Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Practical Proposal for the Arcade

It's looking more and more like an Arcade adaptive re-use is unfinanceable.

If Dayton was a larger city or had a more robust economy this might be do-able. And if Dayton had strong and creative political leadership this might be do-able. But Dayton has neither.

And the Arcade complex is obsolete. It was built as a public market and shopping arcade in an era when the central business district was the undisputed economic center of the region due to interurban railways and streetcar lines focusing on the center city. In fact one of these interurbans had ticket office and waiting room in the Ludlow Street building.

But those days are long gone. The complex is functionally obsolete and long past the end of it's economic life. And the Dayton region doesnt have the economic or political capacity to accomplish an adaptive re-use.

A practical solution would be to demolish the complex and replace it with transient parking.

One might protest that there is already plenty of parking downtown. In reality this parking is not necessarily near where occasional visitors downtown would need to park. The Arcade property is.

The following graphic shows the situation:

The red color is Bob Shifflers property. None of these buildings has parking but some of them, particularly the Kuhns Building, does see visitors stopping off for business appointments (particularly the AIDS foundation). The blue are government buildings. Of these the auto liscense and title office in the Reibold would get people who might need mid-term parking longer than whats available on the meters. The orange are private sector properties of various kinds. Of particular interest is 40 W 4th, which has a medical adminstrative tenant and especially One Dayton Center which has the Wright-Patt Credit Union and will soon have 5/3 Bank. Add to that the lawyers offices on the upper floors.

So there is a large cluster of activity around the Arcade site that would draw people in for appointments or buisness visits that might last longer than the short term parking provided by the street meters. So there would be a real demand for transient public parking on this block, and perhaps even reserved daily parking for the tenants in the Shiffler properties.

It seems the best option for the Arcade is, when all is said and done, another parking lot.


Woodrowfan said...

what a waste of an interesting, historic building...

Jefferey said...

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

A part of me will die along with the Dayton Arcade, if indeed it becomes a parking lot. This building is hands down the most intersting edifice downtown, and the link from history to living memory... well, that alone is worth saving the place.