Downtown Dayton was experiencing tremendous business and residential growth at the beginning of this year, according to a new report from the Downtown Dayton Partnership. But now they have to adapt their big plans for this year because of the coronavirus.
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The first quarter of this year saw continued demand for downtown office space, increased investment, optimism from current downtown businesses and continued building of downtown housing, according to the 2020 Downtown Special Improvement District/Downtown Dayton Partnership first quarter report.
Specific findings include:
- There are now 1,715 market-rate housing units in the city core — an increase of 68 percent since 2010 — and 255 more units are in the pipeline.
- Ninety-three percent of downtown business leaders believe downtown is headed in the right direction. Ninety-six percent feel safe downtown.
- Downtown Dayton Partnership did 10 site searches and 13 tours to companies considering moving into underused and vacant office space downtown, and several new businesses located downtown.
- Ongoing investments include renovation of the Dayton Arcade, construction of the Fire Blocks District, upgrades to the Link Dayton Bike Share program, and improvements to some of the city’s office towers.
But much of this success was pre-pandemic, the report notes. Planned annual summer events such as the Downtown Housing Tour, the Great Dayton Adventure Race and First Fridays have either been postponed or moved online.
Now much of the effort of the downtown business coalition is focused on letting people know that many downtown businesses including restaurants and retail services are open, though differently than they were before.
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New “Open Downtown” signs let people know which businesses are open, with conditions, and more than 180 businesses are listed on the website DowntownDayton.org/OPEN.
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