While Dayton is hemorrhaging jobs and residents, with a glut of vacant business space on the market, you would think anyone wanting to open a new business would be welcomed with open arms.
But, in Kettering, once known as a business unfriendly community- the red carpet is being rolled out (guess competition from the Greene woke them up).
Today, a client of mine went to inquire about putting a hip business in the Oregon district. The space is 10K sq feet on two floors, and has been empty for at least 2 years. The “One Stop” people immediately started talking about all the problems- zoning, use, requirements for architectural drawings. For a space that’s been a frickin pawn shop adding absolutely squat to the district.
Of course, this is just a small nail in a coffin that’s already in a sarcophagus and being back filled as we sleep. Take a look at the coolest building in the Oregon- just to the left of Newcom’s- with it’s beautiful bay windows, and the roller rink on the top floor. This building, which was where Morris Furniture got it’s start, can’t be occupied by anyone, thanks to zoning and building codes that don’t translate to old buildings in Historic Districts.
Instead of “Economic Development” people – the city really needs to hire some “Expediter/Ombudsmen” who will work tirelessly to cut through this unnecessary red tape that is killing off our community.