Pizzeria and arcade may open in heart of Tipp City

Developers are seeking incentives to renovate vacant building; city officials express support

TIPP CITY — Developers with significant success in Dayton are working with Tipp City government and owners of the Benkin Building on potential creation of a pizzeria and arcade-style entertainment venue downtown.

Brad Doudican, COO of Woodard Development, and Charlie Carroll of Hospitalite Group and Table 33, spoke before Tipp City Council on Monday about their hopes to redevelop the building at 14 E. Main St., across from the public library.

Woodard Development’s projects in Dayton have included Water Street and the Delco Lofts near the Dayton Dragons stadium, among others.

Woodard Development specializes in taking old buildings and revitalizing them, Doudican said. The company has talked to the Staub family — the Benkin Building owners — about their thoughts on the building and “the opportunity that we see in this community, your downtown buildings and the area around it,” he said.

The Hospitalite Group’s concept for the building is “Nate’s – a Neighborhood Pizzeria,” Carroll said. The project would include wood-fired and pan style pizzas along with subs and salads and full-service locally inspired bar and beer options. The second floor is being considered for arcade-style entertainment, including duckpin bowling, and private rooms for people to gather after sporting and other events.

Carroll said he grew up in Vandalia and is familiar with Tipp City and its nearby neighbors in West Milton.

“We think that … north of town is desperate for an environment, a destination where people can come and the kids can bowl and the parents can bowl,” he said. “Video games will be there along with private party rooms for people to gather … Creating an environment where people can come together and celebrate life.”

The proposed new owners said they are finalizing the economics for the project. City Council will be asked to consider financial assistance as early as their Feb. 22 meeting.

Those requests include:

- For City Council to approve 10-year, 50-percent property tax abatement associated with the increase in property value via renovation.

- For the city to extend a four-inch fire line from the water main on East Main Street down an alleyway and into the building to help provide the interior fire suppression/sprinkler system. The approximate cost would be $6,500.

- For the city to waive the tap fee for fire line installation. The fee would be $6,870.

- City approval of a non-exclusive revocable license to construct, maintain and occupy an outside dining area and all related activities on the premises.

The acquisition of the building is imminent, Doudican said.

Business leaders said they are excited about a new business coming downtown.

“Tipp City is ready to welcome a new restaurant to the downtown landscape,” said Liz Sonnanstine, executive director, Tipp City Chamber of Commerce. “This business will add a fresh flair to downtown along with a welcoming family friendly atmosphere. The investment speaks volumes to the thriving business environment in Tipp City and the partnerships that continue to build this strong community.”

Mayor Mike McFarland said he liked what he saw and heard.

“I am always for reusing buildings that are sitting empty. It just enhances everything that is down there. With what I have heard … would have no problem moving forward (with legislation proposed for the project),” he said.

Two council members recused themselves from the presentation. Kathryn Huffman and Ryan Liddy, both attorneys, said they had potential business conflicts with the project.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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