Club proposed for Dayton’s Belmont gets green light

The Belmont neighborhood soon will get a new place to party after Dayton’s zoning board OK’d a variance request.

The owners of an old grocery store at 638 Watervliet Ave. this week were granted a variance to use the 4,820-square-foot commercial building as an event center called the Belmont Club.

The club, which has a modern industrial feel with concrete floors and metal artwork, expects to host weddings, concerts, holiday and graduation parties and special events like fundraisers.

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Owners Kym and Dave Mehaffie have already made a mark on the Belmont business district with their business next door, the Belmont Gym. They also hope a former bank space they own can be converted into a destination like a new restaurant or drinking establishment.

“We’re really excited about what we believe this can do,” Dave Mehaffie said.

Event centers are prohibited in mature neighborhood commercial zoning districts like the Belmont business district.

But the Dayton Board of Zoning Appeals this week approved allowing 638 Watervliet Ave. to be used as a “place of assembly.”

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City of Dayton staff recommended approval of the Belmont Club’s variance request if the owners agreed to repair the rear parking lot and the fence surrounding it.

The club has a a current occupancy allowance of 99 people. The club plans to hold community and business events and private and invite-only events like gym seminars, group work outs, open gym, wedding and anniversary receptions and other parties, city staff said.

Dave Mehaffie said he and his wife did nearly all of the renovation work themselves. He said they look forward to bringing money into the city of Dayton.

He said some people want to host events at space in Dayton — not in Oakwood or at suburban country clubs.

The Belmont business district is evolving because of recent and new investments. The Belmont Gym, which celebrates its third anniversary early next year, has a growing membership.

Press, a popular Oregon District coffee bar, is working to open its second location at 732 Watervliet Ave.

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