Greater downtown Dayton projects plan millions in new investments

Four projects in and around downtown Dayton are competing for nearly $23 million in incentives through Ohio’s historic preservation tax credits.

The developers have applied for $6 million in tax incentives to help create a new boutique hotel, renovate subsidized housing, construct a new mixed-use project on West Fifth Street and repurpose the Price Stores building into new uses.

The combined value of the projects could exceed $45 million.

But as always, the demand for the incentives statewide far outstrips the supply.

About 50 projects across the state have requested nearly $75 million in tax incentives, even though the state has less than $23 million to award in this funding round, according to state data.

Hallmark Meridan

Greater Dayton Premier Management, the local public housing authority, wants to rehab a pair of aging apartment buildings that have systems beyond their useful life.

GDPM has proposed rehabbing 75 affordable units of the Hallmark (constructed in 1948) and the Meridian (1951) buildings in the historic Grafton Hill neighborhood.

The former luxury housing apartments need substantial work, and GDPM plans to spend about $12 million on upgrades to the housing, said Kiya Patrick, GDPM’s vice president of strategic development.

Common areas will be restored, and apartment units will be “refreshed” to meet the needs of modern living standards, Patrick said.

Age restrictions on the housing have been removed, and the affordable housing is in a high-opportunity area, she said.

“The project further contributes to Grafton Hill’s community revitalization plan, leverages economic investment and contributes to the holistic improvement of housing for current and future residents,” Patrick said.

GDPM is seeking $1.7 million in state historic tax credits to improve the buildings, located at 714 Plymouth Ave. and 59 Central Ave.

Reed Steffan

The developer of the Reed-Steffan building at 18 W. Fifth St. has proposed spending millions of dollars to renovate the property, which is home to the Dayton Chess Club.

The developer recently said it wants to convert the 100-year-old building into residential uses on the two upper floors and commercial use on the ground floor. Possible tenants could include restaurants, specialty retail and light manufacturing.

The developer has requested $1 million in state historic tax credits.

This project will help preserve and enhance the character of downtown Dayton, which has an incredible stock of historic buildings, said Brent Foley, with developer Triad Architects.

The building is in good shape and has good infrastructure but there will be improvements to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as storefront and façade restoration, he said.

“We intend to be completed by 18 months from the start of work.,” he said. “The tax credit awards are major factor in the start date.”

Price Stores

Windsor Companies, the group developing the Fire Blocks, says it expects to spend more than $6 million rehabbing the Price Stores building.

Price Stores, the clothing business, has decided to relocate to the Centerville, and Windsor already has removed aluminum covering from the building at 52 S. Jefferson St., exposing the original historic exterior.

The five-story was once occupied by the Ohio Telephone Company.

The building will consist of new loft-style apartments on the upper floors and some type of commercial use on the first floor, said David Neal, chief operating officer with Windsor.

“We are always open to suggestions from the community when it comes to the first floor activation in terms of what the needs of the ecosystem are,” he said.

Renovating the aging building will be a heavy lift because of its significant needs, such as the deteriorating brick exterior that requires repair and replacement, Neal said.

The redevelopment project will take about 12 to 18 months, and should kick off either late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2021, he said.

Fire Blocks projects have received multiple state historic tax credit awards, which Windsor has used to create new housing and restore some vacant or underutilized commercial spaces.

The developer has requested about $659,127 in tax credits in the current funding round.

Barclay building

The developers of the Barclay Building once again are seeking nearly $2.5 million in incentives to renovate the 10-story structure.

The roughly $25 million project would rehab the building to create 130 new, upscale hotel rooms, as well as a contemporary and high-quality dining experience, said Stephen Schwartz, chairman of First Hospitality, which is co-developer on the project.

The proposed new hotel, called the Hotel Ardent, would be part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotels.

Every room would be unique, and the project is one of several that seek to bring new hotel rooms downtown. Downtown welcomed its first newly constructed hotel in decades a few years ago.

But the Barclay developers have unsuccessfully sought tax credits multiple times in earlier funding rounds.

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