222 new apartments could open near South Park, UD

More than 200 new apartments could be headed to the former Patterson-Kennedy school site near South Park and University of Dayton campus after Dayton’s planning board approved the owner’s revised plans.

The company, RE NVC Dayton II LLC, changed its designs for a pair of proposed five-story apartment buildings at 258 Wyoming St. after its earlier submissions were criticized as inappropriate for the area.

The developer changed the appearance of the buildings, the construction materials and other details of the project, which could have two phases, with the first costing about $35 million.

“Staff supports the proposed development,” said Tony Kroeger, Dayton’s planning manager. “It’s evolved greatly over time. … It’s come a long way. We’re happy with where it’s at now.”

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Some South Park residents and others say they are still unhappy with the revised designs, which they described as a big-box development that does not belong in a low-rise residential area.

The vacant site is in University Park, at the edge of the South Park historic district’s southwestern border.

“We have so many high-density developments and multi-story buildings that are in the works downtown, I don’t see why we should be forced to have one in the middle of our low-profile neighborhood,” said Susan McCoy, who lives on Park Drive in South Park.

RE NVC Dayton II plans to build about 222 apartments on an empty, 3.2-acre site just east of the Taco Bell at Brown and Wyoming streets.

The apartment project, called The Flight, will be split into two phases. The first will create 109 units; the second, 113 units.

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Robert Fiorita, the developer and property owner, plans to build a parking lot with 168 surface spaces in the first phase and then replace it with a parking garage with 360 spaces in the second.

The apartments, ranging in size from studios to four-bedroom units, will be fully furnished. There will be 292 beds in the first phase and 592 in total. The apartments are expected to primarily attract students.

The developer changed the look of the buildings and the exterior materials after they were criticized by Dayton Plan Board members and some residents.

Notably, the buildings now will have red brick instead of darker-colored materials. The phase-two building will have a window-filled entrance, which was praised by city staff and others.

“I am impressed by the direction of the changes that were made to the overall design,” said Matt Sauer, a Dayton plan board member.

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The property has been zoned campus institutional since 2006, and the residential density will be an asset for the area, said Kroeger, the city’s planning manager.

Large multi-family buildings are permitted in campus institutional areas, and the site is located across the street from South Park — not in it, Kroeger said.

City staff said the development will be taller than other buildings around it, but the location of the new facilities complies with the zoning code and is compatible with the surrounding area.

The Dayton Plan Board voted 4 to 1 in favor of approving the proposed general development plan.

Some South Park residents and local business owners said they believe the plan revisions did not alleviate their concerns about insufficient parking and how the new buildings will fit into the surrounding area.

“I would tell you that the current proposal in my opinion, and certainly the opinion of South Park residents, does not respect in any way the historic character of the neighborhood,” Jeff Peterson, a South Park resident at the Plan Board meeting.

McCoy, who lives nearby, said the neighborhood deserves something better than the proposed development.

She said she fears the large new apartment buildings will harm many South Park residents, especially those who live in the cottages along Wyoming Street.

“UD has taken great pains to rehab the ghetto area into a very cohesive neighborhood of small houses,” she said. “They did not choose to tear down the original houses and replace them with five-story, contemporary dormitories.”

Fiorita did not return a request for comment.

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