An innovation hub is the planned anchor tenant for the Dayton Arcade, and its neighbors could include a well-known brewery, visual arts organization, coffee shop and a new restaurant, according to documents obtained by this newspaper.
If the redevelopment project moves forward, the Dayton Arcade could house a second Warped Wing brew house and Boston Stoker Coffee Co. on the ground floor of the Ludlow building.
The Dayton Visual Arts Center also has said it is interested in moving into the arcade, in the eastern storefront bay on the ground floor of the Fourth Street building, according to the records.
Warped Wing, which signed a non-binding letter of intent to occupy space in the arcade, is seriously considering creating a second location at the complex, said Joe Waizmann, president of the brewing company.
But plans to redevelop the arcade are a long way from the finish line, and Warped Wing’s involvement in the project remains uncertain, Waizmann said.
“We’re enthused and willing to explore the possibility of being part of the Arcade project,” he said. “If the project moves forward, we’ll discuss in greater depth what that might look like.”
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Also, a restaurant called Feelohs is planned for the ground floor of the arcade’s commercial building and the west portion of the Fourth Street building’s ground level.
Additionally, a collection of pop-up restaurants are planned for the remaining commercial spaces in the Fourth Street and Lindsey buildings.
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The arcade presents an enticing opportunity for Warped Wing to expand, but right now, the company is just interested in being involved with the project, said Waizmann.
Warped Wing, which has a popular downtown tasting room and production facility in a renovated warehouse at 26 Wyandot St., makes beers including Ermal’s, Flyin’ Rye and 10 Ton.
If the Arcade project sails ahead, Warped Wing would explore creating a satellite location to possibly brew smaller batches, Waizmann said.
Ohio liquor laws prevent Warped Wing from having a second location that is a taproom or bar — that only serves alcohol — so the company would have to brew beer at the new site, Waizmann said.
The Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) also signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore to filling space in the arcade.
“We are exploring potential expansion opportunities, including partnerships with other organizations who have expressed interest in innovative forms of creative spaces,” said Eva Buttacavoli, DVAC’s executive director.
DVAC has been part of the downtown arts district for 25 years and strongly supports the vision for the Arcade development, Buttacavoli said.
Boston Stoker, a coffee chain whose roasting facility and headquarters are in Vandalia, also wants to be part of the project and envisions a full-fledged coffee house, with on-site roasting and tasting areas in the arcade, said Henry Dean, president of the company.
“It’s definitely very unique … there’s nothing like it in Dayton,” he said.
Boston Stoker has seven locations, which includes a shop at 34 W. 2nd St., not far from the arcade.
But Boston Stoker’s shop in the arcade would have a unique feel and provide a different experience for customers, Dean said.
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The first phases of the arcade development project call for rehabbing the Fourth Street, commercial and Lindsey buildings and repurposing the famed rotunda into an event space that is ringed by co-working spaces as part of the innovation hub, according to developers’ plan.
Developers plan 72 affordable housing units on the upper levels of the Ludlow and Fourth Street buildings. The commercial and Lindsey buildings will have 54 affordable housing units. Commercial tenants are expected to fill the storefront and ground-level spaces.
The plans also call for studio spaces for artists in the basement and a gallery on the ground level.
UD’s and the Entrepreneurs Center’s planned innovation hub could occupy more than 80,000 square feet of space in and around the arcade’s rotunda.
Though the arcade project has gained considerable momentum in the last two weeks, city officials and developers caution that a variety of financing challenges remain if the project is to move ahead and succeed.
But the city of Dayton showed faith in the project last week when it agreed to contribute as much as $1 million to help pay for architectural designs and engineering work. City officials said they hope the funding will keep the project on track for developers to close on the property by early summer.
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