250 jobs could come to Wright Dunbar

As many as 250 new jobs could be coming to Wright Dunbar because Ziks Family Pharmacy & Home Medical Equipment is expanding its home health care operations.

Ziks Home Healthcare LLC has signed a new lease for about 4,000 square feet of space on the ground floor of the Rubenstein building on the 1100 block of West Third St.

Ziks pharmacy and health and wellness center and medical equipment businesses already occupy about 4,600 square feet of first floor space in the building.

Ziks has about 100 employees, which includes aides, LPNs, administrative staff, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, customer service staff and drivers, according to Wright Dunbar Inc.

The company may be able to add as many as 250 new workers as it expands to add skilled home health care services, officials say.

“Our goal is the be able to better serve the greater Dayton community,” said Nnodum Iheme, Ziks president and owner.

RELATED: Ziks Pharmacy opens Wright Dunbar location

Ziks was founded by Nnodum and Nnenna Iheme in 2009.

Ziks Family Pharmacy at 1130 W. Third St. officially opened nearly a decade ago as Iheme’s second location. Ziks first location is on the 4100 block of Salem Avenue.

Ziks Home Healthcare LLC has signed a 10-year lease for vacant space in the eastern portion of the former Rubenstein Department Store building.

The space, once used for furniture sales, will be converted into offices.

In the past, the Rubenstein building — formerly called the Walters Block — housed a five-and-dime store, a restaurant and a men’s fashion store.

Wright Dunbar Inc., which owns the property, says it will cover most of the cost of the $400,000 restoration project, with work expected to start by the end of this month.

Wright Dunbar Inc., a nonprofit focused on the Wright Dunbar Business District, hopes to recoup improvement costs through Ziks lease payments.

Erica Hubler, Wright Dunbar Inc.’s real estate director, said Ziks provides important services to the community, including no-cost delivery of prescriptions and medical supplies.

Ziks “could have moved, but decided to stay here — that means something,” she said. “We’re glad to keep him for sure.”

Ziks jobs and expansion announcement is the latest bit of good news for Wright Dunbar.

For a brief moment, when a hair salon called Urban Chic opened, all of the available space in the district was full.

Since then, however, one business has moved out. But there has been interest in the property, Hubler said.

In another promising development, downtown Dayton’s leading homebuilder, Charles Simms Development, is looking at constructing new homes in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood.

Developer Charlie Simms said the company is still working with the city on a comprehensive plan for the neighborhood.

The company continues to refine its plans based on input and direction received from the neighborhood and community members, he said.

The district also is looking more colorful and inviting because banners have been installed along West Third Street.

A coffee, ice cream and pastry shop proposed for a vacant space at 1100 W. Third St. will not move forward. The potential tenant was unable to get funding.

“We are looking at other opportunities for the space,” Hubler said. “No real plans yet, but we are focusing on food.”

RELATED: New coffee/pastries shop proposed for Wright Dunbar

Also, James Nuñez, who owns Texas Beef & Cattle Co. at 1101 W. Third St., recently voiced concerns about the viability of the business after confirming his plans to open a new location downtown.

Nuñez told this newspaper he’s worried about the reconstruction of the Third Street Bridge, which will cut off direct access to Wright Dunbar from downtown.

Hubler, however, said the restaurant is a destination and she’s confident people will make the trip during the reconstruction work.

Getting to Wright Dunbar during the bridge replacement will only require a short detour to the Monument Street, Second Street, Fifth Street or Washington Street bridges, she said.

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