breaking news

Trump intends to declare NKorea a state sponsor of terror

Plans unveiled for downtown entertainment district

Group buys buildings, says it will invest millions developing block.


Two investors who are part of a development group said Tuesday they’ve purchased key commercial buildings in downtown Dayton to launch a new entertainment and residential district around East Third Street.

Ohio state historic tax credits will play a role in the development of the Fire Blocks District, they said. It will operate under the organization Dayton Development Authority LLC.

Winfield Scott Gibson, 37, of Tulsa, Okla., and Elliot Katz, 44, who splits his time between Dayton and Boca Raton, Fla., said in interviews that they are members of the group. Gibson said the investment will be in the tens of millions of dollars and that the financing is lined up.

Katz earlier this month bought the half-block-long, five-story commercial building at 124 E. Third St. Katz is the owner of the Oregon District building occupied by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Katz purchased the East Third Street building and its parking lot for around $325,000 from bank receivership. The building had been owned by Paul Hutchins.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said city staffers have been talking to the developers about the project.

“We are really excited. I know they have closed on the buildings,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of details on what they are planning.”

Gibson said the group closed on two of the buildings Monday and is about to finalize the purchase of a third, which has been under contract. The deals have yet to be recorded by the county, he added. He has a website for the development underway and is finalizing a publicity launch, Gibson added.

“We’ve been working on it for quite some time and there are a lot of moving parts in the transaction,” Gibson said.

In all, the buildings being purchased contain more than 200,000 square feet and are located on both sides of East Third, Gibson said.

The buildings include the David Building, 115 through 129 East Third St., and 20 N. Jefferson St. Purchases were made under the corporate name Simms Building, LLC. Gibson said he’s the managing member of Simms. Gibson said he plans to close on 100 East Third St. in 30 days. That building contains the Century Bar at 10 S. Jefferson St.

“The block is really a great block and it will be spectacular,” Gibson said. “It’s an effort to take a narrowly defined area and do privately what was done publicly with the Oregon District.”

Tenants of 124 E. Third St. include the law offices of Horenstein, Nicholson & Blumenthal, LPA; police equipment and uniform supplier D’nD Uniforms Inc.; photographer Jon Morton, and Downtown Dayton Optical. The third floor is empty, Katz added, and ready to lease.

The building, which spans addresses 108 through 124 East Third St., has a storied history. It was built in 1919, the year Congress passed the Volstead Act and cleared the way for Prohibition.

Katz said he’ll spend around $500,000 fixing the building’s facade and roof. Work should begin in April, he added. A Dayton Daily News story in 2013 disclosed that the basement contains what was once a legendary downtown speakeasy during prohibition.

The David Building is located in the Fire Blocks National Register Historic District downtown. It was designed by Frank Hill Smith, a prominent Dayton architect, and built following the Great Flood of 1913.

Others have attempted to redevelop the David Building. In December 2012, Brian West, then owner of the building, and Peter Jobson, president of the Excel Realty Group, were awarded $3.3 million in state Historic Preservation Tax Credits to transform the building into apartments.

Later, West and Jobson requested an increase in allocation to create 127 apartments. In June, the state announced the project was granted $4.3 million in tax credits.

But in October, West contacted the state to say the project was not moving forward, said Nathaniel Kaelin, the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program manager.

The tax credits for the David Building were then reallocated and given to a different project in the following round of awards, Kaelin said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

STEM is where the jobs are
STEM is where the jobs are

STEM is and will be where the jobs are, according to a government assessment. The good news in the Dayton area is that educators are producing students ready for STEM fields, with steady growth in undergraduate STEM degrees in the past few years. The U.S. had nearly 8.6 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs in 2015; and from...
Holiday spending to increase in Ohio, region
Holiday spending to increase in Ohio, region

Holiday spending in Ohio is expected to grow 2 percent this year compared to 2016, bringing in an estimated $24.1 billion statewide — and people in the Dayton region are expected to spend more than last year. The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants and the University of Cincinnati Economics Center found the state is likely to see a 9 percent increase...
What will Thanksgiving dinner cost you? Less than last year
What will Thanksgiving dinner cost you? Less than last year

Thanksgiving hosts can buy that extra pumpkin pie for their party this year. The average cost of Thanksgiving meal will be the lowest it’s been in five years, according the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual price survey. The survey found the average cost of a dinner for 10 people is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year&rsquo...
FOOD DEAL: How to score FREE food from Piada this week
FOOD DEAL: How to score FREE food from Piada this week

Thank the food gods, because there’s a deal you can’t pass up.  Piada Italian Street Food, which has several locations in the Miami Valley region, is offering a special BOGO deal.  Here’s how it works: follow Piada on Instagram. Show the Piada cashier you follow them on Instagram, and you’ll score a buy one, get one...
Honda recalls 800,000 mini-vans
Honda recalls 800,000 mini-vans

Honda said Saturday it’s recalling some 800,000 Honda Odyssey mini-vans because of an issue with seat latches that can tip the seats forward if they’re not correctly latched. The automaker, which has some 13,000 workers in Ohio, has offered recent instructions to Odyssey owners on making sure the affected second-row seats are...
More Stories