Water Street Development To Expand To Downtown Delco Building

Jul 1, 2015

Three Dayton-area buildings, including the former Delco building next to Fifth Third Field, have been approved for historic preservation tax credits from the state. The credit gives private developers a tax break on rehabilitation costs for historic buildings.

On Tuesday afternoon, developers showed a crowd around Charles Kettering’s old office at the top of the Delco building—the layout includes lots of windows, but the aged windows are held together by rusty steel and and surrounded by chipped paint. Kettering’s floor had broken glass and even a dead bird still left over.

The Delco building is among many downtown that remain signs of an absent past. It hasn’t been in use as an industrial site since the early 1980s; meanwhile, it was owned by the 

The aging windows on the exterior of the Delco building are currently covered up; developers say they'll all be replaced with a similar style.
Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Mendelsons who used it for storage for their extensive downtown liquidation outlet.

But downstairs looking up at the building, Bob Hoying with Crawford Hoying developers says there’s a growing demand for spaces like this to get turned into housing.

“People aren’t necessarily interested in going out to cornfields and living in your cookie cutter...apartment like people have in the past,” he says. “They wanna be close to stuff.”

This historic building is virtually on top of Fifth Third Field and other downtown attractions. The planned 130-apartment development will get more than $3 million worth of tax credits for the cost of rehabbing the building, which is expected to total around $25 million. Kettering’s office will be part of a shared executive board room available to residents.

Crawford Hoying is the same company developing the Water Street Project, which is on the riverfront nearby the Delco project; it’s now envisioned as a connected district called the Water Street District. Construction on Delco is expected to wrap up in 2017, and the Water Street apartments broke ground this spring with a projected August completion.

Bob Hoying with Crawford Hoying, outside the Delco building, says there's a growing demand for downtown living spaces.
Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The Ohio Development Services Agency says projects receive the credit based on historical value and projected economic impacts, and there’s no credit unless the project is actually completed.

This state program has been around for nine years—in this round announced yesterday, the Dickey building on East Third in Dayton, and the old Eaton High School in Preble County were also approved for credits.

A handful of sites in Dayton have gotten the credit in the past (see the map of redevelopment projects supported by state funds here), but none of the rehabilitation projects have been completed yet.

Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.