New program to bring businesses downtown

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Downtown Dayton (WDTN Photo)_118918

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A new program will help create first-floor space for tenants looking to set-up shop in downtown Dayton.

The Downtown Dayton Partnership is at the forefront of the program, which is funded by a $25,000 grant from the Dayton Power & Light company. The program will connect Sinclair Community College student interns with two downtown agencies, The Architectural Group and Helmig Lienesch.

Downtown Dayton has experienced significant growth over the past few years, particularly in residential projects and first-floor commercial business.

“First-floor activation is a key priority of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan because vibrant first-floor storefronts enliven pedestrian corridors and enhance walkability, improve perceptions of safety, and provide shopping and entertainment amenities for the growing downtown residential and employer community,” said Sandra Gudorf, Downtown Dayton Partnership President.

According to the partnership, demand for first-floor space is at an all time high. There has been a 10-percent increase in first-floor occupancy since 2010. However, with its supply of move-in-ready first-floor spaces nearly gone, downtown needed a creative solution to match more vacant first-floor spaces with eager entrepreneurs.

The project will have college interns in the engineering and architectural fields assess the empty spaces and design ways to make them “move-in ready” for new tenants.The project will help lower start-up costs for renovations and make it more appealing to entrepreneurs.

“The challenges to activate the remaining space is partly it’s design focus. What changes need to be made to make some of these spaces who haven’t seen a tenant in a while, to be able to accommodate a tenant. Some of these spaces are too large. So, there is just some design work that needs to be done before someone puts a hammer to a nail,” said Scott Murphy, Downtown Dayton Partnership director of business development.

The program started this semester. For more information about the program, click here.

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