Arcade project may get final OK this week

The announcement people having been waiting years to hear may be days away: The Dayton Arcade is going to reopen.

The project has been inching toward the finish line — or starting line, depending on how you view it — for many months.

But financing on the project is expected to close by the end of the week.

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Once and if that happens, construction should begin. There won’t be anymore questions about whether the project is happening.

The main question will be when will the arcade reopen and what will it have to offer.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said getting to the closing is a big deal.

“I will pinch myself on Wednesday to see if it is really happening,” she said.

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This is the most complicated project in the city’s history, and the investment in the arcade is the largest the city has made in roughly two decades, city officials said.

The city recently did its part to prepare for the closing by approving about 15 ordinances and resolutions, officials said.

“These are necessary elements for our successful financial closing that will occur before the end of this month,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein. “We are super excited about being able to get to the finish line.”

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The funding for a roughly $95 million rehab of seven of the complex’s nine buildings is expected to close near the end of this week, city officials said. The closing has to happen now or the project risks losing a sizable amount of tax credits.

The funding sources for the planned rehab are diverse and complex and includes many millions of dollars in tax credits.

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Also, the city is contributing a $10 million loan and has approved some agreements and deals that will provide tax benefits and financing for the overhaul of the complex.

Dayton city commissioners have approved about 15 pieces of legislation and resolutions related to the arcade.

The city approved a $11 million loan agreement (including $1 million from Montgomery County), a community reinvestment area tax abatement agreement, a community benefits agreement, a bond ordinance, energy improvement district resolution and new community authority petition.

The arcade project also took a big step forward earlier this month when the the University of Dayton and the Entrepreneurs Center announced they were forming a joint partnership to be an anchor tenant in the complex. The Arcade Innovation Hub signed a 10-year lease to occupy about 95,000 square feet of space.

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