Renovations on conversion of the four-story, Hauer Music building into an operations center for Dayton Metro Library are expected to begin in April 2014 and take about six months.
The acquisition is part of Dayton Metro Library’s $187 million building construction and modernization plan, funded by a bond issue voters approved in November 2012.
Library officials announced their intent to purchase the building at 120 S. Patterson last week for $820,000. Tim Kambitsch, executive director of Dayton Metro, said the library has 90 days to complete its due diligence on the property — to check mechanical systems and complete environment scans — before the closing.
“We are motivated to do this as quickly as possible,” Kambitsch said. “If there are any issues of remediation, we may have to negotiate some things.”
After the closing, Hauer has 90 days to vacate.
Dating from 1883, the Hauer building once housed the Sachs-Pruden Ale Co., a brewery, and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Kambitsch said the library hopes to preserve some of the historical character of the building but, there will be changes.
“We’ll replace the roof right off the bat,” Kambitsch said.
The front of the Hauer building, facing Patterson Blvd., does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, so the entry on Fourth Street will be renovated to comply, Kambitsch said. The electrical system also will be updated as will the windows. Specific plans for the renovation are a work in progress, so no dollar figure has been set for the work.
The operations center must be finished , before work on the Main Library starts in 2015.
The library also is completing due diligence on a real estate deal at 25 S. Patterson Blvd. that includes the Gentile Produce building and the Webster Station Bar, once an interurban bus station. The bar will be used as a construction office to limit use of Cooper Park, located in front of the Main Library at 215 E. Third Street in Dayton.
“Our first interest in the property was about creating a family friendly environment,” Kambitsch said. “Our intent is to demolish the bar once construction on the Main Library is complete.”
Kambitsch said the library is searching for a temporary space to house the Main Library during construction. Gentile Produce will be used as swing space to house library materials, that don’t fit in the temporary space.
Drake’s Downtown Gym occupies about a third of the 17,082-square-foot Gentile Produce building, once part of the Miami-Erie Canal commerce center at the turn of the last century. In addition to being a fitness facility, the 14-year-old Drake’s is the home of Jab City Boxing. Owner John Drake said he’s uncertain about the future location of his business.
“I like it downtown. I don’t want to move,” Drake said. “I have a lot of loyal customers.”
Drake said he knew the building was for sale and, wished he had been told that there was a party showing serious interest in purchasing it, so that he could have considered making an offer himself.
“I guess that’s my bad,” Drake said.
Kambitsch said the library has no immediate plans for the Drake gym space.
“If we find we need the space, we’ll work with him,” said Kambitsch, adding that he is uncertain of whether the library will need the building, once construction is completed. “We may turn around and give John (Drake) the opportunity he missed this year.”