About 35 small businesses opened their doors in the downtown area this year, including two dozen in first-floor spaces.
New amenities and new commercial, restaurant and retail projects are in various stages of development, and some leaders believe 2023 could be a really big year for the urban center.
“We have now crossed the $3 billion mark in greater downtown investments, with nearly $1 billion of that being right here in the core,” said Dan Meixner, co-chair of the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s board of trustees, at the meeting Tuesday evening. “There are no signs that things are slowing down, and it’ll be exciting to see how these numbers continue to rise.”
The Downtown Dayton Partnership this week hosted its annual Special Improvement District meeting, where it provides economic development progress updates since the adoption of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan in 2010.
The “core downtown” area is largely bordered by the Great Miami River and U.S. 35, while the Partnership’s description of “greater downtown” stretches south toward Miami Valley Hospital, east to the Tech Town area, west to Wright-Dunbar and includes several close-in historic districts.
Between 2010 and 2016, investments made in or planned for greater downtown surpassed the $1 billion mark.
Half a dozen years later, greater downtown has now seen $2.18 billion worth of projects completed and there’s another $848 million in projects in the pipeline, the Downtown Dayton Partnership said.
In the downtown core, about $628 million worth of projects have been finished in the last 12 years and there’s $330 million worth of projects in the works.
These are huge investments in the community, said Downtown Dayton Partnership President Sandy Gudorf.
The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, which is a partnership between public and private stakeholders, will be updated in 2023, she said.
Downtown has seen an 80% increase in housing since 2010, and the urban center is now home to 1,837 market-rate units, the partnership said.
About 545 new market-rate units are in the pipeline, which include some highly anticipated projects in the Water Street District and in an area called Oregon East.
Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development, the Water Street District developers, are working toward opening the 124-unit Monument apartment complex and the 71-unit Sutton apartment building.
The Sutton is on the same block as Day Air Ballpark, where the Dayton Dragons play, near the intersection of East First Street and North Patterson Boulevard.
The Monument is at Monument Avenue and North St. Clair Street, across the street from RiverScape MetroPark’s main plaza.
When these projects are finished, Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development will have nearly 890 apartments downtown, according to the partnership.
Kentucky-based Weyland Ventures also is constructing a 158-unit apartment complex called The 503, along Wayne Avenue, just north of its mixed-use project, the Wheelhouse Lofts.
Downtown has a 98% residential occupancy rate, Gudorf said, and competition is fierce for urban living.
Amy Walbridge, Dayton’s downtown development coordinator, said it’s worth noting that about 40% of the apartment units in downtown are leased to people on restricted incomes.
Walbridge said two large senior apartment buildings have been renovated: The Biltmore Towers and the Jaycee Towers.
The Biltmore, located on North Main Street in downtown, benefitted from about $20 million in renovations, while the Jaycee Towers, located east of the Oregon District, also received major upgrades.
Multiple apartment projects under construction in downtown are expected to open next year, which means 2023 should be a big year for new investment, she said.
The Water Street developers also are constructing a new hotel, the AC Hotel Dayton by Marriott, just south of the ballpark, which will have about 134 rooms.
The new hotel is expected to open in early 2023.
Another hotel, the Hotel Ardent, part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, is under construction on North Main Street, near Dayton’s largest performing arts venues.
A new Hilton Garden Inn is planned for the Dayton Arcade.
The owner of the Radisson Hotel Dayton Convention Center (formerly the Crowne Plaza) has temporarily shut down the hotel, located by the Dayton Convention Center, so it can undergo renovations.
The owner plans to convert the property into a Hard Rock Hotel. The Dayton Convention Center also is getting a more than $30 million facelift.
New businesses that came downtown this year include Starbucks, which opened in the Schuster Center, and Gulzar’s Indian Cuisine, which opened on Patterson Boulevard, across from Dragons stadium.
Tony & Pete’s Groceries and Coldcuts opened in the Fire Blocks District, while Little Fish Brewing Co. Dayton Station opened in Webster Station.
Moeller Brew Barn opened in the Water Street District.
Sweet P’s Handcrafted Ice Pops, which has operated at the 2nd Street Market, has acquired the building at 416 E. Fifth St., the former home of the 416 Diner.
The new ice-pops shop should open this spring, said Danielle Edwards, whose family owns the business.
“When I had an opportunity to invest, we thought (there’s) no better place than the Oregon District because of its vibrancy, because of the community, because of the diversity,” she said.