October 26, 2018 / By Donna Reist, Corporate Marketing

Barclay Building to be Redeveloped as Branded Boutique Hotel

Miller-Valentine Group (MVG) announces that it has sold the Barclay Building at 137 N. Main Street. First Barclay, LLC, a joint project between Columbus-based Lawyers Development Corporation and Chicago-based First Hospitality Group (FHG), has purchased the building and plans to convert it to a branded boutique hotel.

The Barclay Building, built in 1927, is a 10-story, 60,000-square-foot tower at the corner of First and Monument in downtown Dayton.

Dave Dickerson, President, Dayton Construction Sales and Development, MVG said that the company was approached by Lawyers Development, and immediately saw that the planned redevelopment approach offered a terrific opportunity for the entire community. “It is hard to leave this building, it has served us well, but it was important to us that something exciting and impacting be done with this space. We believe its next life will be the highest and best use for this property.”

Dickerson added that “Miller-Valentine is now exploring options for an energetic and collaborative space for our Associates that will also attract new talent to the organization. Miller-Valentine is committed to Dayton and our presence in the region.”

Lawyers Development and FHG first partnered in developing the 149-room boutique Hotel LeVeque, the hospitality component of the comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment of the iconic Art Deco-era LeVeque Tower in downtown Columbus.

A member of the Autograph Collection by Marriott, Hotel Leveque was ranked in 2017 by Architectural Digest as the most beautiful hotel in Ohio and is ranked in the top 15 percent of all Autograph properties for “Intent to Recommend.” In addition to Hotel LeVeque, the historic skyscraper features luxury apartments and condominiums, Class-A office space, and a distinctive high-end restaurant and pub.

 Principals of Lawyers Development first identified the Barclay Building as an exciting, value-add redevelopment opportunity while exploring several potential projects in the downtown Dayton market. Given the successful partnership behind Hotel LeVeque, Lawyers Development elected to partner with FHG, an established hotel developer/operator led by a highly experienced management team.

FHG representatives say that what makes the redevelopment of the Barclay Building special is that it will allow its team great opportunities for creative input to provide experiences unique to guests.

“Each room is different; you can stay 20 times and have a different experience every time,” said Steve Schwartz, FHG Chairman and CEO. Schwartz notes that the first floor will feature a unique restaurant and bar setting that will enhance the overall experience of the hotel. The company plans to embrace Dayton’s strong aviation and engineering heritage, and ensure those aspects are present throughout the hotel.

Representatives from both FHG and Lawyers Development Corporation emphasize that Dayton was well postured for this project, citing that Downtown Dayton is going through a renaissance with a lot of new development, activity, and excitement.

“We are experienced in historic adaptive reuse. This project presents a unique and exciting opportunity, particularly in Dayton as the city is in the midst of a revitalization. We hope to continue to be a part of the growth and the re-energizing of downtown Dayton,” said Schwartz. The boutique hotel will be the eighth historical adaptive reuse project for FHG.

Don Bush, CFO for Lawyers Development, noted the attractiveness of the central downtown location of the Barclay Building with views of the Great Miami River and proximity to many of Dayton’s premier arts and entertainment venues such as the Victoria Theatre, the Schuster Performing Arts Center and the Dayton Dragons. “The adaptive reuse potential of the Barclay Building as a boutique hotel seemed like a natural building block in Downtown Dayton’s urban renaissance and is one of the critical success factors both Lawyers Development and FHG look for in these kinds of projects,” he said. Bush added that the representatives from the City of Dayton and Downtown Dayton Partnership were accommodating, proactive and diligent, “they did their homework and demonstrated a commitment to thoughtful, well-planned development of downtown.”

Lawyers Development is very optimistic for the future of downtown Dayton, commented Robert Meyers, CEO of Lawyers Development Corporation. Meyers emphasized the competency, dedication and cooperation of its public officials were the most influential elements in Lawyers Development’s focus on downtown. A highly experienced developer of high-profile projects in various Ohio communities, Lawyers Development is actively exploring additional office, residential, and mixed-use opportunities in the Dayton market, some of which have originated through the company’s in-house analysis of the area, and others of which have been opportunities brought by industry participants and members of the Dayton community familiar with the company’s portfolio of work, Meyers commented.

Miller-Valentine Group will remain in the building for up to 12 months and construction will not begin until the company has the opportunity to identify an ideal location and relocate. FHG anticipates a 2020 opening in what is expected to be a $20 million project.

Schwartz commented that FHG has a long-standing relationship with Miller-Valentine Group and that the company believes “that forming strong relationships with those in the community is a critical part of developing a property within a community. We prefer to source as many relationships as we can locally, and that will remain true with this property.”