Developer drops out of consideration for downtown property

A potential investor said he has decided not to buy a downtown Dayton property that once was considered for a student housing project and was the former site of the Dayton Daily News.

Downtown developer Elliot Katz said this week he and partner Scott Gibson ended their involvement after a pre-purchase review of the property at Fourth and Ludlow streets.

Katz said in December that he and Gibson were in the midst of a 90-day agreement with Student Suites LLC, the current owner of the property, that might have resulted in a purchase. They offered few details at the time about what they wanted to build there.

“We were doing our best,” Katz said this week when asked about the Student Suites site. “We were unable to come up with an agreement that would have worked out for both of us. It was just one of those situations that didn’t work out.”

Katz and Gibson are working to develop the Fire Block District downtown into an entertainment and residential district.

Aaron Sorrell, director of planning and community development for city of Dayton, said Thursday the city continues to communicate with Student Suites.

“The current developer (Student Suites) is still looking for a buyer, so that’s where we’re at,” Sorrell said.

The site is two acres. Most of it, including what remains of the former Dayton Daily News building, is owned by Student Suites, which builds campus housing.

A redevelopment project there for a planned $18 million, 350-bed student housing complex has been mired in financing and other problems for more than two years, including a delay with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over an outstanding lien. The lien applies to a part of the site owned by the city.

Sorrell said the city at one point reached out to the NRP Group in Cleveland about the property.

“Our plan is to circle back with them,” Sorrell said Thursday.

A message seeking comment was left with Independence, Mo.-based Student Suites.

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