The Fire Blocks District hosted the DABR CIC happy hour last night to rave reviews. Crafted & Cured provided libations and charcuterie followed by a bourbon tasting in the historic basement speakeasy. Guests had a private tour of selected spaces in the 124 Building as well as the Elks and Huffman Lofts buildings.
The Fire Blocks District right now is one the last large concentrations of mostly inactive space in the northeastern part of downtown Dayton.
But the district’s new developer says that will change soon and it is “very close” to reaching deals with what would be its first new commercial tenants.
The success of the Fire Blocks depends on creating an “ecosystem” of high-quality live, work, eat and play opportunities, and key pieces of that puzzle are very close to coming into place, said Eric VanZwieten, head of marketing and public relations with Windsor Companies, the developer.
“It’s not going to be just any play or any eat — it’s going to be very good stuff,” he said. “Most people build a building or develop a building — we are doing an entire neighborhood.”
The Fire Blocks District, centered around the 100 block of East Third Street, is finally showing signs of life.
About 40 construction workers are clearing out and renovating multiple buildings in the district to create new apartments and commercial spaces.
Windsor Companies is on track to open about 70 new loft apartments in the empty Huffman Block building come fall of 2019, VanZwieten said.
The company has already started accepting online reservations for the apartments here. Workers of downtown employers CareSource, Taylor Communications and Premier Health get first preference.
Windsor Companies is in negotiations to bring a California coffee roaster, a food and beverage business and an “elevated” restaurant and cocktail concept to the district, VanZwieten said.
We found a forgotten gem in the basement.
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.
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.
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.”
Two New Tenants to Move into Former PNC Building
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Join us for Art in the City!
We will have a sneak peek of our plans at our 117 E. Third St. space. You will have the opportunity to see floor plans and share your ideas on what will make the Fire Blocks great. Don't miss it!
Rise and grind!
Happy Monday, Dayton! The crews are moving and shaking in the 124 Building today.
Today at the Huffman Building crews were busy reshackling the cable ends on the freight elevator.
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.
A Columbus developer says it has taken over a stalled project to transform the Fire Blocks District and vows to begin work on a $35 million first phase this week, which could help prevent the project from losing millions of dollars worth of tax incentives.
Windsor Companies has agreed to acquire multiple properties in and around the 100 block of East Third Street from the Dayton-based Ellway Group, said Eric VanZwieten with the Windsor Companies.
The crane is up!