Group confirms Dayton in line to get music pavilion

One of the initial design concepts for the Levitt Pavilion Dayton.
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One of the initial design concepts for the Levitt Pavilion Dayton.

Levitt Pavilion Dayton is planned for Dave Hall Plaza.

The word is out: Dayton is on track to become home to the eighth permanent Levitt pavilion.

If there was still any question about the likelihood of that happening, it was answered this week by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, which helps fund the outdoor music venues.

“It is now official that Levitt will build a permanent venue in Dayton,” said Laura Ferreiro, director of communications with the Levitt foundation.

This week, the Levitt Foundation officially announced that Dave Hall Plaza, in downtown Dayton, is slated to become the eighth permanent Levitt pavilion.

Levitt signature pavilions are permanent outdoor music venues that offer at least 50 free concerts each year.

There are pavilions in Arlington, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Bethlehem, Pa.; Westport, Conn.; Pasadena, Calif.; and more planned for Houston, Texas, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Denver Colo.

Fundraising efforts to construct a pavilion in Dayton are getting close to the $5 million goal. The nonprofit Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton have raised $4.3 million and expect to secure the full amount by early next year.

Some major contributions have come from the city of Dayton ($1 million contribution), CareSource ($750,000) and the Levitt foundation ($500,000).

Key-Ads has donated $100,000 of in-kind advertising and pledged additional support for the first decade of the venue’s operation, officials said.

Construction on the state-of-the-art is expected to begin next year, with concerts getting underway in 2018, the foundation said.

The venue, which is projected to attract more than 100,000 people to the center city, plays a vital role in redevelopment plans for downtown.

The Levitt pavilion will be a living room for the city that offers a safe, family-friendly environment that adds to and honors the diversity of the community, said April Mescher, project director who serves as a liaison between the city, the Levitt Foundation and Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton.

“This renewed green space will also be ideal for a picnic, stroll or relaxing outdoors right in our city center,” she said in a statement.

Business and elected leaders said the pavilion will be a community asset and anchor that builds up the surrounding area, which includes the Dayton Arcade, Centre City building and other unused and underutilized commercial properties.

Dayton is welcoming city that strongly supports and advocates for diversity and inclusivity, and it is an ideal match for the Levitt program, said Levitt Foundation Executive Director Sharon Yazowski.

Levitt pavilions bring people together of all backgrounds, and the music pavilion will help usher in an urban renaissance for the center city, officials said.