Detailed Proposal in Place for Revitalization of Former Dayton Daily News Site

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DAYTON (OH) – April 10, 2013 – A preliminary plan has been agreed upon for the sale and revitalization of the vacant historic Dayton Daily News building and adjacent property. Cox Media Group Ohio has been working with the city of Dayton, Student Suites and United Housing and Community Services Corporation to finalize a plan to build an $18 million multi-purpose complex. The plan will soon go before the city of Dayton for approval. In addition to the sale of the historic Dayton Daily News’ building and property, Cox Media Group Ohio is contributing $1 million to restore and protect the legacy of the historic building.

Student Suites  and United Housing and Community Services Corporation (UHCS) are partnering to purchase the property and have developed preliminary plans for a multi-purpose complex that would provide high quality student housing with 350 beds, public meeting spaces, and food services and restaurants. Pending plan approval, renovation activities are targeted to begin early this summer with a completion date of August 2014.

Student Suites, a student housing development firm based in Independence, Missouri, has been engaged to serve as contractor and developer for the project. UHCS is a non-profit, California-based corporation that provides student housing with co-development partners.

“We are very excited about this development opportunity in Dayton. We have completed similar projects across the country and we see this project as a gem,” said Dick Davis, co-owner of Student Suites.  

The Dayton Daily News Building located at 45 South Ludlow Street has been vacant since 2007 when the newspaper moved to its new office at 1611 South Main Street. WHIO TV and Cox radio moved into the Main Street media center in December 2010 after a $13 million expansion.

“We are delighted with the plan for revitalization of this key segment of downtown Dayton,” said Julia Wallace, market vice president of Cox Media Group Ohio. “The historical legacy of the Dayton Daily News property will be preserved and this could bring hundreds of people downtown 24-7.”

This is the second major investment by Cox in the past year.  Last fall, the James M. Cox Foundation donated $1 million to a project to enhance the river in the downtown areas. “Our company started here and we are committed to being an active and engaged partner in making our community as strong as possible,” said Wallace.

For a number of years, Cox Media Group Ohio and the city of Dayton have been working cooperatively to explore future strategies for the Dayton Daily News Building that best address and support Dayton’s increasing demand for new growth opportunities.

The city currently has a revitalization project focused on the redevelopment of a number of properties in downtown Dayton. As part of the proposed revitalization project agreement, the historic integrity of the 1908 Dayton Daily News structure will be preserved.

“The Dayton Daily News building has a valued place in Dayton’s history, so we proceeded with its legacy in mind. The city of Dayton is thrilled with this plan as it truly helps us meet the emerging business opportunities and needs of the downtown community,” said Aaron Sorrell, city of Dayton Director of Planning and Community Development. “This renewed space will certainly enhance the quality of life in downtown Dayton and, most importantly, meet some specific needs.”

Building History

On August 15, 1898, James M. Cox purchased the Dayton Evening News. One week later, on August 22, 1898 he renamed it the Dayton Daily News. Shortly thereafter, the Ludlow Street building was designed by architect Albert Pretzinger for the Dayton Daily News. After being turned down for a bank loan to start the paper, founder James M. Cox asked Pretzinger to “build him a damn bank” so it was modeled after the Knickerbocker Trust building.

The building housed the staff and printing operations of the Dayton Daily News, as well as the other newspapers it absorbed, until a new Print Technology Center was built about 15 miles south in Franklin. Over time, the Dayton Daily News also bought the Dayton Journal and the Herald, two competing newspapers, and operated all three out of the DDN building (the Journal and the Herald were soon combined, and then rolled into the Daily News in the 1980s). These were the start of the media empire now known as Cox Enterprises, which is the parent firm of several other newspapers, dozens of radio and major network and cable television stations, and online classified advertising sites.

Advertising, editorial, customer service, and all other non-printing staff were relocated in 2007 to a newly-remodeled, former NCR office building about a mile and a half away on South Main Street. The historic building on Fourth Street now sits empty.

“The Dayton Daily News building has given us and the Dayton community so much and had a front row seat as history unfolded,” said Wallace. “Like the city, we are very sensitive to its role in Dayton’s history and its place in the downtown landscape.”

About Cox Media Group Ohio

Cox Media Group Ohio (CMG Ohio) is a fully integrated media enterprise that includes print and digital products for the Dayton Daily News, Hamilton JournalNews, Springfield News-Sun, and The Middletown Journal daily newspapers, the weekly Oxford Press, and Today’s Pulse weekly newspapers; targeted print and digital products such as ActiveDayton.com, Skywrighter, DaytonB2B and SpringfieldB2B; and broadcast properties that include WHIO-TV, a CBS affiliate, and News Talk Radio WHIO 95.7FM and AM 1290, K99.1FM and 95.3 The Eagle. For more information about Cox Media Group Ohio, please check us out online at www.cmgohio.com.