Two major tenants moving into downtown’s Fire Blocks District

After naming new leadership last year, the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) and Ascend Innovations are getting ready to move into a new home.

GDAHA and Ascend have signed a 10-year lease to occupy an entire floor of an office building on the 100 block of East Third Street in the Fire Blocks District.

The new space will be significantly larger than their old offices in Tech Town, which they vacated in August.

The new office space also will be designed for GDAHA and Ascend to collaborate and work together, said Sarah Hackenbracht, president and CEO of GDAHA.

“We are going to be sharing work space,” she said. “That will allow us to physically see one another, interact with one another and understand what team members are working on more intentionally.”

GDAHA and Ascend have decided to lease about 11,500 square feet of space on the fourth floor of a commercial building at 124 E. Third St.

GDAHA is a 29-member trade association that serves hospitals across 11 counties in the region. Ascend Innovations says it is a life-science product company that focuses on providing solutions to unmet needs in health care.

GDAHA has nine employees; Ascend has 15.

GDAHA was incorporated in 1979 as a trade association entity, but its concept and collaborations began decades earlier, officials say.

Ascend was founded in 2015 to help solve problems in health care and grew out of a relationship with Kettering Health Network, Premier Health and Dayton Children’s, officials say.

GDAHA and Ascend worked out of offices in Tech Town since 2015.

They hope to move into their new space in early 2021, possibly in late January.



GDAHA’s relocation is an intentional investment in the Central Business District because it wants to be of downtown’s vibrancy, Hackenbracht said.

The new offices are in a convenient and central location for GDAHA’s hospital partners, she said, and the shared space with Ascend means they will have strategic opportunities to work on improving community health.

Ascend wants to be near other start-ups and be part of downtown’s entrepreneurial community, said Marty Larson, the group’s president and CEO.

The Tech Town space was about 8,500 square feet, and the new larger offices will allow Ascend to expand, he said.

Larson said Ascend added four new employees this year and expects to do some additional hiring next year.

The old Tech Town space also was not conducive to hosting large meetings or multiple meetings at the same time, Larson said.

The new space will have a large conference and training room and small smaller meeting spaces as well, he said.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Windsor Companies, the developer of the Fire Blocks District, will oversee a full build out of the space, creating private offices, open collaborative space, conference and training areas and a kitchen, said David Neal, chief operating officer for Windsor Companies.

The 124 building currently is about half full, but the addition of Ascend and GDAHA means occupancy will increase to about 70%, he said.

GDAHA and Ascend will be the first new office tenant to move their operations to the Fire Blocks, truly rounding out our vision of ‘live, work and play,’” Neal said.

GDAHA and Ascend will add density and will help contribute to the vision of the Fire Blocks as a walkable entertainment district, he said.

The 124 building also is home to Rockathon Records, D.A.E. Designs, DND Uniforms, Downtown Dayton Optical, Wells & Co. Custom Tattoo and Windsor Companies' Dayton office.

Other businesses in the Fire Blocks District include the Century Bar and Salt Block Biscuit Co. A new restaurant called Jollity is expected to open later this year. Two Social, a games and activities center and bar, may open in early 2021.

More than 90 loft apartments opened in the district this year.

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