Uncovered Speakeasy

We found a forgotten gem in the basement.

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An unusually decorated basement room out of sight from the public in an East Third Street commercial building could be a hidden piece of downtown’s Prohibition-era history, an inquiry by the Dayton Daily News shows.

Stories about secret underground speakeasies have been passed along and have achieved legend status among local history buffs. But up until now specific locations haven’t been pinned down, said local history author Curt Dalton of Dayton History, Montgomery County’s official historical organization.

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Queries posted on Dalton’s website DaytonHistoryBooks.com request information about 1920s-era speakeasies, or illegal drinking places, as well as bookie joints for illegal betting, and other “secret rooms” alleged to have been accessible by underground steam heating tunnels that criss-cross downtown.

Speakeasies multiplied during the Prohibition Era, which began in 1920 after Congress passed the Volstead Act banning the sale, manufacture, and transport of alcohol.

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Interest in Dayton history is peaking this year with the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Great Flood. But this year also marks the 80th anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal in 1933.

Dalton, who has spent decades researching local history, said interviews for his books uncovered a few recollections, mostly of home-based speakeasies a parent operated, or a restaurant that sold alcohol under the table.

“It was like the restaurant that had stuff behind the bar, or the house where they made the alcohol,” Dalton said. “When police showed up, mom would flush the booze down the toilet to get rid of as much as possible.”

Click here to read more.

More Good News for Downtown

Two New Tenants to Move into Former PNC Building

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A downtown Dayton building will soon welcome two new tenants.

The former PNC Bank building at 6 N. Main St. will welcome the U.S. Census Bureau along with a local office of the Berry Network/DexYP within the next year. Tracy Rutherford of Crest Commercial Realty represented the building's owner, Canadian real estate firm Olymbec, in the lease transactions.

The deals will bring more workers to downtown Dayton, which already is seeing a flurry of activity including major building renovations, new housing, and its first new hotel in decades.

The terms of the leasing for the deals were not disclosed. Rutherford said the Census Bureau will assume a 7,000-square-foot office in the building, while the Berry Network, a division of DexYP Media (formerly known as Yellow Pages) will move into a space that's just over 19,000 square feet.

Click here to read more.

The Huffman Lofts

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We're working on the Huffman Lofts NOW!

The Huffman Lofts are scheduled to be move-in-ready by fall, 2019. Loft availability is limited, so if you want to secure your space, be sure to sign up today. Click here for more info and to secure your space.

We'll See You Tomorrow

We'll see you tomorrow!

We've been busy all day cleaning up around the offices: sweeping floors and polishing glass. We are so excited to welcome you to our Fire Blocks home! In an effort to make sure you have the best experience possible, we wanted to make sure you knew about the FREE PARKING in our two district lots. Guests are invited to park for FREE in our lots behind the 124 Building and Huffman Lofts. In addition to those parking lots, metered parking is free after 6pm. 

Please reference the attached map so that you are sure to park in one of our lots and not an adjacent lot.

Mark Your Calendars

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Mark your calendars for this Friday, August 24 starting at 4pm!

Mingle with senior leadership of the Windsor Companies for an open house experience never before seen in Dayton. This will be the perfect opportunity to meet our team. 

We will have roaming entertainment both inside and outside the building, featuring local talent as well as an AV presentation followed by Q&A for inquiring minds. What the Taco, Good Golly Miss Molly and Sugar Sweets by Peeks will be on hand to tickle your taste buds.

Information packets will be available at the event with additional details on the redevelopment plans for the Fire Blocks District. 

Space is limited. RSVP online today: fireblocksdistrict.com

Historic Journal Herald Photos

Our friends at the WSU Archives have done it again! Look at the amazing photos they found of the Journal Herald Building (111 E 4th St, Dayton, OH 45402). The photos feature both the exterior of the building as well as the newsroom.

Historic Elks Photos

We're on the hunt for historic photos of the buildings in the Fire Blocks District. We found these images of the Elks Building at the WSU Archive. 

