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Business owner putting plans in motion to bring new life to Santa Clara district

Business owner putting plans in motion to bring new life to Santa Clara district (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - One man's dream is bringing new life to a local neighborhood, where death still haunts it.

In 2017, five women were found dead along main street near the Santa Clara district.

Now there’s a new effort to clean the area up already in motion.

“Half our battle is cleaning up the fronts of buildings, curb appeal you know,” Evans Electric Owner David Furst said

Furst bought Evans Electric from his father-in-law last July, making drastic changes to his building and buying up two others.

“I just think wow, if we refurbish these,” Furst said. “We can potentially bring in new businesses and employ the neighborhood.”

A needed upgrade for a neighborhood ravaged by crime.

He knows the Santa Clara district has a bad reputation, but hopes to change it. They want to make it safe and walkable, similar to the Oregon District, but slightly different.

“If we put another bar, another liquor store, it's just promoting what's already here,” Furst said.

Instead, Furst wants health oriented businesses starting with a juice bar that he's planning to open soon.

“The public will see there can be new business in this type of area,” Furst said.

Local Pastor Jimmy Mann is encouraged by the progress.

“I'm more than confident, because it's happening as we speak,” Mann said.

David plans to buy 10-12 buildings, hoping to build a gym, grocery co-op and bike shop.

“Anyone can come up with a strategy, it's hard to execute it,” Furst said.

He understands some people may be skeptical, because of the neighborhood's past, but he's confident others will join him.

“I know there's people that will hear this story, have thought about this area, they just don't know how to get involved,” Furst said. “Now they know and we will build a team and leverage a team and start doing things.”

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