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Developers can't keep up with downtown Dayton apartment boom

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DAYTON, Ohio (WRGT) -- Developers say they can't keep up with demand for apartments in downtown.

Ditching the suburbs for downtown, empty nesters Lori and Mike Libassi are starting over.

"We were ready for a change of life," Lori Libassi said.

Now, Lori walks to work, Mike enjoys the nearby breweries and restaurants, and both love the convenience.

"I think it's a big pull for folks both younger and for folks our age who are empty nesters," Mike Libassi said.

The Libassi's live at the Water Street Apartments that opened last year. Developer Jason Woodard says all 215 units are occupied.

"It was better than anything we ever expected and it's actually led to plans for another phase with 54 more units," Woodard explained.

Woodard is also working to renovate the Delco Lofts across the street. He says 25 percent are already pre-leased.

"I think this is an upward trend that will continue," Woodard said.

Sandy Gudorf with the Downtown Dayton Partnership says 600 additional rentals are in the works.

"Let's face it, they would not be investing and building if they didn't have a high level of confidence that they could fill those units," Gudorf said.

Last year, 97 percent of apartments, lofts and town homes were occupied.

Gudorf expects that number to remain steady as the city adds new jobs and entertainment venues.

Lori and Mike say they lucked out, landing a spot early.

"We were just very lucky that when we were ready there was an apartment available for us," Lori Libassi said.

She's excited to see what's next downtown, hoping she can be part of a major revival.

"It's just beginning, feels like it's just beginning," Lori Libassi said.

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