Company plans to add 250 jobs in Wright Dunbar Business District

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2019 @ 3:05 PM

            File photo
File photo

As many as 250 new jobs could be coming to Wright Dunbar because Zik’s Family Pharmacy & Home Medical Equipment is expanding its home health care operations.

Zik’s Home Healthcare LLC has signed a new lease for about 4,000 square feet of space on the ground floor the Rubenstein building on the 1100 block of West Third St.

Zik’s pharmacy and health and wellness center and medical equipment businesses already occupy about 4,600 square feet of first floor space in the building.

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Zik’s has about 100 employees, which includes aides, LPNs, administrative staff, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, customer service staff and drivers, according to Wright Dunbar Inc.

The company may be able to add as many as 250 new workers as it expands to add skilled home health care services, officials say.

“Our goal is the be able to better serve the greater Dayton community,” said Nnodum Iheme, Zik’s president and owner.

RELATED: Zik’s Pharmacy opens Wright Dunbar location

Zik’s was founded by Nnodum and Nnenna Iheme in 2009.

Zik’s at 1130 W. Third St. officially opened nearly a decade ago as Iheme’s second location. Zik’s first location is on the 4100 block of Salem Avenue.

Zik’s Home Healthcare LLC has signed a 10-year lease for vacant space in the eastern portion of the former Rubenstein Department Store building.

The space, once used for furniture sales, will be converted into offices.

In the past, the Rubenstein building — formerly called the Walters Block — housed a “five and dime” store, a restaurant and a men’s fashion store.

Wright Dunbar Inc., which owns the property, says it will cover most of the cost of the $400,000 restoration project, with work expected to start by the end of this month.

Wright Dunbar Inc., a nonprofit focused on the Wright Dunbar Business District, hopes to recoup improvement costs through Zik’s lease payments.

Erica Hubler, Wright Dunbar Inc.’s real estate director, said Zik’s provides important services to the community, including no-cost delivery of prescriptions and medical supplies.

Zik’s “could have moved, but decided to stay here — that means something,” she said. “We’re glad to keep him for sure.”

Zik’s jobs and expansion announcement is the lastest bit of good news for Wright Dunbar.

For a brief moment, when a hair salon called Urban Chic opened, all of the available leasable space in the district was full.

Since then, however, one business has moved out. But has been interest in the property, Hubler said.

In another promising development, downtown Dayton’s leading homebuilder, Charles Simms Development, is looking at building new homes in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood.

Developer Charlies Simms said the company is still working with the city on a comprehensive plan for the neighborhood. The company continues to refine its plans based on input and direction received from the neighborhood and community members, he said.

The district is also looking more colorful and inviting because banners have been installed along West Third Street.

But this news organization has learned that a coffee, ice cream and pastry shop proposed for a vacant space at 1100 W. Third St. will not move forward. The potential tenant was unable to get funding.

“We are looking at other opportunities for the space,” Hubler said. “No real plans yet, but we are focusing on food.”

RELATED: New coffee/pastries shop proposed for Wright Dunbar

Also, James Nuñez, who owns Texas Beef & Cattle Co. at 1101 W. Third St., recently voiced concerns about the viability of the business after confirming his plans to open a new location downtown.

Nuñez told this newspaper he’s worried about the reconstruction of the Third Street Bridge, which will cut off direct access to Wright Dunbar from downtown.

Hubler, however, said the restaurant is a destination and she’s confident people will make the trip during the reconstruction work.

Getting to Wright Dunbar during the bridge replacement will only require a short detour to the Monument Street, Second Street, Fifth Street or Washington Street bridges, she said.