Dayton can’t make up mind: buy or sell property?

It’s really too bad the citizens of Dayton are asleep at the wheel, allowing the City Commission with their limited intellectual capacity, to sell off our assets, while at the same time, engaged in an utterly pointless property acquisition strategy.

Yep- we’re selling off the public’s investment in parks and recreation centers for the youth of our community, while at the same time, on a ridiculous quest to buy derelict properties and tear them down.

Here is what the no-vision commission plans, according to the Dayton Daily News:

Reducing property holdings is part of Dayton City Manager Tim Riordan’s 37-point proposal to cut more than $12 million from the city budget. Those cuts come in anticipation of about $9 million in lost revenue from state budget cuts annually, once fully implemented.

Other projected losses include $1 million in stimulus funds for police, $4 million in block grants and $1.5 million in property taxes from the drop in valuation.

Unlike some of these buildings that have outlived their usefulness, the Bomberger Teen Center is still open to youth.

Earley said the city hadn’t intended to sell Bomberger, but the teen center is entirely funded with Community Development Block Grants.“We’re looking at 40 percent cuts in block grant funding. That’s millions of dollars,” Earley said.

A review of recreation facilities in 2003 found Dayton had too many neighborhood centers, built when the city’s population was much higher than the 141,527 of today. The city closed several family recreation centers, including Burkhardt, Stuart-Patterson and the Linden Center, all of which are up for sale. In 2010, the city opened the Greater Dayton Recreation Center at Roosevelt Commons and poured $3 million into renovations at its Northwest and Lohrey recreation centers.

Priority board activities largely have been consolidated to City Hall downtown, resulting in the Fair River Oaks, Northeast, Southeast and Innerwest priority board office buildings being offered for sale, Dayton’s facility director Ramona Carver said.

The 25-story Lindsey Building, located at 25 S. Main St. next to McCrory’s is one of the largest on the list. It has been closed for about 20 years.

“Our eventual desire is to sell all of the buildings on the list. Even if we lease a property, the goal would be a lease-purchase agreement,” Carver said.

The average carrying cost to maintain a closed facility is about $7,000 a year, but others troubled by vandalism can cost upwards of $17,000 annually, Carver said.

For sale or lease

  • Burkhardt Recreation Center, 215 Burkhardt Ave.
  • Stuart Patterson Recreation Center, 238 Baltimore St.
  • Ellison Senior Center, 2412 W. Third St.
  • Naval Reserve, 410 N. Gettysburg Ave.
  • Linden Center, 334 Norwood Ave.
  • Claridge Center, 1404 Wesbster St.
  • Riverbend, Wegerzen, Playhouse Complex, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave.
  • Lindsey Building, 25 S. Main St.
  • FROC Priority Board, 903 W. Fairview Ave.
  • Northeast Priority Board, 359 Maryland Ave.
  • Sunrise Center, 1320 E. Fifth St.
  • Southeast Priority Board, 2160 E. Fifth St.
  • Innerwest Priority Board, 1024 W. Third St.
  • Bomberger Teen Center, 1306 E. Fifth St.

via City to OK sale of property.

It would be interesting to look at how much taxpayer money has been wasted on buying real estate over the years, and the complete property holdings of the City. At one point, around 15 years ago, a local developer named Duane Jack asked for a printout of city-owned parcels and was delivered a 5″ stack of green bar printout- one line per parcel.

How did we end up buying the abandoned Lindsey Building- what was the “public use?”

The Naval Center on Gettysburg is being abandoned by the Marine Corps. Apparently, due to our lack of police protection, even the Marines don’t want to be there.

We’ve poured millions into Riverbend, into the South East Priority Board building (a beautiful, former Carnegie Library building) in the past. The Bomberger Teen center has also received millions- and we’re going to sell them all for chump change.

In the meantime, Nan Whaley has a plan to buy even more property and tear it all down. The fact that she got huge donations from demolition contractors was widely ignored by voters. Of course, the excuse is that no one wants to live next to a run-down abandoned house.

Well, no one wants to live in a city that gives 30-year tax breaks to one of the richest corporations in America, GE, while not being able to have a parks and recs program for kids to be involved in- so they won’t join gangs, sell drugs, tag your building or drop out of school.

Had we invested in delivering top-notch city services and amenities, maybe we wouldn’t have so many abandoned homes. If we hadn’t wasted so many years with the failed attempt to “integrate” our community through school busing- and had instead made sure our schools were equal and great, we wouldn’t have lost 100,000 people.

