As reported in the Dayton Business Journal:

The city of Dayton, Ohio, approved the sale of the 350,000-square-foot industrial building Wednesday morning to Milwaukee-based Phoenix Investors, and the sale could close in 90 days.

City commissioners approved Wednesday morning the sale of 2333 McCall St. to an LLC affiliated with Milwaukee-based Phoenix Investors, for $300,000. It would be the first Ohio project for the real estate group, which plans to spend the next 6 to 9 months making significant repairs to the 350,000-square-foot building to prepare for its revival. The group hopes to eventually attract a new tenant to the property for warehousing, industrial or manufacturing use.

Phoenix Investors has been approved to move ahead on its first project in Ohio.

We like the bones of the building

said Patrick Dedering, vice president of acquisitions and lending for Phoenix Investors. “This is the type of product that we like to focus on — under-utilized industrial projects, we enjoy bringing them back to life.”

Phoenix has about 9 million square feet in its portfolio across 18 states. The property attracted the company’s interest, Dedering said, because of its developed infrastructure, including a rail spur that extends into the building, close proximity to U.S Route 35, and overhead crane infrastructure inside.

The building needs significant work, and the company will first secure it to prevent break-ins. It must also make major repairs to the roof, re-wire the building and bring electricity back to it, repaint and get the building’s utilities in working shape. He said the company is still working to determine how much these renovations would cost.

The company will at the same time look for prospective tenants for the building. Dedering said the process typically takes another 9 to 12 months.

“It’s going to be a lengthy, expensive process to get the building back online, but this is our core business,” Dedering said. “We like the metrics that Dayton brings and we are excited to get underway quickly.”

Keith Klein, senior development specialist with the city, said the project will be a big win for the city’s economic development department. The city bought the building in 2001 and it was occupied until 2010. Since then, Klein has led the efforts as it sought a buyer for the building.

We’re excited we have an investor to hold the property and get it back into marketable shape,

said City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

But vandalism has taken a toll, Dickstein said. The building has been broken into multiple times and much of the copper and wiring has been stripped, requiring repairs the city doesn’t have the capacity to fix. A private development group has the capacity to make the expensive repairs necessary to make it ready for revival.

“Over five years it’s been vandalized and suffered deterioration and stopped being marketable, even for folks who have shown an interest in it,’ Dickstein said. ‘(Phoenix) can refurbish the building and bring it back to condition, something we are not able to do, then we can partner to find the new tenant.”

City documents show Phoenix will have 90 days to finish its due diligence, so the closing could happen before the end of November.

The building was built in the 1960s as part of the McCalls Printing campus, later known as Dayton Press. In 2013, Tipp City, Ohio-based Process Equipment Co. considered buying it, but pulled out of the project later that year as costs escalated.

New developer interest in West Dayton is especially exciting, commissioners said, in light of a federal grant to help pave the way for major redevelopment of the DeSoto Bass neighborhood in the Inner West. That neighborhood, which suffers from poverty and unemployment, needs business and economic anchors to prop it up.

“(Redeveloping that building) can help to boost and accelerate the movement (of DeSoto Bass),” said City Commissioner Jeffrey Mims Jr.