Infinity Labs secures Arcade space while seeking state historic tax credit

The Benjamin F. Kuhn's Building, considered part of the Dayton Arcade in downtown Dayton. . FILE

Combined ShapeCaption
The Benjamin F. Kuhn's Building, considered part of the Dayton Arcade in downtown Dayton. . FILE

Infinity Labs LLC has applied for Ohio historic preservation tax credits to remake the old East Fourth Street Dayton Power & Light “power house,” while also beginning to set up roots at the Dayton Arcade’s Kuhns Building.

Jason Molnar, chief strategy officer for the Dayton defense firm, said the company is seeking the credits while simultaneously renovating leased space in the Kuhns building, at the corner of West Fourth and South Main streets downtown.

In a new interview, Molnar described twin tracks for Infinity: Pursuing the company’s historical renovation project at 118 E. 4th, the old DP&L power station, while also finalizing tenant improvements in its corner of the Arcade complex.

The company has about 45 employees.

“This space really will be our home for the foreseeable future,” Molnar said, referring to Kuhns.

“We really plan to keep this space even after we open up the Power House, because it really gives you roots to the (Dayton Arcade) Hub, it gives you roots to those entrepreneurial organizations and students, and we want to be part of that at the ground level,” he said.

The company submitted the first part of its state historic tax credit application late last week. Securing those funds in what he sees as a $20 or so million remaking of the power house will be a “go/no-go” decision, Molnar said.

The competitive Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program offers a tax credit to assist the private redevelopment of historic buildings. The Longfellow School apartments, the Centre City building, both in Dayton, are among the local buildings that have won the credits.

In the past two years, several Dayton projects received more than $9 million in historic tax incentives that developers say will result in $105 million in new investment in aging and underused properties.

Molnar expects a state decision on the credits this winter.

The power house will be a big workforce development project with community engagement and high economic impact, Molnar believes.

Dayton City Commission voted in May to accept a $250,000 Economic Development/Government Equity grant that Montgomery County awarded to Infinity Labs.

In the past two years, the business received a pair of Phase II contract awards in the Air Force’s “Agility Prime” effort, the push to create a viable electric flying craft that can take off and land vertically.

“We’re in the steps right now of assessing the next steps in that process — whether it’s a Phase III award or the commercialization of a technology,” Molnar said.

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