Miss Maha and the City

Best bets for living in downtown Dayton

By Maha Kashani

Photo: View from Sixth Street Lofts

When I tell local suburbanites that I live in downtown Dayton, I usually get a standard response. It’s a slightly puzzled face or, “Really? Downtown Dayton?” Yes, really. I live in downtown Dayton, and I love it!

After a short stint living in downtown Chicago, I came back with a fresh perspective and extreme curiosity about downtown Dayton. I began exploring and quickly fell in love with what our urban core had to offer. It wasn’t long before I realized that Dayton was like a “pint-sized” Chicago – a more convenient and affordable version, with much less traffic!

When I was ready to move into the city, I turned to the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s “Urban Living” guide to begin my search. There were many unique urban housing options available, but I quickly learned that almost everywhere was at full occupancy.

I finally moved into a unique two-bedroom at The Cannery that was double the size of my apartment in Chicago – for half the price. I became a regular at the 2nd Street market, loved all the affordable culture at the Schuster and Victoria Theatres, savored our independent restaurants and attended every festival. I quickly became one of downtown’s biggest advocates and loved walking everywhere I needed to go.

Just recently, I took my love for downtown living to the next level by making the largest investment of my life – a new condo. With several developments popping up around the city, it was a tough decision, but I landed on the beautiful new Sixth Street Lofts in the Oregon District, formerly Excelsior Lofts.

Thinking about making the move downtown? You are not alone!

Fueled by young professionals, empty nesters and every one in between, downtown housing is in high demand.

“More people are looking for the active, convenient, green lifestyle downtown living affords,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “Our residents tell us time and time again how much they love being able to walk and bike to restaurants, parks, theater performances, festivals, gyms, shops, the market and so much more.”

With a diverse variety of housing options – rent or own; condo or townhouse; historic or new construction – there is something for everybody.

Miss Maha’s Best Bets:

To Rent:

If your top priorities include a pet friendly building with attached parking and a pool, then First Place Apartments (firstplacecondos.com) is your best bet. This contemporary luxury apartment building on First Street features several two- and three-bedroom units and some of the best amenities in town.

If you want to be at the center of it all, then The Cannery (cannerydayton.com) is your ideal abode. This unique mash-up of six former warehouses is located at Third Street and Wayne Avenue. You’ll be within walking distance (1-5 blocks) from Garden Station, the Oregon District, 2nd Street Market, Fifth Third Field and the Arts District. Plus, Olive, an Urban Dive, and the new Barrel House Tap are located right across the street!

If you love huge floor-to-ceiling windows and on-site amenities are important, then the Soho-styled St. Clair Lofts (stclairlofts.com) are calling your name. Featuring many great onsite options such as the CADC Gallery, American Pi gifts and clothing, Peace Pilates, plus Serendipity Bistro serving up some of the best panini’s in town, you can’t find a more convenient location!

If you enjoy peace and quiet but want to stay close to the action, The Landing (daytonlanding.com) is your ideal spot. This great Dayton landmark offers a rare blend of city life, with a suburban vibe. Nestled in the northwest corner of downtown, this complex offers two unique options – “The High Rise” or “The Village.”

If you want a distinctive option right in the Historic Oregon District, keep your eyes peeled for an opening in the Johnston Building on Fifth Street. There are only six units in this historic building, whose features include modern appliances and Italian style remodeling. Vacancies are advertised on Craigslist, and if a unit comes open it goes fast!

If you can wait before making your migration to the city, then the proposed new Water Street Redevelopment along the riverfront could be the right fit for you. This exciting mixed-use project just north of Fifth Third Field is proposed to begin construction in spring 2014. This project will be huge for downtown, so stay tuned!

To Buy:

If a rare new construction project in a historic neighborhood is what you’re looking for, then look no further because Sixth Street Lofts (6thstreetlofts.com) is your future home. This $3 million development in the Oregon District has fully converted a 100-year-old historic building into a true gem where luxury amenities like maple cabinets, granite countertops, hardwood floors and ceramic tile come standard. Don’t delay! With high ceilings and plenty of windows, it’s no wonder only eight of these beautiful loft-style units are still available.

If a multi-level row house with contemporary floor plans and an attached garage fits your profile, then Patterson Square Townhomes (simmsdev.com/Home), just steps from the ballpark, is your grand slam. After the amazing success and quick sell out of the initial set of townhomes, phase two constructions have begun on 31 three-level, two-bedroom units each featuring a two-car attached garage and private ground level courtyard.

If you’re looking for a contemporary, yet distinguished, building then Cooper Lofts (cooperlofts.com) may be the ideal home for you. This building’s industrial design is a unique blend of old and new, giving owners the best of both worlds. The options range from mezzanine and townhouse units to flats and warehouse flats, and most units feature beautiful views of the city.

This is just a sample of all the great urban living options available in downtown Dayton, to learn more, visit DowntownDayton.org and check out the “Urban Living” guide.

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