Homefull plans West Dayton grocery store, new housing
July 14 — A local nonprofit has revealed it wants to build around 100-200 new homes as well as a new market on vacant land in West Dayton.
Homefull is proposing to redevelop the former Carlson Elementary School site at 807 S. Gettysburg Ave. phased, which officials say will greatly benefit a neighborhood with limited food and housing options.
“We intend to create a healthy and thriving community that truly addresses the fundamental issues of housing, food and employment,” said Tina Patterson, CEO of Homefull.
Homefull this week received land use approval for its general development plan.
However, some members of the Dayton Plan board say they have serious concerns about certain aspects of the project, especially housing.
All phases of the project must go to the planning committee for final approval of the site design and building review.
Homefull is dedicated to ending homelessness, and the organization has refocused on tackling poverty, one of the root causes of the problem, officials said.
Food insecurity and the lack of living wages and safe and decent housing are major challenges that contribute to poverty and housing instability, officials say.
Homefull is proposing to construct a building that contains an 11,000 square foot indoor market and a 3,300 square foot food center used for distribution, according to concept plans submitted to the City of Dayton.
The new building and related construction work could cost more than $ 7 million.
The retail building would also offer a 1,400 square foot pharmacy; a 1,400 square foot health clinic; and a 4,600 square foot outdoor market that is part of the entrance, according to plans.
Homefull is in negotiations with a major healthcare provider to operate its clinic, CEO Patterson said, and Gem City Market has helped develop a business plan.
The Gem City Market, which opened in mid-May in northwest Dayton, has approximately 8,000 square feet of retail space.
A schematic plan of the first floor shows the Homefull Market offering spaces for delicatessen and meats, frozen foods, dairy products, dry groceries, produce, baked goods, beverages, produce health and beauty products and take-out items.
Homefull also wants to create an approximately 1.5 acre grow space or community garden behind the grocery store.
The association plans to move its offices to the second floor of the commercial structure.
The market will be open to the entire community and local entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be vendors, Patterson said.
It will be “very similar to 2nd Street Market, but much more inclusive in the environment and culture of West Dayton,” she said.
About 100 new jobs could come to the site between the office, grocery store, clinic, food hub and pharmacy, Patterson said.
A first phase of the project would be to redevelop about four acres of the vacant school site, and Homefull wants to redevelop the remaining 12 acres into multi-family housing.
Homefull plans to do a market research to determine what type of housing is most needed in this location, Patterson said.
The nonprofit is in the final stages of selecting a lead developer to help design the housing and determine the right number of new units, she said.
Many details remain unanswered – like the type, appearance and scale of the accommodation, Patterson said, and it is not clear whether the units would be affordable or at market price.
“Nothing is locked,” she said.
The apartment complex could have a clubhouse building, swimming pool and security gates, according to information submitted to the city.
Earlier this week, the Dayton Plan Board unanimously approved the land uses proposed in Homefull’s General Development Plan for the old school site.
But Homefull’s plans will be the subject of further scrutiny from the board.
Plan board member Jeff Payne said he was concerned about over-saturation of affordable housing in West Dayton.
He said homeownership is important and market rate units are needed in this part of town as well.
He said some low income housing tax credit projects have been disasters.
Board member Matt Sauer said he wanted to see pedestrian connections from the market to the neighborhood and other adjoining homes of Homefull to the south.
Homefull owns and operates the Family Living Center, which has 34 units of permanent supportive housing for families with disabilities who were previously homeless.
Homefull, through tax credits, spent around $ 6.8 million renovating homes, which welcomed their first families in mid-2019.
Sauer said he was concerned about the closure of new residential buildings and believed the number of parking spaces was excessive.
Ken Marcellus, who lives in the Lakeview neighborhood, said Homefull and other West Dayton agencies deserve praise for the important services they provide.
But Marcellus said he’s also concerned about the types of projects going on in West Dayton. He said he also believed it would send the wrong message to the neighborhood to close the new housing.