Downtown Dayton group's 'pop-up' project lauded

The Downtown Dayton Partnership has been recognized for its efforts in economic and business development through the "Activated Spaces Pop-up Project," which has helped with the launch of 11 businesses since fall 2011.

The Washington, D.C.-based International Downtown Association, during its annual event this month in New York City, awarded the Dayton organization the 2013 Downtown Pinnacle Award. The Pop-up Project was initiated as an effort to provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their products and talents.

Sandy Gudorf, Downtown Dayton Partnership president, said the project's success is a result of work by multiple facets of Dayton's corporate developments throughout the city.

"The activated spaces volunteers, who represent the next generation of leaders in our community, have done an amazing job with the Pop-up Project," Gudorf said in a prepared statement.

Of the 11 pop-ups created, nine, including Beaute Box Day Spa at 116 W. Fifth St., are still operating.

Monday, spa owner Lisa Scott told News Center 7's Layron Livingston the partnership offers businesses a variety of services, including promotional work.

"They help with marketing; they help you with anything that you are not well versed in," Scott said.

Beaute Box occupies only a fraction of the 11,000 square feet occupied by all of nine pop-up businesses and the Downtown Dayton Partnership said it is hoping to continue expanding. The businesses span both sides of Main Street and extend into the Oregon District.

David Downey, IDA president and CEO, said only the best of the best are honored each year and that's why Dayton came out a winner.

"The Downtown Dayton Partnership received this prestigious award for demonstrating excellence in downtown management," he said in a prepared statement. "Each year, the IDA Awards Jury honors the very best programs and projects in each category to recognize great work and set the standard for best practice in our industry."

The "Pop-up Project" was a collaborative effort of the downtown partnership, UpDayton and Generation Dayton. The latter two organizations volunteer to manage the activated spaces.

-- Mickey Shuey, an intern, is a senior at the University of Dayton.

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