Designers hoping to breathe new life into downtown through Fire Blocks District

Designers hoping to breathe new life into downtown through Fire Blocks District (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A Columbus developer group is looking to breathe new life into historic downtown Dayton.

Friday afternoon, the Windsor Companies unveiled their plans for the Fire Blocks District.

Construction on the renovation has been underway for less than two months but developers are excited about the future of the district.

"Dayton is on the verge of just taking off," Eric VanZwieten, Marketing Director for Windsor, said. "We've seen so many other things coming - the Oregon District, the Riverfront, the Levitt Pavilion is here and the Fire Blocks is right in the middle of all of it."

During phase one of construction, the company will be transforming the 100-year-old buildings from the inside out adding about 100 lofts and more 40,000 square feet of commercial space.

At Friday's open house event, nearby businesses, local leaders and residents had a chance to see the blueprints for themselves.

"Since we kicked off the greater downtown plan in 2010, we have seen more than $1.5 billion dollars in investment our downtown,” Sandy Gudorf, President of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, said. "For a community our size, or any size, that's incredible."

Windsor Companies said the first phase of the project is expected to cost about $30 million. Once it's completed, the entire project will cost more than $100 million.

They call the investment a heavy lift, but think it will be worth it.

"We believe in Dayton. We believe that this project is going to be good for the community and so we're willing to put in the investment," VanZwieten said.

Residents and businesses are expected to be able to move into the renovated buildings in fall 2019.

Overall, this project is expected to create 200 new jobs in the Dayton area on top of the hundreds of temporary construction jobs to facilitate construction.

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