Port Authority OKs sales tax exemption for new Dayton apartments

Developer Weyland Ventures plans to build 153 new apartments on the former Garden Station site at Wayne Avenue and East Fourth Street. The vacant property is across the street from the firm’s Wheelhouse Lofts apartments. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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Developer Weyland Ventures plans to build 153 new apartments on the former Garden Station site at Wayne Avenue and East Fourth Street. The vacant property is across the street from the firm’s Wheelhouse Lofts apartments. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Port Authority exec invested in that opportunity zone before becoming executive director

The Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority is playing a role in the financing of 155 new apartments in downtown Dayton.

Port Authority trustees this week approved an agreement that would give a exemption from sales taxes on the construction of a new apartment complex. The exemption will go to what is called the 503 development, a complex of apartments at the corner of East Fourth Street and Wayne Avenue on land that has been vacant since Garden Station was evicted in 2016 by the city of Dayton.

The project has been spearheaded by Louisville, Ky.-based Weyland Ventures, the developer behind the Wheelhouse Lofts.

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“I personally think this is a great fit for this location,” said Jerry Brunswick, a consultant and former executive director for the Port Authority, who spoke to trustees on the issue. “This is market rate housing.”

Trustees voted unanimously in favor of a capital lease agreement that makes the sales tax exemption possible on construction materials.

The complex will offer a mix of efficiencies with 1- and 2-bedroom units, with 188 parking spaces on the lower level of the building and 32 surface parking spaces, Brunswick said.

“This is a win-win, to say the least,” he added.

Brad Evers, counsel for the Port Authority, informed trustees that Joe Geraghty, executive director of the Port Authority, has been an investor in the opportunity zone where the new apartments will be built.

“He’s pulling himself back from the discussion,” Evers said.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created a federal tax incentive, the zones, meant to encourage investment in undercapitalized communities. The program provides tax benefits for investing unrealized capital gains in the zones.

Geraghty got involved in this zone as a minority investor about two years ago, he told trustees. Before he assumed his current position with the Port Authority, Geraghty was a member of JMG Advisory Services LLC, a wealth management firm. He became executive director of the Port Authority in August 2020.

“Jerry has been handling all of the interface with the Weyland Group on this matter,” Geraghty said.

Brunswick added that the project involves nothing that the Port Authority has not already done in other capital lease projects across the region.

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