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As $8M project wraps up, here’s what’s next for developer

Published: Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 1:41 PM


            Crews work on the exterior of the Wheelhouse lofts at 210 Wayne Ave. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Crews work on the exterior of the Wheelhouse lofts at 210 Wayne Ave. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

As its first project in Dayton barrels toward completion, Kentucky firm Weyland Ventures says it is gearing up for another round of development that will solidify its long-term commitment to the city.

Weyland Ventures, based in Louisville, says Dayton has become its second home and it hopes to make another splash with its next projects, which potentially could help extend the Oregon Historic District east and bring new life to several empty commercial buildings.

“We’re working on a lot of different things and we have a lot property in Dayton, which is good,” said Barry Alberts, principal of Weyland Ventures. “It means that we’re going to be in Dayton a long time.”

Weyland Ventures currently is constructing about 40 loft-style apartments and first-floor restaurant space in a vacant factory at 210 Wayne Ave., near the Oregon District business strip.

The new Wheelhouse lofts are expected to open this summer, and the Troll Pub restaurant on the ground level should come this fall.

RELATED: Look inside the new Wheelhouse Lofts in Oregon District

The firm has the development rights for that entire block, which is a triangular piece of land bordered by Wayne, Fourth, Fifth and Walnut Streets and is home to a medium-sized warehouse building.

The firm also has the rights to the former Garden Station property and an adjacent and vacant building at 101 Bainbridge St.

The firm, which has helped revive downtown Louisville, envisions building a lively district east of Wayne Avenue that connects into and grows the Oregon District. The district could feature $40 million in new investment.

The Wheelhouse project alone is costing about $8 million.

RELATED: $40M investment planned to extend Oregon District

Weyland Ventures plans new construction on the 200 block of Wayne Avenue and on the Garden Station site.

But it is deciding whether to restore or tear down a five-story commercial building at 101 Bainbridge and a warehouse just south of the Wheelhouse, across from Press Coffee Bar, Alberts said.

The firm plans to again seek historic tax credits for the six-story building it owns at 15 McDonough St., which it wants to turn into offices for nearby manufacturing firm Gosiger and other tenants.

“We like the momentum in Dayton … we’re excited about planting our flag and staying there a long time,” Alberts said.

RELATED: Company wants to reuse downtown building

Weyland Ventures also is in the running for the development rights of the Paru Tower, or Society Bank building, an empty 14-story office building at 41 N. Main St.

Weyland Ventures is currently competing with Ohio-based Coon Restoration & Sealants Inc. for the rights to the city-owned building. The city expects to select a development partner in coming weeks.

Weyland Ventures’ initial proposal is to convert the building’s upper floors into both hotel rooms and residential units, while the bank lobby and atrium space above can be restored to create a grand ballroom and events space.

Ground floor space that looks out on Main Street could house retail establishments, and Weyland Ventures says it has talked with hotel operators who believe the building would be a strong candidate for hotel accommodations.

“The expanded amenity package that is currently underway in downtown Dayton also suggests a growing market for weekend tourist and leisure demand, (always a challenge for downtown hotels), although this remains somewhat speculative,” according to the proposal.

The hotel could have about 150 rooms, which would leave several floors for housing, the proposal says.

The hotel and residential mix would allow people who rent or own units at the tower to utilize hotel services if desired, such as housekeeping, room serivce and reduced rates for guests, the proposal states.

$2K+ of suspected stolen merchandise recovered in bust

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 1:37 PM

$2K+ of suspected stolen merchandise recovered in bust

A 21-year-old Columbus woman is facing theft charges after police said they recovered more than $2,000 worth of suspected stolen merchandise from the vehicle she was driving.

Satia Dunson, of Columbus, is charged with theft and possession of criminal tools and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

German Twp. Police spotted Dunson’s vehicle Nov. 8 and noticed she had a warrant for larceny out of Huber Heights. 

LOCAL NEWS: Paid suspension for local teacher accused in fatal hit-and-run crash

Dunson was pulled over in the area of the Dunham Sports, 1600 Upper Valley Pike, where she was taken into custody.

Police said they “noticed a large amount of clothing that was inside the vehicle that had security tags on them, still had the hangars on them.”

“It was obvious they had been out shoplifting,” said Lt. Russell Garman with the German Twp. Police Department.

Dunson’s trial is scheduled for January.

Sidney police search for missing teen

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 4:31 PM

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Sidney police are asking for helping finding a 15-year-old girl who was last seen Wednesday morning.

Avonell Martin, 15, was last seen around 7:45 a.m. when she stopped by a friend’s house to say goodbye and that she was heading to Cleveland, according to police.

LOCAL NEWS: Driver, dog killed in 3-vehicle crash in Greene County

Martin was the passenger in a silver or grey 4-door mid-size car with tinted windows, police said.

The teen is described as being 5-foot-4, 128 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.  She was last seen wearing a black and blue coat with blue jeans.

Anyone with information on Martin’s whereabouts is asked to contact Sidney police at 937-498-2351.

Dayton superintendent put on leave; board leader says ‘nothing to do with students’

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:36 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 2:04 PM

DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr placed on leave

Dayton school board member Joe Lacey said Wednesday that allegations of racial discrimination mentioned by the board Tuesday night are not the main reason Superintendent Rhonda Corr was put on leave. 

In fact, Lacey said attorney Beverly Meyer’s report clears Associate Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli of those charges, and clears Corr of nearly all of them, while acknowledging that some of Corr’s behavior may have been “unprofessional.” 