Tech Addition to Downtown

 Downtown Dayton, Ohio

Downtown Dayton, Ohio

Oregon-based Galois has spun off a growing division, which is headquartered in Dayton. The new firm, Tangram Flex, is located at the 444 Building downtown.

Tangram Flex is a software re-engineering company that provides smart tooling to reconfigure large and complex embedded systems, such as those found in planes, ships, automobiles, drones and satellites. For example, replacing a single component in complex system found in a cars is a painstaking manual process of integration and testing. Tangram Flex technology allows engineers to quickly reconfigure existing systems and to re-use components across different systems.

Tangram Flex was created this year and already has grown to seven full-time employees. Officials expect to have between 15 and 20 employees by the end of the year. 

Click here to read more.

We're Getting Ready

We're getting ready for our big party!

Mark your calendars for Friday, August 24, when Windsor will be hosting an event like no other. We will open the doors to our office space and let you experience the energy of the neighborhood fist-hand. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Fire Blocks: Downtown Dayton project gets bigger, sneak peek coming

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The new developers of the Fire Blocks District have doubled the number of downtown properties they own and are weeks away from showcasing the kinds of commercial spaces they plan to bring to Dayton.

The Windsor Companies officially has now acquired three additional buildings in the district, adding to a portfolio that already included the bulk of the real estate on the 100 block of East Third Street.

The Columbus-based company’s first project is to build out its own offices, which will occupy nearly 2,000 square feet of renovated space of the ground floor of the 124 E. Third St. building.

Click here to read more.

Boomtown

Business is Booming in Dayton

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The Dayton region's economy is piping hot. That's the word from many of Miami Valley's largest employers. As the DBJ publishes its annual employers list this week, I spoke with several growing companies about their staffing levels and challenges they face.

The one consistent note was companies who added the most workers in the past 12 months aren't done hiring.

Take CareSource. The Dayton-based health insurer added 600 employees last year and expects to hire 1,200 more in the next 12 months. Dan McCabe, CareSource's chief administrative officer, said the nonprofit faces increased competition for talent — making recruiting efforts challenging.

The key to maintaining its workforce is adapting to meet the needs of its employees. For example, more than 40 percent of CareSource employees work in alternate environments, including mobile and work-from-home options. Its key departments looking to fill roles include data analytics and configuration, actuarial science, information technology and customer care.

Click here to read more.

Mark Your Calendars!

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The firm that is breathing new life into the Fire Blocks District was in town today for a meet and greet.

Windsor Companies is the new residential and commercial contractor tackling this 10-acre, six building complex and said it would create new jobs as well as new residential and office space.

Previously, this area between Second and Fourth streets and Jefferson and St. Clair streets was under the wing of The Ellway Group, but Windsor took over the reins and said the revival of the Fire Blocks will be done in stages. 

Phase 1 is a $35 million renovation project for the Elks Building, the Huffman Building, and the 124 Building all on East Third St.

The company will transform these properties into commercial space, residential space including loft apartments and unconventional office space.

The apartments and office spaces are expected to be move-in ready in 12 months.

They said they are excited to be a part of the revitalization of downtown because while much is being done to the outskirts, the middle of downtown, where the Fire Blocks district is, still has a ways to go.

"Your average developer would come in and look at this and say 'no way, we're not going to do this, we're going to go build something from the ground up," said Eric VanZwieten, Marketing and PR manager for Windsor Companies. "Whereas we look at these old buildings and take architectural masterpieces from 100 years ago and turn them into super innovative, sexy spaces that people want to work in and people want to live in."

The company is planning to hold an official launch event Aug. 24.

Click here to read more.

Check Out Our Plan

Check out our plan for the Fire Blocks District!

Today we unveiled our plans for the Fire Blocks District to a standing-room-only crowd at the Racquet Club downtown. The mixed-use plans were met with enthusiasm from city leaders, business leaders and downtown neighbors alike. Check it out!

The Windsor Companies