Developers today completed financing to close on their planned $90 million overhaul of the massive Dayton Arcade complex.
For city officials and area residents, the financial closing marked a milestone that followed nearly three decades of disappointment and failed plans to redevelop the Arcade, which closed in 1991.
Since then, many proposals for the Arcade generated public attention and excitement, but hope faded after years of big ideas that made little progress.
City officials announced the closing happened today, which they had previously called a critical deadline for financial incentives the project needed.
“The entire financing structure is one of the largest and most complex, using these types of redevelopment financing tools layered together, in the United States,” Cross Street Partners, the lead developer out of Maryland, said in a release.
The Arcade will be transformed, offering new housing, offices, restaurants and retail and spaces for public events and entrepreneurial and academic activities and collaborations.
Earlier this month, Dayton City Commissioners voted on a variety of legislation, property tax incentives and energy improvements to prepare for the financial closing of the first phase of the Arcade project.
Dayton officials called the complicated financing one of the largest and most complicated deals of its kind in city history, representing what they called a number of firsts for Dayton and the region. Included in the financing is $10 million of support from the city of Dayton, the city’s largest economic investment since the construction of the Schuster Center in the early 2000s.
The project also includes a variety of tax credits, including federal and state historic credits, low-income housing credits, clean energy financing and private money.
“I am excited to see all of the pieces of this deal come together,” said City Manager Shelley Dickstein. “When complete, the Arcade will not only spur development downtown but act as an innovation hub connecting city neighborhoods with needed programming and opportunity.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley — who nearly five years ago appointed a task force to determine options for the Arcade — also celebrated the milestone.
“For decades the Dayton Arcade served as the heart and soul of the city,” Whaley said. “I am excited to see how the revival of this space will impact the entire Dayton community. The Arcade project is a great example of how a public-private partnership can move our city forward.”
The Arcade Innovation Hub, a joint venture between the University of Dayton and The Entrepreneurs Center, represents the university’s largest investment in downtown in its history. The hub will bring hundreds of students and entrepreneurs to Dayton’s urban core, according to the city.
The first phase of the redevelopment also includes 110 units of affordable and market-rate housing that will be targeted to the area’s arts and creative community.
In the announcement of the financial closing, city officials said Dayton will recognize partners and the people who made the project possible at a private celebration next week.