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Big downtown Dayton developer to turn empty property into offices


One of downtown Dayton’s most prolific developers plans to renovate a vacant building in the fast-growing Webster Station neighborhood to create new offices and spaces possibly for retail or dining options.

Woodard Development, one of the developers of the Water Street District, has acquired the former Lotz Paper Co. building at 607 E. Third St., which sits next to the renovated steam plant near the Cannery Loft apartments.

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Woodard Development wants to transform the upper floors of the five-story building into unique and “innovative” office spaces, said Jason Woodard, principal of the firm.

“It’s an area we really like,” Woodard said. “It’s right there in the path of growth and innovation.”

Webster Station has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the region for new housing, but it’s also welcomed some new office product and commercial investment that is helping turn it into an “innovation district,” officials and developers say.

Development and city officials say they hope the new investment continues to spread to other vacant properties in the neighborhood, which had suffered from decades of job losses and disinvestment as heavy industry pulled out or shut down.

Woodard is in negotiations with the city of Dayton for another empty commercial property that is right next door to the building he just acquired.

Woodard Development has taken control of the Lotz paper building next to the former Dayton Power & Light steam plant, which has been renovated into offices and a swanky new event space.

Woodard’s plans are to renovate the vacant building into new office space. The building, which is about 35,000 square feet, will be called the Avant-Garde.

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