properties since 2009: 2 Riverplace, which Stratacache owns, as well as properties in Huber Heights and most recently Trotwood, where Stratacache transformed an all-but-abandoned 380,000-square-foot warehouse into space for assembly and distribution work.
The Trotwood site averages about 90 employees — with a $5 million annual payroll — with seasonal retail peaks at about 110 to 120 employees. Globally, Stratacache has about 750 employees, with about 320 of those working in the Dayton area.
The building at 10 N. Ludlow was marketed as a 145,509-square-foot, multi-tenant property located in an Ohio “opportunity zone” found in the heart of Dayton’s central business district.
Colliers International and Ten-X oversaw an auction of the property from Nov. 5 to 7 this year. The “earnest money” deposit required by the auction was an amount greater than 10 percent of the winning bid amount not to exceed $1 million, with the auction closing period set at about Dec. 7.
“Opportunity zones,” created by the federal tax package Congress passed last December, give investors the potential to take advantage of temporary tax deferral or permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains depending on the length of ownership of property in certain economically challenged areas.
'I think Courthouse Square is going to see a rebirth'
With work on the Arcade proceeding just across from Courthouse Square, Benkendorf expects a bright future for an area that might be seen as the core of Dayton’s central business district.
“I think Courthouse Square is going to see a rebirth,” he said.
Sandy Gudorf, executive director of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, also welcomed Riegel’s involvement.
But she agreed that any investors willing to be involved and responsive to local needs should be welcome.
“We’re seeing more and more investors taking a really hard look at downtown,” Gudorf said. “We’re seeing groups like the Lawyers Group (Columbus-based Lawyers Development Corp.), and Triad (Architects) coming in from Columbus.”
She added: “They see that downtown is on the cusp of some really good things.”
First Barclay, LLC, a joint project between Columbus-based Lawyers Development Corp. and Chicago-based First Hospitality Group, plans to convert the Barclay building, 137 N. Main St., to a “branded boutique hotel,” the company announced in October.
Triad Architects purchased 18 W. Fifth St., a three-story property that is home to the Dayton Chess Club. The chess club occupies the first floor and basement.
The Triad Architects firm is crafting plans for the property, but some initial ideas are for a restaurant or food provider in the first floor of the building and possibly offices or residential units on the upper floors, a company principal has told the Dayton Daily News in recent months.