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Downtown Dayton Arcade In Deepening Debt To The County

Dayton Arcade Interior, 2013
Tom Gilliam

Friday is the deadline for the owners of the Arcade in downtown Dayton to pay their property taxes or risk the county selling that debt to a third party—a tax lien sale.

The bright and ornate Arcade building has been languishing in the center of Dayton for more than two decades now. It’s been through foreclosures, tax lien sales, and a series of dispelled rumors about what redevelopment might look like.

The owners, who live in Wisconsin, owe Montgomery County nearly $326,000 in taxes. Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice says they haven’t made a payment since June.

“We would love for the current owners to find that anchor or business opportunity that makes this location be viable for restoration as they envision it,” she said. “That would be a wonderful solution, we would be thrilled with that.”

A tax lien sale takes the debt off the county’s hands, and it would mean a third-party buyer could foreclose on the Arcade if the current owners don’t pay up within the year. However, Rice says there is no guarantee the third-party buyer will actually be interested in the lien, in which case, the county would be stuck shouldering the debt until further notice.

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