Dayton selects partner to develop downtown office tower

The city of Dayton has selected Coon Restoration to help redevelop a vacant, 14-story office tower across from Courthouse Square that’s long and storied financial history in recent years was overshadowed by the troubles of its owner.

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Coon Restoration & Sealants Inc. plans to seek historic tax credits to transform 34 N. Main St. possibly into market-rate housing of a mix of sizes and commercial space on the lower levels around the atrium of the former bank building, a city planner said.

Part of the building could become a boutique hotel, which a variety of local developers say is sorely needed in Dayton.

“The Coon Restoration team will be a new entry into the Dayton market,” said Shelley Dickstein, city manager “They have performed at a high level in historic restoration throughout the state and will bring an impressive team to Dayton, including Sandvick Architects and &build.”

The city now owns the tower, which formerly was known as the Third National Bank Building, the Society bank building and, more recently, the Paru Tower.

But its last owner, who lost it after a court battle, was a self-described Hindu mystic who is serving a lengthy sentence in federal prison after being convicted of tax crimes and fraud.

Coon Restoration, based in Louisville, Ohio, was selected after a competitive review process.

The city strongly considered the company and Weyland Ventures, which is the firm that is rehabbing 210 Wayne Ave. into new lofts apartments called the Wheelhouse.

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The city issued a request for qualifications from developers to partner on the project. In its proposal, Coon Restoration said it could build two-story residential units as well as “micro-units” in the tower to accommodate its unusual floor configurations.

The upper floors of the 250,000-square-foot building are set up in a U-shape around an interior light well, and the city indicated it was interested in seeing the spaces developed into flats or two-story townhouses.

Coon Restoration has made a name for itself by successfully restoring some majestic but abandoned or underused historic buildings across the state, including the Onesto Hotel in Canton.

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The Onesto has been turned into 45 luxury apartments, retail and event spaces with a dazzling grand lobby featuring brass railings, terrazzo flooring and marble stairs, benches and walls

“We are excited and impressed with Coon, and they’ve demonstrated a strong performance across the state in historic restoration and pursuing tax credits,” said Jon White, city planner.

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