City buying former Dayton Career Academy site for $166,028, do you feel safer?

Bill Rain used to think that the main library should buy the Dayton Career Academy building at 441 River Corridor Dr., Dayton, OH 45402 for a new downtown library. With a beautiful view of the river, ample space for parking, and a relatively new building, it didn’t seem like a bad idea.

As part of the deal with the state where the state paid $2 for every $1 (or was it $3 for every $1 for Dayton) toward building new schools, the requirements were very strict. Five-acre lots, and tear down the old buildings, no matter what.

So, we tore down a building that wasn’t that old. And now, the city is buying the lot from the Dayton Public Schools for a song. Or is it that 3.7 acres isn’t worth much in Downtown anymore? $166,028 more for a piece of property with no declared public use. That’s enough money to keep at least 3 more police on the streets, but not enough to pay for a Nan Whaley primary victory.

Was the property put out to bid by Dayton Public Schools? Did they get the best value?

Or is this more space to build empty buildings for Tech Town to compete with property that is already a difficult sell for its owners?

May 15, 2013, at 6 p.m. the Dayton City Commission is going to spend your money to buy another empty lot. Which of course makes a lot of sense, since they seem to be professional creators of empty lots. Look at the corner of Wayne and Wyoming to see another expensive boondoggle that had no public benefit.

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12 Responses

  1. Brian May 15, 2013 / 12:01 am
    That’s a steal if you have a use for it or have patient money.  I’m 0-for-2 on that count, thought.
  2. Brian May 15, 2013 / 12:02 am
    errr…  “though”
  3. Hall May 15, 2013 / 2:42 pm
    The city isn’t a developer and I think that’s confirmed by any of the buildings or property they’ve bought. Why are they buying it is the main question. Since they do anyway and do nothing to/with them, the only speculation is they’re hoping someone else will come along that wants it and they’ll turn a profit…
  4. David Esrati May 15, 2013 / 2:52 pm

    I’ve been told that the land was supposed to revert to the city- no payment necessary. Unfortunately, that person is afraid to share it. If someone checks the deed- there may be covenants.

  5. Dave C. May 15, 2013 / 11:19 pm
    Sometimes, City of Dayton behaves like an old-style socialist nation. Economic decisions are often based on fiat rather than economic demand. 
    In a similar vein, the empty office buildings downtown remind me of the empty buildings in Pyongyang, North Korea.
    The needs of the populace are the lowest economic priority.
  6. David Esrati May 16, 2013 / 10:23 am

    So, here is why we paid DPS $166K for an empty lot we already owned.

    They paid that much as their share of the demolition costs for the building.

    Note- taxpayers paid for that building- and it was a perfectly good reusable building, sitting on City property. But instead of turning it into another part of tech town- or using it for the library, we paid to build it, we paid to tear it down, and then we paid again to “reimburse” the schools for tearing it down. Remember, we started with an empty lot.

    Taxpayers paid to build the new school. Taxpayers then paid to tear it down- 2/3 from the State, 2/3 from the Schools (all our money) and then we paid the schools, with our money- to pay them back for paying to tear down what we built.

    Yep- government, great stewards of your tax dollars.

  7. Dave C. May 16, 2013 / 10:29 am
    Sartre, or perhaps Camus.
  8. Mark Manovich May 16, 2013 / 5:00 pm
    The Dayton School Board has to tear down any building it no longer has a use for (see for example the old Julienne building) because if they sell them (or donate them to the city or a non profit), a charter school may move in.  So, we the taxpayer paid to rehab the building are also forced to pay for them to be demolished.  Given Dayton’s continuing decline in population, there is more demo of school buildings in our near future.
  9. Dave C. May 16, 2013 / 9:35 pm
    Wow! Shades of the “Central Planning Committee” that ran Marxist economies right into the ditch.
  10. David Esrati May 16, 2013 / 10:31 pm

    @Mark Manovich- highly unlikely DPS will be tearing down buildings- since they were spec’d at the height of the Charter School experiment, as charters die, DPS has been running out of space.


  11. Dave C. May 17, 2013 / 10:45 am
    Here are the smoke-and-mirrors used by crappy school systems everywhere: they have given up on addressing the central issue of education, so they concentrate on doing things that look like forward progress to outside, uninformed observers.
    They build new facilities, hire  consultants, launch re-branding campaigns ( complete with slogan), find new ways to game the stats, and they dump resources into a single school (at the expense of all the other schools in the system) that they can cite as a success story.
    My favorite: the revolving door superintendent!
    DPS will do whatever it takes to maintain the smoke-and-mirrors. 
  12. David Esrati July 24, 2013 / 9:35 am

    At today’s city commission meeting, they had to pass another resolution- to declare they weren’t buying the property from the schools- since the property was still the city’s, but, reimbursing the Schools for the demolition costs.

    In the same meeting, they gave back TIF money to CityWide for the taxes they’d paid on Tech Town- which still stands mostly vacant.

    I had something to say about that- look for a post later.

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