The new developers of the Fire Blocks District have doubled the number of downtown properties they own and are weeks away from showcasing the kinds of commercial spaces they plan to bring to Dayton.
The Windsor Companies officially has now acquired three additional buildings in the district, adding to a portfolio that already included the bulk of the real estate on the 100 block of East Third Street.
The Columbus-based company’s first project is to build out its own offices, which will occupy nearly 2,000 square feet of renovated space of the ground floor of the 124 E. Third St. building.
Windsor Companies’ initial phase of its plans calls for spending about $35 million to create housing, revamped and new office spaces and first-floor amenity spaces. The company also hopes to grow its real estate portfolio.
On Aug. 24, the company’s offices will be open to the public during a special promotional event and will serve as “Club Fire Blocks,” which will give visitors a chance to see and learn about the district firsthand and get a glimpse of the developer’s vision.
The event also is meant to gather feedback about what the community would like to see come to the district and will guide decisions about what kinds tenants and companies to target, said Eric VanZwieten, head of marketing and public relations with the Windsor Companies.
The plan is to create a thriving ecosystem that will support a wave of new redevelopment and investment, VanZwieten said.
RSVP’s for the launch event can be found here.
The Windsor Companies has taken over a project to redevelop the Fire Blocks after the previous owner and developer’s plans fizzled out.
The company previously said it owns and controls the Elks building (100 E. Third St.), the building at 124 E. Third St. and the Huffman Block building (111-129 E. Third St.). The developer plans to create new commercial and residential space, with the help of state historic tax credits.
But the company says it now has acquired the Price Stores building (52 S. Jefferson St.), a small, two-story building at 132 E. Third St. and the DP&L building (18 S. Jefferson St.).
Crews on Tuesday were removing and repairing the roof of the DP&L building. Interior, exploratory demolition is going on in the other structures.
Windsor Companies says its ground floor spaces in the Elks, the 124 and the Huffman Block buildings will be white boxed within nine months and housing will open in upper levels of the Elks and Huffman buildings about three months after that.
But just a month from now, the company will host a Club Fire Blocks launch event to put the buildings, available spaces and plans for the district on display.
About 300 people have already RSVP’d for the event on Aug. 24, and many more are expected to attend.
There are still many people in the Dayton region who do not know much about the Fire Blocks District and don’t understand the kinds of unique spaces and nearby amenities it has to offer, VanZwieten said.
The event will have a DJ, entertainment such as fire dancers, art, food and plenty else, he said.
Local officials and development leaders have said they are optimistic that the new developer of the Fire Blocks will be able to succeed in remaking the district where others have failed.
They said Windsor Companies has the track record and capacity to make its plans reality.