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Dayton Marina Sold to Manhattan Harbour Developers

As the rest of Campbell County had its sights focused on Tuesday’s primary elections, Dayton City Council was meeting at the Dayton Board of Education Building to discuss city finances. The principal focus: the Watertown marina.
 
After going into executive session mid-meeting to consider a number of proposals to purchase and develop the property, council unanimously approved the sale of the marina, as well as the adjacent eight-and-a-half acres to the west of it, to DCI Properties, for a total of $900,000. 
 
DCI Properties is the developer behind the Manhattan Harbour luxury homes project along the city's riverfront.
 
Dayton recently acquired the marina property after terminating the lease with previous owners, Waterfront Development Group (WDG). Mayor Ken Rankle announced the lease termination during April’s city council meeting.
 
Under WDG’s management, the city found the marina property had accumulated over $60,000 in utility back bills.
 
“We’ve been trying our best,” Rankle said, “but we don’t know the marina business.”
 
The Manhattan Harbor project has been up in the air in recent years, as the property has changed hands on multiple occasions. Dave Imboden, of DCI, which has been working closely with the City of Dayton since late last summer, commented at Tuesday night’s meeting that they are looking forward to taking even more control over the development project.
 
“This puts the whole riverfront development back with DCI,” Rankle added, “so they can continue with the development.”
 
The city will receive $500,000 for the marina itself, and $400,000 for the adjacent acreage. $50,000 will be paid to the city immediately, with the remaining $450,000 for the marina to arrive by July. The $400,000 for the adjacent acreage will then be paid in rolling installments.
 
Rankle assured residents present that DCI has committed to not allowing the number of boat slips at the marina to fall below 250 to 300. Rankle also mentioned, though, that the Tropicana restaurant will “likely disappear” as a result of the sale.
 
Councilwoman Penny Hurtt commented that the city received a number of good proposals, but she feels confident they went with the right choice.
 
Some community members are not so sure, however, that their proposals met due diligence. James Waite, manager of the Green Derby in Newport and employee of David Hosea, opened the meeting with a letter written by Hosea himself, expressing concern that the city did not take his proposal to purchase the marina seriously.
 
“Hosea is vitally interested in the city of Dayton,” Waite explained, and went on to describe how Hosea’s communications with the city went continually unanswered.
 
City Administrator Michael Giffen responded, however, claiming to have addressed Hosea’s proposal days after it was first submitted. Giffen explained that, after consulting with the Mayor, they mutually agreed it was not an acceptable offer for the city. 
 
Giffen then held up a scrap piece of yellow legal pad paper, which he described as Hosea’s follow-up proposal after Giffen’s initial rejection. “This proposal was even worse,” Giffen said, “so I did not take it to council.”
 
“Ultimately, the most important thing,” Councilman Bill Burns concluded the discussion, “is that the city is no longer bearing the burden of this debt any longer.”
 
Written by Pat LaFleur, RCN contributor 
 
Photo: Watertown Marina in Dayton/RCN file