The Downtown Dayton Partnership hosted its annual review of progress in the Special Improvement District last week at The Grande Hall at Liberty Tower. Property owners, business leaders, and community partners gathered in the newly renovated Art Deco-inspired event space as DDP staff and guest speakers took to the stage to highlight progress in the urban core.
Highlights from the event included brief presentations from Lisa Wagner, executive director at Levitt Pavilion; Mark Donaghy, chief executive officer of the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority; and Paula Willis, co-owner of Now & Zen DIY Studio, a local retailer in the St. Clair Lofts. Attendees were treated to an education leadership chat with Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School President Dan Meixner and University of Dayton President Dr. Eric Spina.
The evening closed with an update from downtown developers David Neal from the Windsor Companies, with the latest news from the Fire Blocks, and Jason Woodard, providing details about projects with his Woodard Development and partners at Crawford Hoying in Columbus. Shannon Isom, president and CEO of the downtown YWCA, moderated the discussion, and had her own updates to share about the $19 building renovation for residents at the women and family shelter.
From this year’s presentation, big numbers came out of the SID:
- Public and private-sector investments completed and in the pipeline total about $1.81 billion.
- $1.383 billion in projects completed; $426.1 million in projects in development
- Investments have been gaining traction since 2010, with more than $700 million in projects completed and in the pipeline
- Downtown enjoys the highest residential occupancy rate at 97.4% despite the build boom of new housing units, with no plans for slowing down. There are 214 housing units currently under construction, and the number of housing units downtown has increased by about 80% since 2010.
- So far in 2019, 36 new businesses have opened their doors or committed to open downtown. That’s a total of 1,400 new jobs in downtown’s core just since the beginning of the current SID period in 2015. First-floor tenancy has been booming with more than 97,000 square feet of vacant first-floor space filled since the launch of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan in 2010.
- The Downtown Ambassadors continue to earn high praise from downtown businesses and property owners for their role in keeping the city clean and safe. 90% of downtown business leaders think the Ambassadors have a positive effect on downtown, according to this year’s survey of downtown businesses.
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