Take a peek inside new Fire Blocks District re-development

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – An investor is pouring millions into re-developing two city blocks in Downtown Dayton with hopes of creating jobs and boosting the Miami Valley’s growing urban economy.

The Fire Blocks District sits near the corner of East 3rd and St. Clair streets. For years, the buildings on the street have been vacant, but now an investor is spending millions to change that.

Scott Gibson has spent the last 18 months, working out of a penthouse office in Downtown Dayton that sits a top The Elks Building pictured here:

“The project keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” Gibson said. “So something that started out at $15 to $20 million is now knocking at $100 and now something that started out at 2 and 3 buildings is now much more than that.”

Gibson owns the Elks Building along with the building next it–one of the first to be restored by The Ellway Group. It’s been transformed into commercial office space and is growing in occupancy.

In the Elks Buildings, construction is underway for 22 apartment units. On the street floor, there’s plans for a restaurant and a bar.

Gibson says the new development will be a cutting edge transformation for the Miami’s Valley growing urban economy.

“Dayton, I would, argue is one of the best real estate markets in the country right now,” Gibson said. “They’re aren’t a lot of big mids like this left that haven’t already been picked over and picked through.”

Just outside the Fire Blocks District, the Dayton Metro Library is in the midst of it’s own transformation. A block down is the site of Care Source’s new tower.

The small neighborhood has big plans and some are already cashing in. Chad Wells opened Wells & Company Tattoo in February.

“Business,” Wells said. “Has been great.”

Across the street from Wells Tattoo Shop is the the 124 Building. Dozens of apartments are planned for the building and a roof top green space.

Gibson says money has already been spent and construction is underway. Ultimately, Gibson plans to create 500 jobs all with livable wages.

“We’re trying to make sure the folks we bring in are creating jobs,” Gibson said. “That are actually going to have a positive impact for the folks who are taking them.”

Apartments in the Elks Building plan to open in Fall 2017, with some retail shop opening around the same time. Full completion of the development project is slated for Fall 2018.


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