Dayton’s Inner East- A neighborhood with great urban fabric and potential

The Inner East is comprised of two small city designated historic districts.. St. Ann’s Hill and Huffman. Both have wonderfully preserved architecture from the late 1800s, some of the best architecture in Dayton. The rest of Inner East is pretty blighted and underinvested especially 5th Ave, the eastern half of 3rd Ave, and the Southern quadrant of the district.

St. Ann’s is adjacent to the Oregon District and was platted in 1802 by German immigrants. Homes were erected in the neighborhood starting after the Civil War. William Huffman who was a local banker, real estate developer, and a producer of Huffman bicycles spurred development by building railway on Third Street northeast of St. Ann’s Hill creating the Huffman district. The neighborhood was built up between 1870 and 1890. St. Ann’s and Huffman were designated historic districts in 1974 and 1982, respectively.

Restoration of the historic homes has been occurring since then but redevelopment hasn’t spilled over into adjacent parts of the Inner East. A couple food & beverage businesses and some general retail is just popping up on 3rd Ave in St. Ann’s. Sadly, Dayton’s economy and limited urban culture prevents this urban area with great bones from getting the investment and retail amenities it needs to become a thriving urban area. Hopefully city leaders will realize the great potential of this neighborhood and put appropriate investment into it. 
Click here to view my St. Ann’s album on Flickr

URBAN STRENTHS:

* Good sidewalk and ADA infrastructure throughout the neighborhood.
* While public transit access is only okay, the Inner East is still very convenient to Dwtn. 10 minute drive and 15 minute bike and bus ride.
* Excellent street grid and connectivity.
* Decent bike infrastructure including a dedicated east to west bike lane and a couple bike share stations.
* Lots of family households (around 60%) and good age diversity.
* Good diverse of price points with for sale housing. Housing in the Southeastern quadrant of Inner East is under 50K. Fair amount of homes selling between 50K-100. Most homes in the historic districts sell in the 100Ks and 200Ks. Higher prices in St. Ann’s than Huffman.
* Good tree canopy overall.
* Well ranked Strivers high school for the arts is located within Inner East several other decent schools located within walking distance in adjacent districts. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Lots of blight along 3rd Ave and the eastern half of 5th along with the Southeastern quarter of the Inner East. Quite the difference between this and the Historic District of St. Ann and Huffman.
* Transit access is okay. Underwhelming for being 2 miles from dwtn.
* While racial diversity it okay good economic diversity mixing middle and upper middle class households with those below the poverty line.
* Rental housing is a bit limited and generally inexpensive.
* Bomberger Park is the neighborhood’s only park amenity. Nice park but not located on the district’s western edge.
* Pretty low density for an urban district so close to Dwtn.
* Some cultural amenities but not a ton… a handful of restaurants, a couple nice cafes, a couple dive bars, and a couple art galleries. Cultural amenities of the Oregon District and Webster Station only a 10-20 minute walk.
* Retail amenities are also pretty limited and include a couple Hispanic grocerias, a bakery, several thrift stores, and an antique shop.

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