A new $13M project will boost this Dayton area still stinging from Good Samaritan closure

A senior housing project of more than $13 million is just some of the new investment in the works for a part of northwest Dayton still reeling from the closure of Good Samaritan Hospital.

Omega Community Development Corp. and MVAH Partners are teaming up to construct a new, four-story apartment building offering 81 units for people 55 and older.

The new building will go up on the former United Theological Seminary campus, which is owned by Omega Baptist Church. Omega Baptist also is on track to welcome a new, $9 million Hope Center for Families in the not-too-distant future.

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Dayton has a shortage of affordable housing for seniors, a fact illustrated by the waiting lists for some of the existing senior living developments, said Pete Schwiegeraht, MVAH Partners’ senior vice president of development for the Midwest region.

“A market study showed a strong need for senior housing in the market area,” he said. “The senior population is the fastest-growing population.”

The project is good news for an area whose residents felt frustrated and overlooked after Good Sam closed its doors.

But the even better news is there are millions of more dollars worth of projects planned for the old seminary campus, which officials say will be an economic catalyst in northwest Dayton.

West Chester-based MVAH Partners and Omega Community Development Corp. (CDC) have received more than $12.3 million in housing development tax credits to help build the new senior housing along Cornell Drive near the intersection of Catalpa Drive.

The site is on the old 32-acre United Theological Seminary campus in the Dayton View Triangle Neighborhood. The project is part of Omega CDC’s master plan to revitalize the campus.

“We want to make sure our seniors in the city have a good living option,” said William Allen, business manager of Omega Baptist Church. “This campus is serene and is an oasis in the middle of the city.”

The campus has four buildings remaining, after the library and Bonebrake administrative building were demolished in 2014. The plan is to demolish the vacant Roberts Hall and Fout Hall buildings.

The new building, called Omega Senior Lofts, will offer independent living options for older residents. The units, a mix of one and two bedrooms, will have income restrictions: 80 percent of adjusted median income for Montgomery County.

Omega Senior Lofts will have 18,254 square feet per floor. Amenities include a community room with kitchenette, a computer area, fitness center, gazebo and outdoor areas.

The project applied for state funding in February 2018. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency awarded the project tax credits in June.

Construction on the housing is expected to begin later this year or possibly in early 2019. The units should be completed in spring 2020, officials said.

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Omega Senior Lofts is just part of the multi-phase master plan for the United Theological Seminary site, which Omega Baptist Church purchased in 2005.

Omega CDC is less than $1 million away from its $4 million fundraising goal to build the Hope Center for Families.

The roughly $9 million center will offer high-quality early learning program for infants up to 5-year-old children, said Vanessa Ward, president of Omega CDC.

Mini University will run the program. Mini U has centers at Miami University, Miami Valley Hospital, Montgomery County, Sinclair Community College and Wright State University.

Sinclair also will offer a “service learning hub” that provides training opportunities and certificate programming for students, said Ward, who is also the co-pastor of Omega Baptist Church.

The 31,400-square-foot center will have a ready-to-work program that’s in partnership with Montgomery County Job and Family Services. Dayton Children’s is planning to put a pediatric clinic in the center, along with some mental health support services, Ward said.

The plan is to start construction on the Hope Center in 2019. The project is expected to take about 12 months to complete, with an opening targeted for sometime by early 2020.

“It will be an important anchor for this community, especially in light of losing the presence of the hospital,” Ward said.

Future plans for the campus include constructing a new amphitheater near the center of the campus, south of the existing chapel, Ward said. The plan preserves large amounts of green space, maintaining a park-like atmosphere, she said. The athletic fields will receive some upgrades.

United Theological Seminary moved to a new campus in Trotwood in 2005. Omega’s original master plan called for about four phases of development.

Instead of moving to a suburban community, Omega made a commitment to stay in the city and invest in Dayton, Ward said.

Facts and figures

Dayton groups are working together to redevelop the former United Theological Seminary campus in northwest Dayton.

$13 million: To build four-story apartment building for people 55 and older.

$12.3 million: In tax credits to help build the new senior housing along Cornell Drive.
$9 million: To build the Hope Center for Families for education, workforce development and health and wellness improvement.

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