A local architectural designer and business owner has been given the go-ahead by a Dayton zoning board to build four brownstone-style homes with basement offices near the city’s southern border.
Bo Bauer, founder of handmade outdoor furniture company Bottega, proposes building four attached single-family homes at 1602 S. Main St. near Dayton’s border with Oakwood.
The two-story buildings will have housing on the first and second floors and office suites on a lower level.
“My daughters live in New York City and I fell in love with brownstone-style architecture,” Bauer said.
Bauer’s project proposal faced opposition from multiple neighbors two years ago, but more people recently spoke in favor of the project.
In 2016, the city of Dayton approved an amendment to the Rubicon Urban Renewal Plan that paved the way for Bauer’s proposal to build four mixed-use buildings. The amendment allows office use in the plan area if it does not exceed 20 percent of the interior square footage of a mixed-use project.
Bauer said the brownstones will be attractive with facades constructed using limestone salvaged from the retaining wall at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.
Bauer said he acquired about 1,500 tons of limestone when the wall was torn down as part of the reconstruction of Main Street.
Bauer used some of the limestone to build a small stone house near of the corner of South Main and Caldwell streets where he stays and works. Bauer’s business is based in Wilmington.
The office space will provide a transition from the University Parks’ residential area to the commercial corridor on Main heading north, Bauer said.
“I think this type of project has a great opportunity in that area, and I would like to see this be successful and perhaps be developed in other areas along Main Street,” said Jim Wall, a South Park resident.
At a Dayton Plan Board meeting two years ago, a handful of people and groups spoke in opposition to the project, including neighbors and representatives of the University of Dayton.
But some of the original plans have been scrapped and just one person spoke against it at the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting.
Michael Wietzel, who lives on Plumwood Road, said he objects to mixed-use buildings on the site, which abuts his property. He said it is a mistake to allow a business use in a solidly residential neighborhood.
He contends the project will hurt the value of his property and believes the amount of parking is inadequate and will cause traffic headaches.
“This is not the character of the neighborhood,” he said.
But the Dayton Board of Zoning Appeals approved Bauer’s conditional use request, though it requires he put green space instead of parking in one area to provide a buffer to the nearby residences.