Originally, the developer wanted to build condos, but there wasn’t enough interest, and there is intense demand for new apartments, especially in and around downtown, said Bill Hibner, director of construction services for the owner and developer.
“We’ve had great success with the first building,” he said. “It’s newer-style apartment living.”
The Flats at South Park project has been credited with helping strength the links between downtown, Brown Street, Miami Valley Hospital and the University of Dayton campus.
A proposed next phase of the project, which could get underway next year, could bring dozens of new single-family homes to the nearby former Cliburn Manor housing project site.
In June, the Flats at South Park II LLC spent about $215,000 to purchase vacant land from Miami Valley Hospital on the 600 block of Warren Street, between Cline and Adams streets.
The company’s principal is Greg Thompson, the president and founder of Oberer Thompson Company and owner and president of Greater Dayton Construction Group.
Thompson developed the Flats at South Park, which is a 43-unit apartment building along the 400 and 500 block of Warren Street. The $7 million original Flats building, which opened in early 2018, is four stories and has about 10,500 square feet of ground floor retail and commercial space.
Thompson’s company recently submitted an application to the city of Dayton to modify a previously approved planned development for the 600 block of Warren Street.
The original plan called for constructing roughly 27 new condominiums. However, the developer now wants to build a three-story apartment building instead.
Some people inquired about the proposed condos, but the project couldn’t move forward without more commitments, Hibner said.
New downtown townhouses have been popular. But Hibner said they can be built individually or in phases to meet the demand and that was not possible with the condo project.
The developer would have had to build the entire condo structure, which carried considerable financial risk if the units didn’t all sell, given the upfront cost.
“And I think a lot of people tend to be renters right now, and they’re not interested in ownership responsibilities,” Hibner said.
The proposed apartment building is very similar to the first Flats building, as well as the original design of the condo building, according to the application requesting the plan modification.
The building will offer a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units. Units will have Juliet balconies and modern finishes.
Renderings show a rooftop patio and 1,370 square feet of amenity space.
There won’t be underground parking, as originally planned. And unlike the first building, the second development will not have first-floor commercial space.
The first Flats building is home to Biggby Coffee, Cassano’s pizza shop and the UPS store. But Hibner said about 40% of the commercial space has not been leased, which is somewhat disappointing.
However, he said he hopes and believes the commercial space will fill up as more residents move in.
Hibner said the mix of tenants at the Flats include graduate students, young professionals and people who work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He said the apartments are along the route of the Greater Dayton RTA Flyer shuttle, which is a free and quick way to get to UD’s campus or all over downtown.
Hibner said they hope to get started on the second phase of project in the next couple of months and it should be completed in about 10 months.
A planned third phase of the project would bring single-family townhomes and possibly single-story, flats-style condos to the former Cliburn Manor property.
There could be between 60 to 70 residential units in the third phase, and the hope is to get started next year, with construction occurring in phases, Hibner said.
Susan Vincent, city of Dayton planner, said the Flats at South Park has been a successful project that redeveloped a vacant site and improved housing choices in the South Park neighborhood.
She said the next project will add density and will help support the retail in the first building.
“Rebuilding the street wall, adding vibrancy and activity on our primary corridors benefits everyone,” Vincent said.