Open, full house

Try out city living at Downtown Dayton Partnership’s Housing Tour

By Joyell Nevins

Photo: Try out downtown Dayton living at Downtown Dayton Partnership’s annual Downtown Housing Tour May 20

Have you ever considered living in downtown Dayton? It might be more enjoyable and plausible than you think. Get a glimpse of downtown life and see what living spaces are available in the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s annual Downtown Housing Tour, from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 20.

Think of it as a giant open house for the entire downtown. The tour will include spots at renovated warehouse lofts, brand new apartments, and urban townhomes. You can walk or bike from place to place yourself. You can also hop on the free shuttles, courtesy of the Greater Dayton RTA, with Partnership volunteer tour guides. The knowledgeable guides will be pointing out places of interest and offering up stats and information about downtown living.

“There are so many unique attractions in the city that downtown is really an unrivaled living experience,” says Jason Woodard of Woodard Development, which has two properties on the tour.

Downtown residents Kevin and Amy Rehfus wholeheartedly agree. They made the switch from the Troy suburbs to downtown Dayton about two years ago, tentative but looking forward to a new experience. Now, they wouldn’t have it any other way!

“Here is a gem that was right under our noses,” Amy says. “We absolutely love living in downtown Dayton. There is such a positive vibe downtown. The people are very friendly and helpful.”

Amy notes that there are so many different opportunities and activities downtown: theatre, art, music, fine dining, shopping, festivals, even biking and hiking. She says she and her husband enjoy being able to walk or bike wherever they need to go, listing off places such as Riverscape, the library, Dayton Dragons, Dayton Art Institute, Second Street Market, and the Oregon District.

“We are never at a loss for things to do,” Amy says. “We stay so busy that we find it difficult to take time for a vacation!”

Since the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan launch in 2010, 586 extra residential units have been completed, according to the Downtown Dayton Partnership. The Partnership also notes that an additional 679 units are in the works. In 2016 alone, 24 townhomes were completed and sold. Now, 31 more townhomes are in the construction process.

The Rehfuses live in The Landing, an apartment complex in the Central Business District. The Landing has pet-friendly apartments and townhomes in garden or high rise. Amenities include complimentary WiFi in public spaces, a modern community room, and a cardio and free weight fitness center. You can get a closer look at this living location during the housing tour.

“I would encourage anyone who is considering downtown living to check out the DDP Housing Tour.  It’s a great way to check out some of the many living options that are available downtown,” Amy says.

Here are some other options included on the tour this year:

City View: A set of townhomes with three stories and a rooftop terrace. The homes are located on the corner of Fourth and Patterson. They boast open floorplans on the inside and a contemporary design on the outside.

Monument Walk: Three-bedroom townhomes in the Theatre District. They include a two-car heated garage and a fourth level open-air city room with views of the river. Living areas are between 3,227 and 3,470 square feet.

Both Monument Walk and City View homes are part of a 15-year property tax exemption, meaning you only pay tax on the land. Although the townhomes are for sale now, the properties are still in development and will not be available for move-in until fall.

Wheelhouse: These Wayne Avenue apartments are currently under construction, but open for this special tour. The renovated structure will offer 40 loft-style apartments, along with several restaurants and retail spaces. The apartments feature concrete floors, original beadboard ceilings, and an open floor plan.

Water Street Flats: These apartments currently have 215 units, from studio to two bedrooms, with another 54 under development. They are located along the Great Miami River and boast vivid views of the river and the city. The Flats also feature outdoor grilling areas, fire pits, and a swimming pool.

Delco Lofts: Housing converted from the former Delco headquarters. The original building has been transformed into 133 urban lofts with views of Fifth Third Field and the downtown skyline. The lofts have massive windows and 12 and a half foot ceilings. Delco Lofts will also soon have Lock 27 Brewing open a full-scale brewery and gastropub on the first floor.

St. Clair Lofts: Located on Merchants Row, these urban apartments offer 12-foot ceilings and 10-foot windows. Amenities include a fitness center, outdoor patio with grill, and a community room. It’s also right above a host of retail shops, salons, and a bakery.

First Place Apartments: Includes a rooftop pool and pet grooming area in its 50-unit apartment complex. There is also a fitness room, parking garage and individual storage units.

Dayton Towers: A 14-story high rise offers renters efficiency or two-bedroom apartment options and panoramic views of the city. It’s located just outside downtown and includes free parking and all utilities paid.

The Downtown Housing Tour takes place Saturday, May 20 from 1-5 p.m. No registration is required and the event is free. For a map or more information about the tour or properties, please visit or call Downtown Dayton Partnership Special Events Manager Emilee Langenkamp at 937.224.1518 ext. 227. 

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Joyell believes in the power of the written word, a good cup of coffee, and sometimes, the need for a hug (please, no Tommy Boy references). Follow her on her blog “Small World, Big God” at or reach her at

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