Developer sees momentum in creating Arcade apartments: ‘An absolutely fantastic project’

A newly named executive who will help oversee the building of apartments in a renewed downtown Dayton Arcade sees momentum in the project.

“Just moving forward, I don’t really see any obstacles,” said Trace Shaughnessy, named last week as vice president at St. Louis-based developer McCormack Baron Salazar.

McCormack Baron Salazar is of two big players in urban redevelopment work to sign on to the Arcade project in April after Dayton builder Miller Valentine Group stepped away from the effort at about that time. Cincinnati-based Model Group joined McCormack Baron Salazar in the sprawling, multi-piece project, which is led by Maryland-based Cross Street Partners.

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McCormack Baron Salazar is no stranger to Dayton. The company developed the Landing Apartments at 115 W. Monument Ave. in the 1990s.

In all, McCormack Baron Salazar has developed 195 projects in 46 cities within 26 states and U.S. territories, including 21,290 housing units and 1.2 million square feet of commercial space, with development costs of $3.9 billion.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic project,” Shaughnessy said of the Arcade. The community’s interest in and connection to the project is “just unbelievable,” he said.

On Monday, the Dayton Montgomery Port Authority Board of Trustees voted to have the Port support the project, entering into four ground leases for four component parcels of the Arcade.

The support will help save an estimated $1 million in sales taxes into materials used to improve Arcade.

“Just in my brief time working on the project so far, I have run into multiple people that have had some sort of connection to the Arcade,” Shaughnessy added. “It’s pretty amazing, actually.”

Next step: $95 million rebab

However, the development of the historic downtown complex is no simple project.

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Consisting of nine buildings covering more than 330,000 square feet — including structures that go back nearly 120 years — the new Arcade will have commercial, retail, educational and residential elements. Key possible tenants such as the University of Dayton and Dayton brewer Warped Wing have expressed interest in a place at the Arcade, as have Boston Stoker and the Dayton Visual Arts Center.

Just last month, the city of Dayton agreed to loan $10 million to the Cross Street-led partnership that said it now has secured nearly all of the financing it needs for a $95 million rehab of the southern portions of the Arcade.

“It’s not an easy project,” Shaughnessy said. “It has multiple components. It’s got the residential, it’s got the commercial, and it’s an historic project, so it’s an historic renovation.”

The residential component will be built “hand-in-hand” with the commercial side of the development, he said.

The two sides should complement each other, with residents and shops, brew pubs and other elements growing together.

“I think it will be very fantastic addition to the area down there,” Shaughnessy said of the prospect of Arcade housing. “I know there are some housing units down there, but there’s not as much housing as there could be. It seems like it could be a pretty big jump start to the area.”

Similarly, apartments should complement condominiums and townhomes being built and bought elsewhere downtown.

Said Shaughnessy: “It’s good to have a mix of things. There are a lot of townhomes that are being constructed downtown. It always good to have multiple avenues, for people being able to rent as well as able to purchase.”

Shaughnessy is founder of Shaughnessy Development, a St. Louis-area developer of multi-family homes and also co-founder of Gilded Age, a re-developer of a hospital in St. Louis.

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