It’s the start of the downtown event season! This week includes the kickoff for The Square Is Where as well as First Friday and the first in the DP&L Summer in the City signature series. In preparation for the May 7 Downtown Housing Tour, the Downtown Dayton Partnership is pleased to present two more resident profiles. The “typical” downtown resident is anything but — with ages spanning from young professionals to families to empty nesters, people are turning to downtown living not as a rite of passage but as a lifestyle choice. Residents choose urban living for its density and proximity of amenities, entertainment, and vibrant scene. Here are the profiles of two types of downtown residents, one at the beginning of his career, and a couple heading into their golden years. One rents an apartment in the bustling Oregon District, and the other is one of the first buyers of the new Monument Walk high-end townhomes nestled next to downtown’s performing arts district. You can see both locations on the free housing tour on May 7. Download the map and brochure online, or pick up a copy at participating tour locations and downtown businesses.
“There Comes a Time,” by Burt (and Alice) Saidel
Alice and I are Daytonians. We love Dayton and have made a great life raising our children, contributing professionally and civically, and relishing the rich arts life that surrounds us.
I am a Dayton native. I left after graduating Fairview High School to attend Haverford College, graduate school at Western Reserve University, and military service in the Air Force in Turkey and Italy. I returned to practice dentistry for 50 years, much of that as a partner with my father, Dr. Jack Saidel. That was always my intention and I have fulfilled it happily.
Along the way, I met my beautiful wife as a Smith College co-ed and convinced her to marry me. We did just that in Athens, Greece. After Turkey, we spent an idyllic year in northern Italy. These experiences have carried us since those halcyon days.
We designed and built our home on Nottingham Road in Oakwood. It is, to us and to many, a truly beautiful creation. We embodied much of the architectural beauty we loved in Europe and our French country-style home has been an inspiration to us.
Now, we have entered the age when down-sizing is becoming a cogent decision. Both of us have dealt with the concept of a smaller residence. We realized that Dayton’s arts are the center of our life’s activities. This made downtown Dayton a major choice for us. Our move downtown puts us at the epicenter of the arts, music, dining and friends.
We had requirements to match our new lifestyle. I am a major woodworker contributing many works of my art as donations to synagogues, churches, schools, symphony orchestras. I need a workroom, a wood shop.
We also need space for our relatives and children. We regularly fill our big home with their presence for family events. We also host many artists performing here for the opera, Vanguard concerts, etc. We knew a two- or even three-bedroom apartment would be too confining. Many visits to condominium-type dwellings yielded nothing that came close to our needs. We came upon an interesting concept, vertical rather than horizontal, that was advanced by Charles Simms in his design for Monument Walk.
The multi-floor aspect made a workroom, adjacent to the garage, an answer to the work space. Some rooms are possibly multi-purpose for visiting sleep-over guests. An elevator, planning for our inevitable infirmities of age, answered another forecasted need.
We know the Simms family well. Charlie, as the younger member, and his father Charles are experienced builders and good friends. And we know with Ann Simms looking over their shoulders, everything will be perfect.
Many of our friends now living downtown have rushed to greet and pre-welcome us. All are enthusiastic about the joys of central urban living. More amenities are needed and will be coming downtown. More fine dining options are a definite addition.
We hope we both live longer, love-filled and healthy lives in the core of our beloved city. Come and see us — but not for a while yet!
Making the Most of Live-Work-Play: Jon White
Cincinnati native Jon White wasn’t happy stuck behind the wheel of his car. When the 31-year-old landed a job in Dayton, he initially tried to commute from his new job in Dayton back to his home in Cincinnati. But spending hours on the road took its toll on Jon, and he decided to find a new home that offered more freedom and flexibility. “I didn’t feel healthy commuting like that every day. I wanted to live close to work and close to entertainment,” Jon said. The location at Dayton Towers apartment complex checked off Jon’s requirements for proximity for 9-to-5 and 5-to-9 activities. “I bike to work just about every day,” he said. “and I still have easy access to the highway if I need to travel somewhere, and it’s a quick trip to access the bike trails for recreation.”
Jon said he doesn’t miss yard work and home maintenance his Cincinnati residence required. The city planner for the City of Dayton also enjoys a more sustainable, eco-friendly way of life. “I have about a mile-radius carbon footprint,” Jon said. “I bike to work, I walk to bars and restaurants, my grocery store is just a mile away; you could live downtown without owning a car. I’ll go for a while without getting in my car. I fill my gas tank maybe once a month. It’s a simpler lifestyle for sure.”
Jon said one of the initial surprises he experienced upon his move to Dayton Towers and the downtown environment was the volume and diversity of people he met, both in his own apartment complex and his new downtown neighborhood. “It’s a change of pace if you’re used to a suburban environment where you drive everywhere, pull into your garage, and call it a night,” he said. “Here where the population is more dense, you’ll see more people, and when you walk or bike instead of drive, you have more interactions.” Within his own apartment building, Jon said he has met a wide range of ages and backgrounds of people who choose the convenience and excitement of downtown living. “There are families with kids, senior citizens, University of Dayton and Sinclair College students, young professionals like myself — people from all walks of life live here,” he said. “There’s a real sense of community.”
Mingling with other Dayton Towers residents is how Jon met his group of friends, who enjoy Dayton Towers’ proximity to Oregon District businesses as well as theaters, art galleries, recreational activities, and other amenities within easy walking or leisurely bike riding distance. Of course hanging out on the patio or balconies is a popular choice with the amazing city views. Regardless of how he now spends his additional free time as a downtown resident, Jon said he’s happy with his choice to ditch the commute and dive into the live-work-play environment his downtown address provides. “It’s a lifestyle I prefer to have.”