Commercial building in Dayton had a monster 2017

Builders, contractors, developers and property owners applied for Dayton commercial building permits valued at a whopping $270 million last year, smashing the totals of previous years, according to city data obtained by this newspaper.

Massive building projects broke ground or moved onto new stages across the city, including at the Dayton International Airport, Dayton Children’s Hospital and around downtown and Webster Station.

Big projects ran up big construction bills, but also there were many small to mid-sized projects last year that breathed new life into rundown buildings and brought about new dining, drinking and recreational options, like a cat cafe, where people can get their caffeine and feline fix at the same time.

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The collective value of the commercial building permits requested last year from the city of Dayton was up $95 million, or 78 percent, from 2016, according to data from the city’s building department.

Last year, the city received 465 applications for commercial buildings, which was 56 more than the previous year.

The $216.7 million permit value was far higher than any recent year. In comparison, slightly more than $72 million in permits were sought in 2013, city data show.

DOWNTOWN: Last May, CareSource started construction on a $40 million, six-story office tower at East First and North St. Clair streets.

A giant construction crane at the site hung above downtown’s skyline for months. The new office tower, called CareSource Center City, is on target for completion in spring 2019.

RELATED: Big construction projects moving forward

Work also began on a new $13 million Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel in the Water Street District, across from Fifth Third Field.

The Water Street developers also started building 54 new apartments along the Mad River, to add to the 215 units already on the riverbanks, nearly all of which are occupied.

The Delco Lofts apartments, next to the ballpark, opened last year, and so did Lock 27 Brewing, located in the ground floor of the building. Lock 27, which offers interesting gastropub dishes and craft beer, was one of a variety of renovation projects that brought new food and beverage options to downtown.

BIG SPENDERS: In addition to CareSource, some of Dayton's other big-dog institutions had big-time projects last year.

Sinclair College opened its new Sifferlen Health Sciences Center, featuring dental and rehabilitation clinics.

Dayton Children’s last year decided to build out more of its new, eight-story patient tower than originally planned. The $168 million tower opened to the public last summer.

The first phase got underway for the University of Dayton’s three-year, $72 million renovation of its basketball arena.

Crews worked on a new $31 million facility next to the Spectrum Brands facility bear airport that will be occupied by a consumer goods company.

RELATED: $5M downtown Dayton music pavilion is a go

The Levitt Pavilion Dayton had its official groundbreaking last year at Dave Hall Plaza. The $5 million project will create a new, state-of-the-art music amphitheater downtown — at the southeastern corner of East Fourth and South Main streets — that will host 50 free concerts each year.

LIVE, WORK, PLAY: Construction got underway on the Flats at South Park, which is a four-story building on Warren Street near UD offering 43 apartments and first-floor commercial space.

The project was the first of what is expected to be multiple phases, which in part seeks to better link the Historic South Park neighborhood and University of Dayton to downtown. Future phases call for new condos and a mix of new housing, possibly including flats and townhomes.

Speaking of townhomes, Charles Simms Development last built new, upscale urban-style housing near Warped Wing Brewery, which have been selling out fast. Some homes are selling for more than $350,000.

RELATED: Numbers don’t lie: Downtown Dayton had a very big 2017

And many smaller building projects across the city upgraded or created new apartments and office and work spaces. The new owner of the office tower at 111 W. First St did renovations last year to accommodate Taylor Communication’s relocation of hundreds of employees.

Some companies invested in their properties or operations, like Malt Products Corp., at 4744 Wolf Creek Pike, which began building a $12 million drying facility to support the expansion of its natural sweetener business.

Neighborhoods welcomed new investment and amenities. The Gem City Catfe finished renovations late last year in the St Anne’s Hill Historic District and opened earlier this month, offering coffee, treats and feline fun.

However, experts caution that permit numbers are not always a completely accurate indicator of investment and activities.

The values of projects seeking permits are self-reported by applicants, and the actual investment may differ. Some projects that obtain permits do not move forward.

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