Today’s Dayton Daily News reported that CareSource  will be building a 51 million dollar office complex at the corner of Main and Monument because â€œtheir requirements can’t be met in the vacant space downtown’?
If CareSource wasn’t asking for $500,000 from the City of Dayton  and another $500,000 from the Montgomery county ED/GE fund , I wouldn’t care where they built- or what. But, since they are asking for tax dollars, I should get a say- and I say there is a building available that can handle all their needs and then some- and it doesn’t involve replacing old buildings- it’s an adaptive reuse that would save a great piece of Dayton’s history.
My option for CareSource: The Mendelson’s  complex on First Street- across from and next to 5/3rd Field- home of the Dayton Dragons . For less than $11 million, they could have buildings with huge floor plates, tall ceilings, and nuclear blast resistant strength (they haven’t built buildings like this for over 40 years). The buildings are also eligible for Historic Tax Credits- that are like money in the bank.
As an added benefit- the complex comes with the Webster Street Market building- that could be put under Five Rivers Metroparks  management to expand the 2nd Street Market- and, CareSource could build a parking garage that they would use by day- and Dragon’s fans could use at night.
Frankly, I’ve seen the buildings the Port Authority  has built for MCsI (now defunct) and Relizon – and none of the compare to the grandeur of Mendelson’s old Delco plants that once housed Charles Kettering’s (modest) office.
Since the Mendelson buildings have more space than CareSource needs- they could be mixed use structures with retail on the first floors, some rental office space on the second, CareSource on the upper floors- and real loft space on the top floors. The views from the top floor of plant 1 (on the Dragon’s plaza, next to the main entry gate) are some of the best views in the City and would eclipse Performance Place as the premier housing downtown.
When my firm did work for Mr. Mendelson, I spent quite some time walking through these buildings- and even was there till past midnight mopping water after a fire hit the 4th floor (an employee set it)- and I can tell you- these are buildings that deserve a tenant with vision and the ingenuity of Boss Kettering- CareSource should seriously reconsider.
Our leaders should weigh these options before they hand over our tax dollars.
What do you think?