The effort to redevelop the Dayton Arcade is moving forward, with renderings released of what the downtown complex could be.
Dave Williams, Miller-Valentine Group’s vice president of urban development, said the company plans to seek affordable housing tax credits and want to attract creatives and artists into apartments built as the anchor of the proposed mixed-use project.
The historic Dayton Arcade was once a busy retail and restaurant center in the heart of downtown Dayton, spanning much of the block between Third and Fourth streets and Ludlow and Main streets. It has since fallen into disuse and over the past two decades been passed from owner to owner, with advocates calling for its redevelopment.
Williams previously called the arcade “most emotional building in Dayton,” referencing the nostalgia the building elicits.
Renderings released by Miller-Valentine show the center back in use, though he said the developers are still assembling financing and honing in on what their specific vision is for giving the arcade a sense of place.
“The vision helps create the story in getting people wanting to be there. Space is space. You have to make it place,” he said.
For upper floor housing, he said the firm is looking at building out roughly 120 to 125 units and creating an active first floor.
“We do know with the first floor we will really focus on vibrancy, but don’t know yet what that secret sauce is,” he said.
The most challenging part of the 400,000-square-foot project is the common area, which Williams said will have to be thoughtfully redeveloped with the right components so it feels active and is more than a good-looking space.
For financing, the next steps are to see if the property is awarded an affordable housing credit geared toward artists and creatives and then to also compete in the fall round of state historic tax credits.