New kitchen incubator proposed at Dayton Arcade part of latest COVID-19 relief funds awards

A local museum, a community development corporation and a proposed kitchen incubator have each been awarded a slice of Dayton’s COVID-19 relief funds.

The roughly $1.4 million in funding will help make important investments in amenities, facilities, properties and programs that should have a major impact on the community, city leaders and officials said.

“We have a number of investments, brought to you by the Dayton Recovery plan,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

On Wednesday, the Dayton City Commission approved giving $750,000 to a group that plans to create a new kitchen incubator in the Dayton Arcade.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

OH Taste plans to open a new commercial kitchen space and culinary incubator at 32 S. Ludlow St. in the arcade complex in downtown Dayton, according to city documents.

Called 6888 Kitchen (pronounced Six Triple Eight), the new endeavor will provide local food entrepreneurs with affordable access to a kitchen, baking facilities and storage space.

Jamaica White, Dabriah Rice and Charlynda Scales are leading the project.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The city’s contribution will help purchase equipment like refrigerators and freezers, cooktops, prep tables and hood systems.

The new incubator and kitchen space also is expected to host educational programming and offer technical resources. 6888 Kitchen will occupy about 10,000 square feet of space.

6888 Kitchen will provide a supportive and collaborative space for food-based start-ups, food truck operators and caterers, says a memo from Steve Gondol, Dayton’s deputy director of planning, neighborhoods and development.

Kitchen members will get to test ideas in the incubator and also will receive instruction about how to run a successful business, he said.

The hope is these entrepreneurs will go on to grow their businesses and business ideas and open brick-and-mortar locations.

The space in the arcade will be transformational for the local economy, but it also will educate entrepreneurs and provide them with opportunities to “scale” their food and beverage businesses, Scales said.

Boonshoft Museum

The city also has decided to give the Dayton Society of Natural History $200,000 to help pay for improvements at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

The money will help pay for important facility upgrades that will ensure the museum’s sustainability for years to come, Dickstein said.

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Credit:

The museum had a major addition in 1990, but it has many deferred maintenance issues, including HVAC units that are more than three decades old, said Tracey Tomme, president and CEO of the Dayton Society of Natural History.

The city’s funding will help pay for system updates that will make the museum more energy efficient while also protecting and preserving its collections and supporting the care of zoo animals and the educational programming it provides to the community, Tomme said.

Omega CDC

Dayton also will give $400,000 to Omega CDC for improvements to its Harvard Avenue campus in northwest Dayton.

This includes asbestos and lead abatement at Fout Hall and land-use planning and engineering to support sustainability, environmental justice initiatives and prevent flooding on the campus, said the city manager.

The Harvard campus, which was formerly the United Theological Seminary campus, has been transformed by investments like the Omega Senior Lofts and Hope Center for Families, said Rachel Ward, director of operations and strategic initiatives of the group.

But some concerning conditions remain, which are remnants of the original seminary campus, like dilapidated buildings, crumbling sidewalks and walking paths and a lack of adequate lighting, Ward said.

The city’s award will help enhance the campus and support continued land development, she said.

“We see the investment, we see the greenery — the aesthetics are definitely improving in the area,” said Dayton City Commissioner Shenise Turner-Sloss. “It’s going to have a huge effect, not only in the Dayton View Triangle neighborhood, but University Row, Southern Dayton View, as well as the Salem Avenue corridor.”

The funding for the three projects comes from the $138 million the city received in federal money.

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