Just down the block from the tall church towers that give Twin Towers its name, there’s a surprising image: instead of Dayton’s classic, old wood homes you see a block full of brand new wood homes in a similar style.
Officials cut the ribbon for the last of 84 new homes in Dayton’s Twin Towers neighborhood Thursday. The low-income single-family homes are part of an effort to transform the area led by East End Community Services, a multi-purpose non-profit in the area. Twin Towers Crossing II was the final stage in the effort, which started about nine years ago and also included demolition of 100 houses.
Tim Bete with St. Mary’s, a local non-profit, told the crowd the new housing on the block makes him think of the neighborhood’s heyday decades ago.
“There were three bowling alleys and movie theaters and shoe stores. And there were three pretzel bakeries,” he said. “It was a destination to come to.”
Non-profits, private funders and the city teamed up to build the housing for low-income families, at a cost of $18 million, some of which came from federal Neighborhood Stabilization funds.
At the end of the ceremony, Tito Garcia happened to wander out of the only old house on the block. His memories of Twin Towers don’t include any glory years.
“I done seen it go from very buckwild cause that’s how it used to be, the thieving, the drugs, constantly, now it’s slowed down a lot,” he said.
But he said Twin Towers is still plagued with drugs and unemployment—and he’s not sure the new housing can transform that.