Build a house before noon?

A home can be built in a day.Barry Buckman was standing across the street, watching like a proud father watches his kid hit a home run in little league, as the crane deposited the third floor of his new prototype home on Patterson just South of First Street. It won’t be finished for another 30 days, as bricklayers still have to build the outer skin, but by Urban Nights next Friday, the interior should be finished out and ready to show.

Built in a factory, to the new “Green Building” specifications, the house was trucked in from UniBuilt’s Vandalia plant and assembled on the foundation well before noon. This house is nothing like the typical factory built homes we’ve been used to seeing in the area, with modern lines and hip details, which come with vision from an architect- as opposed to a “builder.” Buckman’s firm, Rogero Buckman Architects has been a force in urban modernism in Dayton for the last 15 or so years (full disclosure- my firm, The Next Wave, has done some work for them in the past and hosts their website).

These homes are catty-corner to one of their other projects- the Cooper Lofts, a juxtaposition of an old warehouse with a new modern condo block with shared amenities, across the street from Miami Jacobs college where they did interior work and blocks away from the Firefly building on Webster which is the budget, urban hip live work space that houses their offices. They’ve got their fingerprints on everything from housing in the Genesis project in the shade of Miami Valley Hospital to the sculptures and playful kiosks at Riverscape.

If you are looking for true “Creative Class Catalysts” RBA has been walking the talk since before Richard Florida stepped into the limelight with his book. Be sure to check out the model home on May 16th 2008 and report back in the comments.

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4 Responses

  1. Melissa May 14, 2008 / 8:27 am
    This looks like an amazing home – one I am sure is utterly out of my price league. Yet I am the young, creative, motivated professional that the city supposedly wants to attract to downtown. So please, anyone who has more insight than me, explain: Where are the “creative class” with the killer jobs coming from who are supposed to live downtown and revitalize it? It just kills me to hear and see two conflicting messages: We want to revive downtown, it’s just going to be completely unaffordable for anyone who wants to live there (and work there, which I do).

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  2. David Esrati May 14, 2008 / 9:32 am

    Melissa-
    I believe these are going to be around $220K – not crazy expensive, but, not in your price range.
    Due to high conversion costs to meet “modern building codes” a lot of the old residential inventory can’t be converted reasonably- and not many of us can buy a multi-unit just for us to live in, since the rules for owner occupied vs multi-tenant are different.
    Have you ever looked at the block of E. Third between Jefferson and St. Claire and considered how many apartments there were above those businesses- but all sit empty?
    Hello?

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  3. Gene May 14, 2008 / 10:30 am
    $220k is a lot for a place that has little else than some BS notion of “the past” and “urban.” Safety is really important to people, especially people with money.

    Getting people to live Downtown is the most important thing – bc lord knows we will never attract large businesses. With that, pricing of new places and renovated lofts/apartments is also important and too often they price people (creative class or otherwise) out of the market. And lease space for potential small business is also too expensive. This is Dayton, Ohio – don’t price new houses, renovated houses, lofts or apartments out of the price range of those who really want to live Downtown. This is not Columbus or Indy or even Louisville.

    It will never change. Ever. Too many “big wigs” think people with cash want to live downtown – they don’t! People with modest incomes want to live downtown but don’t want to pay $1150.00 for rent on a two bedroom deal or pay $220k on $38k a year. THINK price per SQUARE FOOT and then compare Downtown with nicer, safer suburbs. It is not like there is a lot to do Downtown, and it is a very easy commute from most suburbs, so Downtown living, Urban living, needs to be more affordable to the twenty-somethings, your creative class and to others who actually want (but can not afford) downtown spaces.

    Am I the only one who paid $100K for a house and make double that in wages? $220K houses need to be owned by people who make $100k a year plus – but we all know how good Daytonians and Americans are with money. You get what you pay for. And too often you get stress, headaches, financial problems, family problems, work problems when you overpay/can’t afford something.

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