City now owns, plans to redevelop most of former Dayton Daily site

The city of Dayton now owns the former Dayton Daily News site, except for the historic 1908 portion, which listed online for sale for $950,000. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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The city of Dayton now owns the former Dayton Daily News site, except for the historic 1908 portion, which listed online for sale for $950,000. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The city of Dayton now officially owns most of the former Dayton Daily News site along West Fourth Street. The deed to the property was transferred this week.

Dayton officials hope the acquisition marks a new beginning for a property that was supposed to lead the revival of a section of downtown.

Last year, the city authorized buying 1.5 acres of the former Dayton Daily News site, and the city took ownership of the property this week. The land is vacant.

A second lot, at the corner of Fourth and Ludlow streets, houses the still-standing 1908-built former Dayton Daily News building, and is not part of the land the city purchased. That building is owned by local businessman Steve Rauch and is listed for sale at $950,000.

The entire site was supposed to have been redeveloped with the construction of about 200 new apartments, but the project unraveled after the city could not lift a deed restriction and developers could not obtain financing.

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An eyesore after demolition work began, the site has been cleaned up and may finally be on the path to redevelopment, possibly becoming housing after all.

The city says within weeks it will issue a request for qualifications to try to find a firm with a vision for the property that doesn’t conflict with the $75 million rehab plans for the Dayton Arcade, which is located across the street.

The city wants “this redeveloped in a comprehensive fashion,” said Aaron Sorrell, Dayton’s director of planning and community development.

Earlier this week, city staff signed all the paperwork approving the transfer of the deeds of the former newspaper parcels from Steve R Rauch to the city. The property transfer was official on Wednesday.

In 2013 a Missouri firm, Student Suites, purchased the entire newspaper site from Cox Media Group with plans to build housing geared toward community college students. But the project stalled and Student Suites eventually deeded the property over to Steve R Rauch as part of a settlement over unpaid demolition fees.

Last year, the city agreed to buy the property it acquired this week for $450,000, and the deal has finally gone through.

Housing is in high demand and is at the top of list of needs for that area, but a redevelopment proposal hopefully will address how to incorporate the 1908 building and maybe even the vacant Dayton Grand Hotel, which is located just north on Ludlow Street, Sorrell said.

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