DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The city of Dayton spent Monday recognizing key figures in revitalizing the downtown Arcade, and celebrated the stakeholders securing the $90 million needed for financial closing to begin the first phase.
Almost two dozen different entities were commended for their tireless efforts the past few years to make it a reality.
Some spoke about the many “near-death moments,” the project faced with developers pulling out, and struggling to secure the proper tax credits, but said now, the question is “When will it get done?,” not, “When will it begin?”
Nearly five years ago, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley commissioned a task force to determine the future of the iconic site that was shuttered 28 years ago.
“We are thrilled to see the Dayton Arcade, which was considered one of Preservation Ohio’s most endangered buildings only a short three years ago, saved, and its iconic status restored in another generation,” said one stakeholder.
The new arcade will house the Arcade Innovation Hub, a joint venture between the University of Dayton and the Entrepreneurs Center.
It will also have over 100 units of artist housing, retail and office space.
Countless key figures said Monday, this accomplishment was no easy feat, but was made possible through a variety of legislation, tax credits and incentives, and private – public partnerships.
The project’s key figures also spent Monday reminiscing about the historic building and all it brought to the city before it was shuttered nearly three decades ago.
“I was a student at the University of Dayton, and I would take the bus down here and I just loved coming here,” said Montgomery County Commissioner, Debbie Lieberman. “There was retail, there were restaurants, and it was just beautiful, just a beautiful place to be, so I am thrilled that it’s opening again.”
And they said this rebirth as an economic hub will be a beacon in Dayton’s future growth.
“Like the city, the arcade has seen its share of challenges, and troubled times,” said Whaley. “But along with the arcade, the city is in the midst of an extraordinary and inspiring revival. The arcade may be the most emotional building in the city for that reason.”