Paul Hutchins of the eponymous Hutchins Commercial Realty is proving to be worthy of the title of “undeveloper.”
A few years back, Hutchins picked up a package deal of properties downtown from Marv Felman including The Fidelity Building at 5th and Main, and practically the whole block between E. 2nd and E. 3rd between Jefferson and St. Clair. They also took over Parking Management Incorporated- making them the largest operator of surface parking lots in Downtown Dayton.
When they made their move- they trumpeted loudly their plans to move the old Gem Savings clock tower from the Reynolds & Reynolds building to the corner of Third and Jefferson. When they realized no one would give them the money to do it- that plan quietly faded away.
They also ran Boston’s Bistro out of the Eva Felman apartments- along with Sir Speedy- with their grand plans of building competition to the Oregon District centered around Masque. Masque was a joint deal with Luke Liakos, owner of Diamond’s Cabaret. With their big rush to get Boston out- they seemed to overlook putting someone back in.
Next we had them tear down the former home of WTUE and WONE on Wilkinson at Third- to put in yet another parking lot. This building was formerly home to Architects Associated– who then moved to Suburbia. Boston’s moved to Harrison Township- Sir Speedy was the only business that actually stayed downtown, moving around the corner to Jefferson St.
Now we have Seattle East and the Upper Kut being forced out- so they can tear down yet another building in the name of progress. Not that there aren’t entire city blocks of surface parking lot available to build on (look just West of 111 W. First Street- where there are lots the size of a small farm plot).
Seattle East will not relocate downtown- and so another independently owned place to eat, drink and employee people in Downtown Dayton is being pushed out.
What will replace the Seattle East building? More than likely it’s the new building for CareSource- although officials aren’t saying anything. No mention has been made of the 2 amazing buildings to the East of Seattle East- one a vacant law office that is a phenomenal piece of architecture- and well preserved- the other a very old house that had been converted into 3 very rich condos.
Needless to say, Hutchins is a major player in Downtown- and the fate of the Downtown Dayton Partnership– it seems he is nothing but a profiteer, buying low and either selling high- or working on building a monopoly on parking in Downtown. The problem is- without showing some skills at developing his holdings- there won’t be anyone coming downtown to park if he keeps closing businesses- even if they are small.