Sunday, November 4, 2007

Progress on Saving the Arcade

Good news on the Arcade! This was on the cover of the Sunday Dayton Daily News:

A budding proposal to revive the Arcade complex downtown would convert the cloister of five buildings, and others in the neighborhood, into residences, a boutique hotel, offices and parking.

It would not be the Arcade of old with retail shops and restaurants, a concept that failed twice in downtown Dayton.

The key difference in this proposal that makes Preservation Dayton President Dave Bohardt believe it can happen is the man driving it.

"After all these years, the stars are finally starting to align," Bohardt said. "Bob Shiffler is key."

Shiffler and his wife, Nancy, redeveloped the Kuhn's building at Fourth and Main streets. The office complex, in an 1882-era building, in now fully leased. The Shifflers have now redirected their energy to the McCrory building, next to the Arcade.

(more here)

Also, a story about the changed focus of the fundraising being done by Friends to Save the Arcade.

Organizers of a grassroots effort to save downtown's historic Arcade say they're shifting focus from raising funds to pay delinquent property taxes on the complex to collecting pledges for critical repairs to the glass dome of the rotunda.

"I think the tax issues are minor, compared to making sure it doesn't fall down on itself," said Leon Bey, a leader in the Friends to Save the Arcade movement.

Bey, along with fellow organizers Maribeth Graham and Joanne Granzow, said they're considering the change after hearing the Arcade's tax debt may become the responsibility of future redevelopers.

(more here)

What I like about this proposal is that it gives up on the retail concept and focus on housing, hotel, and business use. The hotel concept has been used in two arcades in Cleveland, so there is a precedent for that.

I was wondering when Preservation Dayton was going to step in, aside from holding the fundraising account for the Friends to Save the Arcade.

Kudos to Leon Bey and the other FSA organziners for putting the Arcade back on the agenda, and to Bob Shiffler and Dave Bohardt for coming up with a plan.


Foreverglow said...

Woah! I was starting to have doubts about the Arcade being saved. I would like to have just a tiny bit of retail though...

Anonymous said...

I just found out from Susan Gruenberg, the person who honchoed the Urban Nights event at the Arcade on September 15, that the Arcade rotunda will again be open for public tours the evening of the Grande Illumination, Friday, November 23. More information to come!

Jefferey said...

There might be some small retail. I saw the presentation boards siting in a hallway in the Kuhns Building when I was up at the AIDS Foundation a week or two ago, and saw what was proposed.

I think they are proposing an event/banquet center, and maybe a restaurant? Fuzzy memory on that.