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The Arts Lofts at the Dayton Arcade*

Dayton, OH

The Dayton Arcade was the beating heart of a once vibrant downtown. This architecturally elegant nine-building, 500,000 SF complex operated as a city-within-a-city in the first half of the 20th Century, with office, event, and retail spaces and residential units.

As the white population moved to the suburbs, shopping habits changed, and new interstate highways cut-off downtown, the Arcade’s allure faded. Serious but unsuccessful attempts to reanimate it have been made through the years.

Starting in 2018, an innovative and daring effort began to bring it back. Cross Street Partners, Model Group, and McCormack Baron Salazar are redeveloping the Dayton Arcade with offices, retail and event space, a hotel, and housing.

The first phase, the South Arcade, includes an innovation center led by the University of Dayton and The Innovation Center, and the residential Arts Lofts, offering 103 affordable and seven market-rate units targeting local artists and creative entrepreneurs. The Arts Lofts will be sustainability-certified and provide remediated, energy-efficient, healthy places to live and work and play.

The financing of the $90 million South Arcade is one of the most creative and complicated financial stacks undertaken in history. With 26 layers of financing, including LIHTC, Clean Energy Funding, State and historic tax credits, New Market Tax Credits, private debt and equity, the deal was profoundly complex.

The second phase, the North Arcade, will include a shared commercial kitchen program, a marketplace retail and restaurant environment, and a hotel.

The vision is not just about reviving the Arcade but is the center of a larger plan by the City of Dayton to bring residents, jobs, and visitors back to the downtown core. Leading urbanist Bruce Katz has called the restoration of the Arcade, ‘The most transformative project in America.’