Developer Weyland Ventures plans to spend about $18 million converting the Dayton Motor Car building into new offices. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Downtown Dayton developer lands state funds for $18M project

The developer behind one of downtown’s hottest new dining and drinking destinations and some of its newest housing has been awarded funding for another project.

The Ohio Development Services Agency today announced it has allocated $1.8 million in state historic tax credits to support the renovation of the Dayton Motor Car building at 15 McDonough St.

Kentucky-based developer Weyland Ventures proposes spending more than $18.2 million to convert the six-story building, just east of the Oregon District, into modern offices for high-tech, creative design and other firms and users.

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Within five years of operation, the building could house about 260 full-time employees, according to Weyland Ventures’ application for state historic tax credits.

“Dayton is kind of our second city at this point,” said Mariah Gratz, the CEO of Weyland Ventures.

Weyland Ventures used about $1.9 million it was awarded in December 2014 to rehab the old Weustoff and Getz building at 210 Wayne Ave. into the Wheelhouse Lofts, which offers 40 apartments.

The building is also home to the popular restaurant and bar the Troll Pub at the Wheelhouse, which opened around St. Patrick’s Day.

Weyland Ventures has completed many projects in Louisville that have helped transform its downtown.

Weyland Ventures says the motor car building, like many others in Dayton, is outdated.

But the firm said it has experience repurposing similar concrete industrial buildings and likes its open floor plates and abundant natural light.

The building, which is about 80,000 square feet, offers in-demand features, like large windows and flexible space configurations, the developer said.

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Gosiger, a robotics and technology company headquartered at 108 McDonough St., plans to occupy space in the building. Bill Weyland, the principal of Weyland Ventures, and the owner of Gosiger have been friends for decades.

Weyland Ventures plans to rehab the exterior of the building and put in new HVAC and mechanical and electrical systems, which will remain exposed inside.

The building’s eastern facade will be cleaned, repaired and repainted. The historic windows will be repaired or replaced.

Weyland Ventures hopes to get construction underway by the end of the year, with a roughly 12-month construction schedule, Gratz said.

Converting the building into offices will help build on the momentum in downtown and the Webster Station area, which is a hotbed of new housing, restaurants and breweries, the firm said.

Weyland Ventures’ development of the Wheelhouse and the Dayton Motor Car building are part of its efforts to create a new district called Oregon East.

The new district seeks to offer a mix of housing, entertainment, dining and drinking establishments and other amenities.

RELATED: Developer acquires 158-year-old Oregon District church

Future projects are expected to fill in some of the space between the historic structures with new construction, likely of housing and other components that make it a place where people want to be, Gratz said.

Weyland Ventures also has acquired Saint Paul Lutheran Church, located at 239 Wayne Ave., and is looking for tenants.

“We think it could make a fantastic restaurant or entertainment venue,” Gratz said.

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