Dayton spends extra $215K on Student Suites

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 10:13 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 10:13 PM

Dayton City Commissioners on Wednesday night approved spending an additional $215,000 to complete the demolition and cleanup of the former Schwind Building property, which was a hurdle preventing the $18 million Student Suites project from moving forward.

The city is upping its contribution to the project to $1,215,000 from the original commitment of $1 million, said Aaron Sorrell, Dayton's director of planning and community development.

The Schwind property demolition needs to be finished by the end of May, and the city is using grant money from the Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Grant Program to complete the work, Sorrell said.

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The city will unused demolition funds from other jurisdictions, he said.

"The nice thing is that it's additional grant funds we received, so it's not city general fund money," he said. "Unfortunately, we have to put additional funds into this project."

A U.S. Housing and Urban Development deed restriction on the Schwind property limits the property to low-income housing, and the Students Suites project does not qualify.

The city wants to transfer the deed restriction to another downtown property, but HUD lost its authority to transfer deed restrictions when the federal government shut down last year, he said. He said the Student Suites project was delayed because the developer could not obtain financing for it because of the deed restriction.

The Student Suites developer is splitting the project into two phases, and the first phase will be built at Wilkinson and Fourth streets, and the second phase will occur after the deed restriction is transferred.

The second phase of work will take place along Ludlow Street by the former Dayton Daily News building and it will include the Schwind property, officials said.

The developer can begin the first phase of construction immediately because it no longer includes the Schwind property.

Paying for the Schwind cleanup means the city will be able to demolish fewer blighted and abandoned homes, Sorrell said. But he said the added expense will help a project progress that is a major investment in downtown Dayton.

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