A former hotel property in downtown Dayton that was recently headed to auction could be remade into new apartments and a prohibition-themed entertainment destination offering boutique bowling, full-swing golf and game simulators and a steakhouse.
The new owners and developers of the former Dayton Grand Hotel, located at 11 S. Ludlow St. and once called the Algonquin Hotel, propose spending about $23 million to rehab the property into 103 new apartments.
They also propose converting the building’s lower-level spaces into an upscale dining and activity center called “Roar,” which would be modeled after a trendy new establishment by the same name with Roaring 20s aesthetics in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Developers said the project is dependent in part on receiving state historic preservation tax credits.
Demand for downtown housing continues to be very strong, but the urban core in recent years also has welcomed a variety of experience-focused venues and businesses offering entertainment like axe throwing, video game competitions, private painting parties and live performances.
“I think we’ll see more and more of these kinds of experiences,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “I think having a variety of entertainment options is very important, not only to our residents — people who live downtown — but also for companies who decide to make downtown as their business address.”
A company called HDAA LLC recently purchased the 12-story Dayton Grand Hotel property at the southwest corner of West Third and South Ludlow streets, across the street from City Hall. The hotel has been closed since at least late 2016.
Out-of-state asset management firm HDAA and development company Revive Living Developments LLC each have a 50% ownership stake in the new LLC, said Simon Burgess, a partner with Revive.
The former hotel property was slated to go up for sale at auction next month, but the partners closed on the purchase a few weeks ago and paid its delinquent taxes.
The new property owner shelled out $140,530 to pay off taxes through first half 2021 and will owe $43,175 for second half of the year, according to the Montgomery County Treasurer’s office.
The new ownership and development team plans to create new “higher-end” market-rate housing, including a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units, Burgess said.
Units will have bright and modern finishes and stainless steel appliances, he said, and the building also is expected to have a pool, business center and club.
The “Roar” entertainment center would occupy some of the hotel’s downstairs ballroom and event space and would feature duckpin bowling, a new steakhouse and multiple golf simulators that also have other games to play.
Roar in Winston-Salem has bowling, JL Caspers Prohibition Steakhouse and a food hall that is home to seven food concepts.
Roar’s Great Gatsby Golf Club has golf simulators and games like soccer, homerun derby, quarterback challenge, zombie dodgeball, carnival games, hockey, lacrosse and basketball.
Roar could occupy about 12,000 square feet of space, while a new restaurant could take about 4,000 square feet.
In recent years, downtown has added new recreational and entertainment amenities.
A bar called Two Social that opened last year at 123 E. Third St. in the Fire Blocks District offers axe-throwing, retro video games and other entertainment.
Connect E-Sports, which opened in late 2020 at 212 Wayne Ave. in the Wheelhouse, lets customers play video games in-person and online with friends and strangers.
Picture Perfect Paint Parties moved into a space at 123 N. Ludlow St. in 2018, and the PNC Arts Annex, a new performing arts venue, opened down the street, at 10 N. Ludlow St, the same year.
The Levitt Pavilion Dayton, a free music venue along South Main Street, also celebrated its grand opening in 2018, and the $4 million RiverScape River Run opened the prior year, offering paddling experiences and entertainment for spectators along the river bank.
The Dayton Grand Hotel developers are seeking $5 million in state historic preservation tax credits, and Burgess says the project is unlikely to move forward without an award.
If the project were to win the highly competitive tax credits in the current funding round, construction could begin this fall and might last through the first quarter of 2024, Burgess said.
The Dayton mayor’s office sent the state’s historic preservation tax credit program manager a letter of financial support about the proposed hotel redevelopment.
“The Algonquin Hotel Project will transform the buildings from a long vacant hotel to a vibrant residential building with a full range of amenities,” states the letter, signed by Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr.