Demand driving downtown Dayton apartment growth

The developers of the Water Street District are planning to build even more new apartments near Day Air Ballpark, home of the Dayton Dragons.

Crawford Hoying, a real estate development and management company in Dublin, says it plans to construct a new five-story apartment building called the Sutton on vacant land at 307 E. First St.

The property is a grassy field next to the Lincoln Storage building that is on the same block as the Delco Lofts, which are 133 apartments that were developed by Crawford Hoying and its Water Street District partner, Woodard Development.

The property is a few doors down from the baseball stadium.

Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development have opened more than 510 new apartments in the Water Street District, and they plan to bring about a couple hundred more to downtown by late next year, between this new project and one other already under construction.

“From what we hear from various developers and what we are seeing on the ground is that demand for downtown housing is still extremely high,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

Developer Crawford Hoying says it plans to construct a new apartment building called the Sutton on vacant land next to the Lincoln Storage building, near the Day Air Ballpark, where the Dayton Dragons play. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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Developer Crawford Hoying says it plans to construct a new apartment building called the Sutton on vacant land next to the Lincoln Storage building, near the Day Air Ballpark, where the Dayton Dragons play. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The Sutton will be about 47,817 square feet and will have about 47 one-bedroom units and 24 “micro units.”

Micro apartments have become increasingly popular in urban areas across the country, sometimes as a way to expand the affordable housing supply.

Some groups say micro living allows renters to live in premier locations at lower prices.

The team redeveloping the Dayton Arcade planned to build micro-units in the second phase of its rehab project. But more recently developers decided to convert the space into new hotel rooms instead.

The Sutton also will have a fitness center and 1,800 square feet of outdoor patio amenity space. The apartments are expected to open in the fall of 2022.

A new apartment building called the Sutton is planned for the Water Street District. CONTRIBUTED
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A new apartment building called the Sutton is planned for the Water Street District. CONTRIBUTED

People want to live downtown, and a primary factor is its walkability, and the quality and diversity of the housing product also plays a role, said Gudorf, with the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

Living in the Water Street District and elsewhere downtown means people are a short walk to amenities like Dragons stadium, the river front, RiverScape MetroPark, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, including establishments in the Oregon District, Gudorf said.

Many people who live downtown also work downtown, she said, and they can walk to their office or job site.

Downtown housing, including rental units in Water Street, often attract young professionals and empty nesters.

Gudorf said the proposed micro units seem to be well liked in other urban centers and appeal especially to young professionals.

“They know their target market, and they are experienced developers and savvy developers,” she said.

Since 2016, Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development have opened about 514 new rental units in downtown, which often filled up fast.

“Our occupancy rates remain very high” even during COVID-19, said Gudorf, who noted the rates generally have hovered around 96% to 98%.

Developer Crawford Hoying plans to build new apartments, called the Sutton, on vacant land on the same block as the Delco Lofts and Lincoln Storage building on East First Street. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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Developer Crawford Hoying plans to build new apartments, called the Sutton, on vacant land on the same block as the Delco Lofts and Lincoln Storage building on East First Street. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development also are working on a six-story apartment building on the site of the now-demolished Wright State University Kettering Center on Monument Avenue, across from RiverScape MetroPark.

Called the Monument, the new apartment building will have about 124 units and ground floor retail space. Renters could start moving in next spring.

Crawford Hoying, in partnership with Woodard Development, most recently opened 112 new apartments on the eastern end of Day Air Ballpark, called the Centerfield Flats. Some of those units overlook the baseball diamond.

The Water Street developers plan to build a new apartment building called the Sutton on vacant land next to the Lincoln Storage building by the Day Air Ballpark, seen in the upper left part of this photo. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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The Water Street developers plan to build a new apartment building called the Sutton on vacant land next to the Lincoln Storage building by the Day Air Ballpark, seen in the upper left part of this photo. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Crawford Hoying also plans to build a new hotel, the AC Hotel by Marriott, just south of the baseball stadium, near the Mendelsons liquidation outlet.

The company also plans to redevelop the massive liquidation outlet property into a mix of uses.