DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A former retail outlet will soon be transformed in Downtown Dayton. The old Mendelson’s building is the latest property to get the go-ahead for renovation in the Water Street District.

“Excited to really see Downtown Dayton continue to really grow and thrive, and be the place to live in the region,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

Columbus-based developer, Crawford Hoying, is teaming up with Woodard Development, a Dayton company, to convert another building into living and retail space. The old Mendelson’s building will be renovated to feature more than 100 apartments and thousands of square feet of retail and office space.

“We’re continuing to see this housing boom in our city and our downtown corridor, and that vibrancy is really, really, important to making Downtown Dayton a place where our younger people want to live and our older people want to live,” Whaley explained.

It is part of the ongoing revitalization efforts in Downtown Dayton. For the last few years, city leaders focused on elevating the downtown region by trying to attract new businesses and residents. According to Sandy Gudorf, the president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, there is more than $500 million invested in upcoming projects.

“That speaks to the confidence, of course, from these developers, continued momentum, and that the demand is here,” Gudorf said.

City leaders believe the demand for housing options in downtown will continue since the occupancy rate remains above 90 percent.

“We have a housing shortage in Downtown Dayton and so this is helping fill that need. And we see the demand for housing in downtown is very robust, and we expect that to continue,” Whaley said.

After a difficult year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this new development is welcome news for businesses in Downtown Dayton.

“The restaurateurs that have been through so much throughout the pandemic. Think about the people who own small businesses on the first floor areas of Downtown Dayton. They did take a hit on foot traffic because of the pandemic,” Holly Allen, vice president of marketing and communications for the Dayton Chamber of Commerce, said.

This is exciting news for restaurants downtown, like Brixx Ice Co.

“We’re having this hangover from COVID-19, so we can’t wait until this is over and kind of get a little bit back to normal,” Chris Bhai, the general manager for Brixx, said.

Brixx Ice Co. has been in Dayton for close to 20 years. Bhai said they are looking forward to the potential boost this new development will bring.

“To see all the new construction, to see all the new buildings. We’re just very excited,” Bhai said.

This project will not just impact the City of Dayton, but surrounding communities will also feel the effects.

“Having a strong core in the central area of Dayton supports all of the suburbs and the areas throughout the Dayton region,” Allen explained.