Living in the Dayton Arcade: What you need to know

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speaks to a large crowd at a recent event where the state awarded the Dayton Arcade project $5 million in historic tax credits. TOM GILLIAM / STAFF
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speaks to a large crowd at a recent event where the state awarded the Dayton Arcade project $5 million in historic tax credits. TOM GILLIAM / STAFF

Many people over the years have dreamed of seeing the long vacant Dayton Arcade become new housing.

Now, it’s quite possible their dreams will come true — perhaps even in the next year.

After securing tens of millions of dollars worth of tax credits, a development group is working to piece together the financing needed for a major overhaul of the arcade complex. The price tag for the initial phase could be north of $80 million.

New apartments are a crucial part of the plan, potentially filling up large sections of the arcade’s interconnected buildings.

Will you be able to live in the arcade? Maybe. Here’s what you need to know about the housing if the developers’ vision actually becomes a reality.

RELATED: Dayton Arcade wins $5M in state tax credits

Where will the apartments go?

The Dayton Arcade has eight interconnected buildings that developers want to rehab in a couple of phases, with the first involving the renovation of four buildings.

The housing is called the Art Works Lofts, for reasons that will be explained in just a moment.

The first phase is expected to cost $56 million to more than $80 million, depending on what elements and costs are counted in the calculations.

The plan is to create 72 new apartments in the Fourth Street and Ludlow Building. The structures would house 56 one-bedroom units; 4 two-bedroom units; 5 three-bedroom apartments; and 7 four-bedroom apartments.

The Commercial Building and Lindsay Building also would hold 54 units, including 28 that offer one bedroom; 18 that have two bedrooms; and 8 with three bedrooms. The housing is on the upper floors of the structures.

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What will it cost to live in the Arcade?

One hundred of the arcade’s apartments will be affordable housing, and 26 will be market-rate.

There will be 17 market-rate apartments that have one bedroom that are expected to rent for at least $675 per month.

Six market-rate units — each with two bedrooms — are expected to cost at least $775 per month. Three market-rate apartments offering three bedrooms will likely cost at least $875 monthly.

As for the affordable apartments, tenants will have to meet income-eligibility requirements.

Affordable one-bedroom units (67 in total) will cost eligible tenants between $358 and $669 per month.

Two-bedroom units (16 available) will start at $429 monthly. .

Ten apartments will have three bedrooms, which will rent for $870 per month. The seven units with four bedrooms will lease for $981 per month.

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Who is eligible to live in the Art Works Lofts?

As the name suggests, the housing will be marketed and geared toward artists and creative types and professionals.

Arts Works Lofts is intended to be a place where artists and creative people live together and share spaces to work, interact, collaborate and put their talents on display.

The basements of the buildings will have artist spaces and workshop areas where artists will have access to studios, computers, training programs and maker spaces, said Pete Schwiegeraht, developer for the Midwest region with Miller-Valentine Group, which is one of the development partners on the project.

Innovators and creative thinkers will be encouraged to apply to live in the property.

Tenants of the affordable units must have incomes at or below either 30 or 60 percent of the area median gross income, according to documents from Miller Valentine Residential Development.

Miller Valentine Residential Property Management will oversee the housing and determine which applicants qualify to be tenants, and a resident association will be created to guide and encourage tenants, Schwiegeraht said.

What else should residents expect?

“A historic experience.” At least, that’s how developers describe it. They plan to re-purpose the famous rotunda to be an event and performance space. Developers also say big sections of the buildings will be restored to their historic condition, including stairs and corridors. Historic finishes in public spaces will be repaired or replaced. Historic interior fabric and character will be preserved in the Commercial Building, according to their plans. The housing is expected to have modern amenities and energy-efficient features and designs. Accessibility is also an important part of some designs.

RELATED: UD, Entrepreneurs Center could anchor Dayton Arcade

Anything else good to know?

People who like beer and coffee will be pleased to know the arcade is expected to have both. Potential tenants for the arcade’s first-floor commercial spaces include a second Warped Wing Brew location and a Boston Stoker Coffee shop. New restaurants are being courted by developers, and the owner of Carmen’s Deli and Bistro is considering opening a new deli and grocery business in the complex.

RELATED: Dayton Arcade could boost downtown restaurant scene

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