New homes and outdoor marketplace planned for West Dayton

Plans for 28 new rental homes and a new outdoor marketplace have been introduced for the Wolf Creek neighborhood in West Dayton, and some officials say the projects show interest is growing in developing the area.

“The area is definitely changing and we most definitely want to be a part of those changes,” said Cory Pruitt, senior pastor with Mt. Enon Missionary Baptist Church, who is leading the marketplace project.

Mt. Enon Community Development Inc. proposes to use parking lots along North Conover Street as a new public market that could offer fresh food items and a vendor’s fair, according to documents submitted to Dayton’s planning department.

The proposed “providence marketplace plaza” would be an asset to the community with a farmer’s market-like environment, according to Earl Reeder, an architect who has applied for a variance to allow Mt. Enon to use the property.

“(Pastor Pruitt) realizes there is a huge food shortage on the west end of Dayton,” Reeder said. “He wants to bring a source of food to the neighborhood.”

This project would expand access to produce and other healthy foods while also providing a place where the community can come together, said Rev. Pruitt.

In addition to food, vendors also might sell clothing, art and homemade goods, and the space also could host support services, health fairs and clinics and other community activities, like weddings and, possibly, concerts one day.

“Our main objective is be a resource and do some unique things with the property,” Pruitt said. He said the church already rents out its facility for weddings and similar events.

Mt. Enon Community Development Inc. is associated with Mt. Enon Missionary Baptist Church, which has about 500 members and is located at 1501 W. Third St.

The nonprofit acquired the parking lot properties last year from the Greater Dayton RTA, which used them for bus driver training and storage.

The RTA said the late Idotha “Bootsie” Neal, a longtime advocate for Wright Dunbar, was instrumental in making sure the property would be available to support community redevelopment efforts in the area.

The agency said it transferred the property to Mt. Enon Community Development Inc. at no cost.

The proposed market site is one block down from vacant parcels that County Corp wants to turn into new rental housing.

The private nonprofit development arm of Montgomery County proposes investing about $10 million to construct 28 new single-family homes on empty lots, including eight new residential properties on the 200 block of North Broadway Street.

Tuesday, the Dayton Plan Board will consider County Corp’s request to consolidate a variety of city lots in support of the Wolf Creek Homes project.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

County Corp worked closely with Mt. Enon church and its community development group to develop this housing project, said Adam Blake, vice president of housing with County Corp.

The new affordable homes will be available to households at 60% and below the area median income and the long-term rentals will be managed by Oberer Management Services, Blake said.

”We feel strongly that this investment will help to make Wolf Creek desirable for market-rate investment,” he said. “We are humbled by the development team’s success in attracting this very substantial investment to the neighborhood.”

Blake said they hope to have the project completed by summer 2022.

County Corp has turned its focus to Wolf Creek after the organization helped stabilize Wright Dunbar over the past decade by building and renovating homes in the neighborhood, Blake said.

Residential property values in the nearby Wright Dunbar village neighborhood have risen and homes generally sell quickly when they hit the market.

Wright Dunbar also is on track to welcome a new food hall, W. Social Tap & Table, later this year, and developers have proposed other mixed-use projects, including a transformation of the old west side Chevy property.

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