Sell off every priority board office and vacant downtown tower you bought- and stop buying decrepit housing. Instead, start opening up community centers and building strong neighborhoods back in a partnership with the Dayton Public Schools and the Charter schools that are trying to provide worthwhile educations for our kids.

Stop giving tax abatements to GE and UD, and start hiring police officers from other departments and save us the expense and hassle of our “Police Academy” that only seems to turn out white officers.

It is not a city’s job to be a real estate speculator, investor, restorer or preservationist. It’s a city’s job to provide top-notch services and safe neighborhoods.

You can wake up now voters. Consider donating to the lawsuit to give you the ability to recall our commissioners and or change our charter.

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22 Responses

  1. Gary August 2, 2011 / 10:25 am
    The Riverbend Playhouse Complex is a nice place, I hate to see it go, it has a great garden there, too! Why can’t it be used for storage for the park there?
  2. BOE Dude August 2, 2011 / 1:08 pm
    Nan Whaley is definitely making the local democrat party happy by taking in cash.  She used her money raising stats to get her husband, Sam Braun, who works for Karl Keith a huge promotion from what I hear.  He was not qualified at all for the job and beat out far more experienced and capable staff members.  Word is he will start taking home somewhere around $80,000 to work (illegally) mostly on democrat party stuff and help his wife out with her scams. 

    Also I hear the supervisor at the BOE that helped get her rapist sexual predator brother hired also got her son hooked up with a job through Karl Keith as well.  Even better, instead of being fired for bringing a tier 3 sexual predator to work the democrats are looking to get her son and maybe his wife even bigger job hookups because she kept her mouth shut and protected Director Harsman who knew he was hiring her rapist brother as a political favor.  I hear the supervisor (King) even got a raise this year at the BOE.

    The BOE also lost another Republican supervisor who moved on to a job in the City of Dayton.  I wonder if he knows anything about changing dates on petitions?  Maybe David should track him down?

  3. J Dziwulski August 2, 2011 / 5:32 pm
    The Lindsey Building was bought in the mid-1980s as part of the second Arcade urban renewal plan. Prior to that it had been vacant since th early or mid-1970s, shut down by the owner except for the ground floor, which was leased as a retail space; Gallenkamp Shoes was the last tenant.  I guess this troubled building was an early warning of the collapse of the downtown office market.

     The purchase was part of a strategy to aquire the entire west side of that block of Main as far south as the Kuhns Building (at that time Chemineer, I think)…including McCrorys. 

    The plan was to tear down the buildings and construct a Twin Towers type of complex, twin high-rises with a little arcade between them to connect up with the old Arcade, as a way to generate foot traffic and a customer base for the struggling Arcade project, which by then was in recievership or owned by the creditors.

    The developer was the Webb brothers of Lexington, KY, who had developed a similar twin towers scheme in that city (but without the connecting arcade).

    This plan failed.  Only one of the twin towers was built, today One Dayton Centre.  The city did aquire the Lindsey buidling but apparently never finished acquiring the McCrory building. Presumably Gallenkamp Shoes was evicted when the city bought the building from the previous owner?

  4. David Esrati August 2, 2011 / 10:21 pm

    Thanks for the history Jeff. Of course, the Arcade tower project was a boondoggle as well- with a delay engineered by Tom Danis so that he could get the “CitFed”tower up first- at the corner of 2nd and Main. He ran into some delays thanks to the Cooper Block building and the historic district on Second St. The city finagled a deal on the stainless triangle so tax dollars wouldn’t be directly spent on the destruction of the historic buildings.

    The Arcade wasn’t supposed to be built without 37% sold up front- it opened with about 20%

    The City took a bath on it as well- esp. after they gave the arcade to Danis for $36K and he promptly shut it down- even blocking the walk through from the garage to the tower.

    The whole thing was criminal.

  5. Civil Servants Are People, Too August 3, 2011 / 12:32 am
    Welcome to the new reality in America.   Tax cuts will always trickle down to the lowest level of local government.    Combine that with regional sprawl and nearly flat growth rates, there’s no surprise here.  
     
    They really have no choice but to shut down programs and sell off assets.    If you can’t fund the programs, the buildings become nothing more than liabilities on the balance sheets.
     
