You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

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

Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map
Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map

Snapchat is introducing a new way to locate your friends with the Snap Map.  The social media platform announced the news this week, revealing that the location-sharing feature will allow friends to find each other or anyone in the world using its map.  “We've built a whole new way to explore the world! See what's happening, find your...
Dayton businesswoman lands on national radio show
Dayton businesswoman lands on national radio show

A Dayton business woman was spotlighted Friday on a nationally syndicated radio show.  Shawon Brown-Gullette, the owner of Dayton Trichology Hair Loss Control Center and Infinitee Salon & Spa, appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show to talk about her involvement with Pantene Gold Series. Tom Joyner airs weekday mornings on 92.1 WROU...
Miami Twp. real estate firm buys $65M Denver complex
Miami Twp. real estate firm buys $65M Denver complex

The Connor Group, a Miami Twp. real estate investment firm, has expanded into the Denver area. The company has acquired for $65 million the upscale apartment complex Broadstone Gardens at Cherry Creek. Broadstone Gardens at Cherry Creek was built in 2014 in the Cherry Creek subdivision. The apartments offer nearby locations such as the Cherry Creek...
Dayton Air Show has Plan B if grassy lots turn muddy for motorists
Dayton Air Show has Plan B if grassy lots turn muddy for motorists

Record rainfall on Friday is forcing coordinators of the Vectren Dayton Air Show at the Dayton International Airport to direct people Saturday to alternative and paved parking sites. Two years ago, monsoon-like heavy rains pummeled the first day of the air show, causing many vehicles to become mired in muddy, grassy parking spots near the airport....
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations

Cincinnati-headquartered Kroger is hiring for 800 open positions at all Kroger locations. The grocery retailer is looking for new employees during a hiring event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all Kroger stores. Positions are open in the following departments: deli, bakery, meat and seafood, Starbucks, grocery and ClickList. Interested applicants...
More Stories