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.”
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.