The Landing townhouses and the 13-story apartment building along Monument Avenue in downtown Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A developer transforming parts of Dayton has bought apartments in the heart of downtown

A leading downtown Dayton developer has purchased a 26-year-old housing complex in a section of the Central Business District that could be in store for some new investments.

Crawford-Hoying, one of the Water Street District developers, recently closed on the 166-unit Landing Apartments, which were developed and owned by McCormack Baron and Associates of St. Louis (today McCormack Baron Salazar).

Woodard Development, the other Water Street developer, now is a minority owner of the apartments, which are located at 115 W. Monument Ave. in the northwestern section of downtown.

The nearby Water Street District in the northeastern part of downtown is 100 percent occupied, and the Landing acquisition was a natural fit considering the district’s success, said Brent Crawford, principal of Dublin-based Crawford-Hoying.

Crawford said the developer will spend months evaluating the condition of the apartments and properties to determine what types improvements and changes to make. He said his firm has options on other properties in the area and would like to bring dining, offices, retail and other amenities to the area.

“We feels there’s a lot more opportunity in the area,” Crawford said. “We’re not done yet.”

Crawford-Hoying’s purchase of the Landing is good news for downtown and reflective of where things are headed, said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

“Crawford-Hoying’s investment in our downtown has just been significant,” she said.

MORE: What’s next for the developers of downtown’s Water Street District in Dayton

The $25 million Landing project occurred in phases, with the first apartments opening in the early 1990s. The Landing turned the former Central YMCA tower into 72 apartments and created townhouse and garden apartments between Monument Avenue and the Great Miami River.

Part of the 13-story tower was renovated into athletic facilities, offices and a daycare that the developer, McCormack Baron, first leased back and then sold to the YMCA.

The Landing was the first market-rate apartments and the first front porches built in the Central Business District probably since before the Great Depression, said John Gower, urban design director of CityWide.

“The Landing was really important to demonstrate that there was a market on such a scale,” Gower said.

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Crawford said his company will work to identify potential improvements to operations, maintenance and physical conditions of the properties. For instance, considering the age of the properties, it might make sense to redo the kitchens and bathrooms, he said.

There’s a possibility that some of the housing could be converted into condos for purchase in the future, but no decisions have been made, he said.

“There are not immediate plans for anything other than to improve the day-to-day operations of the property,” Crawford said.

Crawford said his group has options on properties in that section of the city that could lead to the construction of new housing. He said the hope would be to continue building the energy in the area by giving residents new amenities like entertainment and places to eat and drink. The Landing is less than half a mile west of the Water Street District, which already has hundreds of apartments and more are on the way.

In time, the Landing could become part of the Water Street District if redevelopment along the riverfront keeps spreading.

Ford Weber, economic development director for the city of Dayton, said Crawford-Hoying has been a good partner for the city. Developers notice when colleagues and competitors achieve success in Dayton, he added.

“We’re glad to see that,” Weber said of the Landing investment. “They’ve been a good partner, and we’re glad to see their continued investment in the Dayton community.”

Crawford-Hoying’s recent work in Dayton has included the mixed-used Water Street District, which unites residential, office and commercial activity around Fifth Third Field.

Other Crawford-Hoying projects include: A former Delco factory has been transformed into the Delco Lofts, a 133-unit luxury loft apartment building – a building where Lock 27 Brewing has found a home — and the new 98-room Fairfield Inn & Suites, which gives downtown Dayton its first hotel in decades.

“When you have a developer that had continued successful projects, it improves our marketability to other developers because they can see that this organization has had a good track record,” Ford said.

In the 1990s, Landing residents were considered by many to be urban pioneers because they moved into the center city while it was still hollowing out, suffering losses like the closure of the Dayton Arcade.

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