- Vivienne Machi, Staff Writer
Today was a busy day for breaking news in Dayton. Though news that a 115-room Fairfield Inn and Suites franchise is set to come to the new Water Street District development in downtown Dayton was a huge surprise, we have to say that our biggest news was some that we know a lot of Daytonians have been waiting to hear: The Dayton Arcade is a big step closer to redevelopment. > > > 8 things you probably didn't know about the Dayton Arcade < < < If you missed the City of Dayton's big announcement on Jan. 28 via Periscope, here's what you need to know:
- A memorandum of understanding was reached Jan. 25 to redevelop the long vacant Dayton Arcade complex with the Baltimore-based real estate firm Cross Street Partners and the Dayton-based Miller-Valentine Group. The partnership is under contract to purchase the Arcade property, possibly by early 2017 pending financing options.
- The development partnership between Cross Street Partners, Miller-Valentine and the City of Dayton is planning several phases to rehab the Arcade complex, which consists of seven buildings which together exceed 418,000 square feet.
- The first phase calls for renovating two buildings along West Fourth Street to hold around 60 housing units and common spaces for artists and creative types, costing about $12 million to $15 million. This would include housing and spaces for art galleries, studios and more.
- Cross Street Partners will be in charge of the master development for the seven-building complex, and Miller-Valentine will focus on the housing units, to create a complex similar to the national ArtSpace concept that helped to rehab one of the city of Hamilton’s oldest buildings. The Artspace Hamilton Lofts mixed-use housing and business facility opened in 2015 in downtown Hamilton.
>> > PHOTOS: A look back at the Dayton Arcade < < <
- Financing, as always, is key: An application is being made to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, due on Feb. 18. City Urban Design Coordinator John Gower called it a competitive application, with a decision to come later in the fall. Leaders of the development project plans to compete for historic tax credits, as well as apply for non-competitive federal tax credits among several efforts to help balance the cost.
- Dayton City Commissioners voted in September 2015 to provide $450,000 in funding to repair the Dayton Arcade. Miller-Valentine committed $250,000 as well. The city of Dayton has continued to work to maintain the complex, and Gower provided updates Thursday that the building’s masonry is in stable condition, water issues have been addressed, and they plan to be chasing leaks for the next 6 to 18 months.
- “The thinking here is Dayton’s artistic community: while we have a great ecosystem of creative folks doing stuff here, what Dayton really hasn’t done is work toward providing affordable housing for creative types,” said Gower. He emphasized that this space would not be exclusive to “traditional” artist types, but could be home to those in the culinary arts, graphic and industrial design, marketing and advertising, architecture, as well as painting, dance, theater, and so on. Income limitations would apply.
- Parking is being addressed: The developers are working on parking options, and parking would be made available to residents. Gower noted that the city of Dayton has more than 5,000 parking spaces within 400-500 feet of the Dayton Arcade.
- “This is not a sprint; this is a marathon”: Gower was quick to note that while this was great news indeed, we should not underestimate the number of hurdles ahead. He said that “on a degree of difficulty of one to 10, the Dayton Arcade is probably a 12 to 14.”
- Stay tuned for future Periscope streams from the city of Dayton to provide further redevelopment updates and introduce the development team. The city of Dayton has been sharing behind-the-scenes updates on the Dayton Arcade via Periscope since October 2015; this was its fourth update.
Still think the Dayton Arcade is a lost cause? Where would you like to see the money spent instead?