Water Street project: ‘It’s coming together’

Woodard said Thursday he intends to break ground for an office/commercial building in six weeks or earlier, ahead of the previous timeline of spring 2014.

“When we first unveiled the plan in July, we thought everything would start next spring,” Woodard said. “And working with multiple tenants, we felt it was in our best interests to get the office building started slightly ahead of that.”

Woodard’s next steps, with Dublin, Ohio-based partner Crawford Hoying, include finalizing a lease agreement with a tenant to anchor the project’s phase-one office building, reaching a development pact with the city of Dayton and closing on financing.

Woodard and Hoying unveiled the project, dubbed the Water Street Redevelopment, last summer. Plans then called for a 50,000-square-foot commercial building and a 430-space parking structure, with a combined value of $10 million. Plans also included construction of 161 residential apartment units valued at about $20 million.

The work could also entail infrastructure improvements and riverfront and pedestrian landscaping.

“Our vision would be a whole build-out of the site,” said Woodard, a veteran of Miller-Valentine and RG Properties. He and Hoying have an option on the Deeds Point property to the north, “which has long been revered as a prime residential option,” he said.

Providing residences is one way to keep people in that part of downtown.

“Quite frankly, I hope our piece is just the beginning to a much-larger revitalization and investment from people locally, out of town, wherever it may be,” Woodard said. “An active riverfront has been proven as a great economic driver in multiple places.”

Woodard declined to comment on reports that PNC Bank plans to move its local headquarters from near Third and Main streets to the new building. Woodard said an announcement on that may come from the tenant, he said.

PNC spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said: “At this point, anything related to this is a rumor, and we don’t comment on rumors. I can say we are committed to downtown Dayton. We expect our regional office and its employees to remain firmly in the city.”

Construction costs may be on the uptick, but interest rates remain low, and city leaders have long wanted to further develop that part of downtown, Woodard said.

“It’s coming together at the right time,” he said.

Staff Writer Lynn Hulsey contributed to this story.

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