    The question is… when will the private sector step up?
  6. bobby August 3, 2011 / 11:04 am
      “when will the private sector step up

        CSAPT, What, exactly, is the private sector to do?  Should the city expect top dollar from vulture investors in the worst deflationary real estate market of since the depression?  Should the altruistic private sector move public sector liabilities to the private sector balance sheet?      

        Demand drives private sector real estate participation. Without demand, expect vulture investors to cherry pick the inventory for whatever the minimum the city will accept.
        Many of the properties will go begging for a buyer/user because of their undesirable locations.

  7. Melissa August 3, 2011 / 12:06 pm
    That Carnegie Library building is gorgeous, from the outside at least. Always wanted to buy it. Now to find a huge windfall of cash … LOL
  8. David Esrati August 3, 2011 / 12:30 pm

    @CPAST- the private sector should step up? really- to what- run our police force, firefighters everything? Misplaced goals and actions of our idiot politicians have squandered everything away chasing “economic development” instead of investing in the public health and welfare that they were supposed to take care of.

    How about we shut down the economic development department, citywide and stop giving tax breaks to the “private sector”- and collect taxes like they are supposed to.

    I’m starting to wonder why we pay for city government at all?

  9. Brad August 3, 2011 / 1:21 pm
    A few notes..

    -The Lindsey Building is not even close to 25-stories, as the article indicates.  I think it’s 11 or 12…

    -And “One Dayton Centre” is no more.  It is currently “Fifth Third Center”… It was renamed when 5/3rd moved there from the 2nd and Main tower last year.  That tower (NE corner, 2nd & Main) has now been purchased by Premier Health, which will be moving all their back office operations there from the 40 W. Fourth tower.  Which will then leave 40 W. Fourth virtually empty……….. It’s kinda like a game of hopscotch or Twister…. but with huge office towers.  Good news is that Premier bought their new building.

    -While we’re on the subject of high-rises, I found it somewhat interesting that KeyBank got naming rights to the 10 W. Second tower (former Mead..) for occupying the lobby and a whopping 3 upper floors… of a 27-story tower.  When Thompson-Hine moves out, that building will also be virtually empty (Minus DDP moving their small office there recently…).  I’m happy to see KeyBank there, and the lit-up logo looks great on top.  But 4 floors out of 27 for naming rights to the building?  The building owners must have been grasping for anything at the time…. That’s a pretty darn good deal for getting to put your logo on Dayton’s largest and most visible billboard.
    -For any outlying business leaders that read this blog, there’s about to be a ton of stupid-cheap office space at 40 W. Fourth when Premier packs up their operation.  I believe they literally have every floor but 1 or 2.  Heck, lease a few floors of it and you can probably name the building “your company” Tower.

  10. Jesse August 3, 2011 / 4:42 pm
    YAY!!!! “I am starting to wonder why we pay for city government at all.” Esrati is coming around.  
  11. Civil Servants Are People, Too August 3, 2011 / 5:21 pm
    “CSAPT, What, exactly, is the private sector to do?
    ….[Government should] stop giving tax breaks to the “private sector”- and collect taxes”

    Sir, you’ve answered your own question.   Economic reports have indicated that large corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash while the recovery putters along.    Investing that money in equipment and jobs will create the tax revenue that is needed all over the country.

    As you’ve said many times, CEO pay is beyond outlandish.    Corporate leadership at the local level is almost non-existant, as well.   At the national level, it’s nothing but lobbyists anymore.

    We need a new stimulus package, but not one that comes from the government.   Real economic development is about driving private sector investment to the areas where it is needed most.    We need corporations to invest in America again and start creating demand.

    So yes, sir, the private sector needs to step up.  

    We can’t cut our way to the top.

    xox

  12. joe_mamma August 4, 2011 / 8:28 am
    “Sir, you’ve answered your own question.   Economic reports have indicated that large corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash while the recovery putters along.    Investing that money in equipment and jobs will create the tax revenue that is needed all over the country.”
    “We need a new stimulus package, but not one that comes from the government.   Real economic development is about driving private sector investment to the areas where it is needed most.    We need corporations to invest in America again and start creating demand.
    So yes, sir, the private sector needs to step up.  
    We can’t cut our way to the top.” CSPT

    A lot of companies are buying and replacing equipment…that’s why many firms are reporting healthy profits.  Most firms however are not hiring people.  Why?  Because hiring people is not a one time cost.  You have to find and maintain additional revenue to hire people.  Businesses don’t have a lot of confidence in their future revenue streams, so that is why they are “sitting” on cash.  There is also a lot of uncertainty about future costs thanks to a myriad of new government regulations and policies. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc
    “You see slack in some sectors as a general glut.
    But some sectors are healthy only some are in a rut.
    So spending’s not free, that’s the heart of the matter.
    Too much is wasted as cronies get fatter.
    The economy’s not a car. There’s no engine to stall.
    No expert can fix it. There’s no “it” at all.
    The economy is us. We don’t need a mechanic
    Put away the wrenches, the economy is organic.

