Dayton gives $500k for parking lot: Here’s why

The city of Dayton is kicking in $500,000 for the construction of a surface parking lot in hopes that it will help spur more downtown development, city officials said.

»MORE: Dayton Arcade seeks $5M in tax incentives

The lot, planned for Webster Station, is intended to facilitate the redevelopment of the 600 block of East Third Street, city officials said. The area is already the site of one major project: The renovation of the former Dayton Power & Light steam plant.

Two other vacant commercial buildings on the block — one owned by the city, one owned by Third Street Ventures — are being targeted for reuse.

Though details are scarce on what might be coming, Webster Station has been a hotbed of commercial and residential activity, with new townhomes, brew houses, restaurants and more than $100 million in investments in the Water Street District.

“The area is primed for redevelopment, and we’ve worked with the steam plant and we have a relationship with Third Street Ventures and are exploring the best redevelopment plan for the market at the present time,” said Jason Woodard, principal with Woodard Development, one of the groups behind the Water Street District.

»RELATED: Parking lot purchase near 2nd Street Market sets stage for redevelopment

Earlier this month, the city of Dayton approved selling property it owned near Webster and East Third streets to the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority so the agency could construct a lot with about 109 spaces.

The land is north of the 600 block of East Third Street, between Webster and Sears streets in the Webster Station neighborhood, located just east of downtown.

The city of Dayton also entered a development agreement with the port authority that provides a $500,000 development grant to help pay for the parking lot project.

City officials said the surface parking lot will benefit the buildings at 601, 607 and 617 East Third St.

So what’s happening at those addresses?

The former Dayton Power & Light steam plant at 617 E. Third St. is being converted into offices, an event space and other amenities by John Riazzi, principal with Riazzi Asset Management in Oakwood.

The $3.7 million project is nearly finished, and the property will host its first public event next month: the Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s Ale-O-Ween on Oct. 21.

Woodard Development was construction manager for the project.

»RELATED: Downtown Dayton’s old DP&L steam plant to open for first public event

The vacant building next door, at 607 E. Third St., is the Lotz Paper Company building.

The five-story structure is owned by Third Street Ventures, a limited liability whose owner resides in the area.

The Lotz building and the adjacent, six-story McIntire building at 601 E. Third St., have been at the center of previous redevelopment plans that failed to work out.

But there’s new hope they can be revived. The city acquired the McIntire in 2012 for about $450,000.

Ford Weber, Dayton’s director of economic development, said constructing parking behind the structures will help facilitate their redevelopment.

»RELATED: $3.7M development of old DP&L steam plant moves forward

City officials and development leaders are staying mum on what uses the future could hold for the two buildings.

A representative from Third Street Ventures declined to comment for this story, but Woodard told this news organization that he has a relationship with the company.

A “for lease or sale” sign hanging on the back of the McIntire suggests it can be converted into offices, apartments, condos and a restaurant.

Woodard said the Webster Station area is sizzling and continues to have a lot of promise.

The area’s transformation has been led by the success of the Water Street District, which opened 215 apartments along the riverfront and has 54 more under construction.

A new hotel is under construction next to Water Street’s fully-occupied office building, and the Delco Lofts, featuring 133 apartments next to Fifth Third Field, opened earlier this year.

The Water Street developers just purchased a tool and supply building across the street from Dragon’s field to the east that they want to demolish to build about 100 apartments.

Woodard Development also renovated and moved into a new home at 444 E. Second St.

»RELATED: Water Street developers want to build 100 new apartments

The McIntire and Lotz buildings are several blocks — or less — from these projects and other investments.

To the immediate north — on the other side of the new parking lot — is Charles Simms Development’s Brownstones at 2nd, which are 24 townhomes. The 2nd Street Market is a stone’s throw away, and Tech Town is just right up the street.

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