MORE: The tumultuous tenure of Rhonda Corr

But Lacey said there are separate allegations against Corr only, not related to the racial discrimination issue, that are the reason Corr has been put on leave. He declined to comment on the nature of those separate allegations.

Corr has not responded to requests for comment.

DPS superintendent on leave

Lolli echoed Lacey’s statement that allegations of harassment or discrimination against her were unfounded.  

“Never in 40 years have the words discrimination and or harassment been associated with my name and reputation,” Lolli said. “They won't be in the next 40 years either because they do not describe who I am or what I stand for.”

MORE: Who is acting Dayton superintendent Elizabeth Lolli?

EARLIER: Dayton school board members late Tuesday night placed Superintendent Rhonda Corr on administrative leave and promoted Elizabeth Lolli, associate superintendent, to acting superintendent.

School board President Robert Walker was very limited in his comments Wednesday morning. 

MORE: What Dayton school board said about superintendent in evaluation

Asked why Corr was put on leave and Lolli promoted if both were named in allegations of discrimination and harassment, Walker said he “cannot get into those questions.” 

He said the pre-disciplinary hearing notice against Corr, which is supposed to detail the reasons for her potential discipline, is still “in process.” 

But Walker did clarify one issue, in light of recent accusations against other educators. 

“I can say emphatically that it has nothing to do with students,” Walker said. “As a matter of fact, her relationship with young people as she went through the schools and engaged with them was really healthy and positive.”

RELATED: Harris fills Baguirov’s seat on Dayton school board

According to a DPS online video stream of the meeting, the school board approved four resolutions when they came out of closed executive session:

  • Approving a Nov. 21 report and recommendation of compliance officer Beverly Meyer concerning allegations of racial harassment and discrimination alleged against Corr and Lolli.
  • Relieving Corr of her duties as superintendent and placing her on paid administrative leave effective immediately.
  • Agreeing to issue a pre-disciplinary hearing notice to Corr, detailing the reasons for potential discipline.
  • Naming Lolli as acting superintendent, effective immediately, at the salary level set forth in Corr's current contract, but retaining the benefits set forth in Lolli's current contract.

On all four resolutions, the vote was 6-0. Board member Hazel Rountree was absent.

Corr could not immediately be reached by phone for comment.

Three newly elected Dayton school board members whose terms have not yet started participated in a portion of an executive session last night before the vote on Corr. 

Corr was placed on leave by the school board just before midnight Tuesday after a long executive session.

Jocelyn Rhynard, one of the new members who will not take office until January, said she does not yet have detailed information about the existing board’s decision to place Corr on leave. 

“I have not had any discussions with anybody (since last night’s votes),” Rhynard said. “I look forward to doing that, and when it is appropriate for me to become privy to information, I’m sure that I will be part of that conversation.” 

Rhynard, Mohamed Al-Hamdani and Karen Wick-Gagnet – who were elected to the school board Nov. 7 – were in the audience at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. 

Rhynard said those three were invited into a portion of the closed executive session near the end of Tuesday’s meeting “to discuss some matters that we needed to be brought up to speed on.” 

RELATED: Waynesville school issue passed by 7 votes, recount ahead

She said she could not comment on what matters were discussed in the closed session, and added that she, Wick-Gagnet and Al-Hamdani were gone from the meeting when the board emerged from executive session around 11:30 p.m. 

The fourth person who was elected Nov. 7, William Harris, was actually appointed to the board at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting to fill the last six weeks of Adil Baguirov’s term. So Harris did participate in both the executive session discussions about Corr’s status, as well as the votes to place her on leave and name Lolli acting superintendent. 

“This is certainly a surprise. There have been a lot of dramatic upheavals in the last year and a half, which is one of the reasons I decided to run,” Rhynard said. “I look forward to finding out more information. And I look forward to being part of a board that will bring stability to the district. There are lots of changes that I would like to make and I look forward to being a part of that process.”

Reached early Wednesday, school board member John McManus declined to say much.

"We have been advised by (legal) counsel that we are not permitted to comment on a pending matter," he said.

Corr was hired by DPS in June 2016 to her first full superintendent post after 25 years in Cleveland schools, then brief stints as a high administrator in the Chicago and Indianapolis school districts since 2013.

After Corr was hired, the district had some highlights — escaping the threat of state takeover, solving some long-running busing problems and improving textbooks, computer access and career tech options.

But during that same period, Dayton Public Schools were also put on OHSAA probation for trying to rig a football game, had a long, painful contract fight with teachers that nearly led to a strike and on the most recent state report card, ranked second to last in Ohio on state test scores.

After the teachers' contract fight was resolved, the teachers union issued a vote of no confidence in both Corr and the school board.

At Tuesday night's meeting, the "yes" votes to put Corr on leave came from four members who will remain on the school board next year -- Walker, Sheila Taylor, John McManus and Harris -- plus the outgoing Ron Lee and Joe Lacey.

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Apartment fire displaces at least 5 people

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:23 PM

DEANGELO BYRD / STAFF
DEANGELO BYRD / STAFF

UPDATE @ 4:39 p.m.:
At least five people are without a home Wednesday after flames damaged an apartment building on North Findlay Street, according to investigators.

Firefighters are working to determine a cause of the fire and they are still looking for a cat that is unaccounted for, firefighters said.

RELATED: Sidney police search for missing teen

At least three units in the apartment building were damaged by fire or water, according to firefighters.

Some residents were home at the time the fire started and were alerted to the fire by a working smoke detector.

INITIAL REPORT:

Firefighters have responded to a fire at an apartment on North Findlay Street this afternoon.

The fire was reported in the first block of North Findlay around 3:15 p.m.

We’re working to learn more.