    The government’s long been in bed
    with those Wall Street execs and the firms that they’ve bled.
    Capitalism is about profit and loss.
    You bail out the losers there is no end to the cost.
    The lesson I’ve learned is how little we know.
    The world is complex, not some circular flow.
    The economy is not a class you master in college,
    to think otherwise is the pretense of knowledge”

  13. bobby August 4, 2011 / 12:09 pm
    Huge piles of cash      Corporations have more than than one trillion in cash.  Consider these facts:  

         Standard and Poors Valuation and Risk Strategies Group found that 2/3 of the top corporate cash hoarders are based outside the U.S., marking the hoarders as a very global group. (Ironically GE is one of the largest)
          
         At the end of the first quarter of 2010, U.S. nonfinancial businesses owed 10.9 trillion dollars and the U.S. financial sector owed 14.9 trillion dollars.   

         Joe mama is correct. Uncertainty, excess capacity, decling personal income and weak demand is not an inducement for business to invest.       

  14. J. Dziwulski August 4, 2011 / 3:54 pm
    And “One Dayton Centre” is no more.  It is currently “Fifth Third Center”… It was renamed when 5/3rd moved there from the 2nd and Main tower last year.  That tower (NE corner, 2nd & Main) has now been purchased by Premier Health, which will be moving all their back office operations there from the 40 W. Fourth tower.  Which will then leave 40 W. Fourth virtually empty……….. It’s kinda like a game of hopscotch or Twister…. but with huge office towers.  Good news is that Premier bought their new building.

    Yeah..there is this floating block of vacacnt office space downtown.  Esrati’s chronology re the old CitFed Building (now Premier Health) is correct.  In fact that project was apparently kept secret from the Webbs.  I recall reading Dudley Webb commenting he would not have invested in his skyscraper (“Fifth Third Center”) if he knew about the Danis project, that he thought there was a market for only one high-rise of that size in Dayton.  But instead there are now two.  

    An interesting idea or game would be to photoshop Dayton’s skyline to remove all the vacant towers (or vacant space) and see what it would look like.   Maybe more like Fort Wayne, huh?

  15. Gary August 4, 2011 / 6:20 pm
    @ BOE dude- If what you say about Nan is true, getting her hubby that job, well, it makes me livid! I emailed her about it and she has yet to respond – and she usually answers me – but if she does not it must be true, and I will never vote for her again if it is! @ bobby- At the end of the first quarter of 2010, U.S. nonfinancial businesses owed 10.9 trillion dollars and the U.S. financial sector owed 14.9 trillion dollars. Owed what? Costs of employees or taxes?
  16. bobby August 4, 2011 / 6:45 pm
    @ Gary, Non financials owe primarily corporate bonds and bank debt. Financials owe bonds, banks and sovereign debt. 
  17. Gary August 6, 2011 / 2:57 pm
    Nan Whaley is definitely making the local democrat party happy by taking in cash.  She used her money raising stats to get her husband, Sam Braun, who works for Karl Keith a huge promotion from what I hear.  He was not qualified at all for the job and beat out far more experienced and capable staff members.  Word is he will start taking home somewhere around $80,000 to work (illegally) mostly on democrat party stuff and help his wife out with her scams. 
    @ BOE dude, Can u prove your above statement / accusations?  And my sis reminded me it’s uncouth to talk people’s salaries, esp. on the web!  Bet between the two of them they don’t even make that much anyway – I wrote the auditor’s office to see … Now me nosey!  :-)
  18. gary August 8, 2011 / 8:33 pm
  19. m chambers November 11, 2016 / 1:21 pm
    i just b

    have one question, who owns the linden center?  what are the chances  to aquire the center?

  20. David Esrati November 11, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    The city of Dayton owns it and has it up for sale right now.

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