The city of Dayton has agreed to give a $175,000 grant to help renovate a vacant building on the city’s west side into a new coffee shop and housing.
The project is one of several planned for a less than 0.2-mile stretch of West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar historic business district.
The projects are expected to pump millions of dollars in new investment into the district and will bring new amenities and market-rate housing that residents and business owners have long desired.
“I think what’s going on in Wright Dunbar is a transformation,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.
Nevada-based Urbannovation Development Group LLC proposes spending about $1.08 million to redevelop the Allaman building at 1000 W. Third St. in the Wright Dunbar district, according to city documents.
Last week, the Dayton City Commission approved a West Dayton Development Trust Fund Agreement with the company to help pay for a variety of upgrades to the three-story building.
Urbannovation is expected to use the money for interior and exterior building improvements and new machinery, equipment, lighting, signage, HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.
The company wants to redevelop the building into storefront retail space and possibly market-rate condos on the upper levels.
President and CEO Bill Miller Jr. said the goal is to open in the first quarter of 2021.
Grind House has a shop inside the Meijer in Huber Heights that celebrates its two-year anniversary in July, and the company also sells its products online.
Miller grew up in West Dayton and always wanted to open a coffee shop in the area.
West Dayton has a “coffee drought,” and residents shouldn’t have to drive long distances to get a good, quality cup of Joe, he said.
“I love Wright Dunbar,” he said. “I love the architecture of the buildings. It shows Dayton’s history. We have a lot to be proud of as a community.”
The owner and developer also has expressed interest in constructing a duplicate building on adjacent vacant land, according to Wright Dunbar Inc.
Last month, the city approved a $250,000 grant to help renovate a vacant conference center at 1100 W. Third St. into a “food hall” with leasable spaces for entrepreneurs, possibly including a coffee bar.
The project will “leverage” about $1.1 million in new private investment, the city said.
A group of local investors also plan to spend millions of dollars revitalizing the large, vacant West Side Chevy building at 800 W. Third St. into ground floor retail and market-rate apartments upstairs.
The developers plan to add additional floors to the two-story building.
Other projects get grants
Dayton City Commissioners also recently approved a $60,000 grant to Sunlight Village at 3320 W. Third St. to help the nonprofit expand its mental health and wellness center.
Years ago, the city of Dayton invested something like $30 million in the Wright Dunbar area to help improve the housing stock, with the goal of stabilizing the area and attracting new investment, said City Manager Dickstein.
Between 2001 and 2013, the Wright Dunbar neighborhood received more than $145 million in investment, according to city estimates.
This includes spending through the Citirama program, which built new homes in the historic Wright Dunbar Village that were meant to resemble Victorian-era houses built around 1900. Some homes in the neighborhood were rehabbed.
The resurgence of downtown Dayton has helped lure new interest in inner-ring neighborhoods like Wright Dunbar and St. Anne’s Hill, Dickstein said.
“You are starting to see some development momentum build,” she said.
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