Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dayton's Stalled Downtown Housing Revival. Why?

The Canal Block

The sign says “Coming 2007”. That leaves 3 months for an announcement of some kind for this property, a corner parcel at Patterson and 1st. This was to be the first phase of a three-block development on three corners of this intersection.

There was an earlier sign here, and some press reports about the development, but not much since.

Another stalled development is The Merc. This was supposed to go under development as loft housing and offices a few years ago, announced maybe in 2005 or 2004. Now the website says 4th quarter of 2008.

Supposedly there is demand for downtown housing. If so, there seems to be issues in getting product to market. This Canal Block site, particularly, should be a straightforward project as there are no major adaptive re-use/historic preservation issues,. As one can see behind the sign the site is a shovel-ready grassy lawn.

What are the reasons these and other properties are not being developed or are delayed?

Why has the loft/downtown housing trend stalled in Dayton?

2 comments:

Urban Dweller said...

The "Canal Block" project appears to be dead. I've heard a couple different stories - one that Al Neyer (the main developer) backed out. Another was that the developers were counting on the city for some money to subsidize the extension of the Workflow One parking garage that would handle both the new adjacent residential units as well as Miami Jacobs College parking (as the current parking lot was to become phase 2 of the project). With the city instead focusing on the CareSource parking garage on Main St., that was that. This is all hearsay of course. It is possible the developers are waiting to see what happens with BPV.

As for the Merc, it all comes down to money (or lack thereof). The developer insists that the project is moving forward, and I can tell you from having been inside it is quite a set of buildings. The Lotz building is already completely gutted and ready for construction; the DP&L plant still needs some work but it could be a stunning building. Very expensive but stunning.

I believe downtown housing is stalling not because of lack of demand but because there is a shortage of developers who are willing to rehab these old buildings. The real estate market in the entire region has stalled, which makes downtown an even higher risk. But I predict it will bounce back and we'll see more projects come online in the next few years.

Jeffrey said...

I really appreciate your intel on this, even if it is hearsay. There has been next to nothing on whats happening or why
nothing is happening from the local media.