DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Hub Powered by PNC Bank at the Dayton Arcade, a one-of-a-kind collaborative working space, is what’s working in Dayton.
It’s a resurgence of life in Downtown Dayton. “I was convinced that the arcade was dead and I was very saddened by that,” said James O’Hara CEO of ConsumerOptix and tenant at the Hub.
The Hub is the first piece of the arcade to reopen. At 95,000 square feet, it is among the largest university-anchored innovation hubs in the country, including shared and private office spaces, meeting rooms, conference areas, pop-up retail opportunities, learning labs, and classrooms. for students and entrepreneurs.
“A student will walk out of a classroom and they’ll be in the middle of a collaborative working small business space,” said Scott Koorndyk, President of the Entrepreneurs’ Center.
“It is also a resource for entrepreneurs,” said Vince Lewis, president of The Hub Powered by PNC Bank and director of UD’s Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “Entrepreneurs have a hard time tapping into those resources and it’s not easy to say ‘who do I talk to at UD to get some help and get capstone help?’ We’re creating those connections.”
The $98 million dollar project is part of phase 1 of the Dayton Arcade renovation. Included in the hub are UD’s studios for painting, printmaking, photo, and graphic design for students and faculty which houses one of 19 Vandercook printing press machines in the United States.
With signs made of repurposed wood from the arcade, and repurposed fixtures, such as a chapel door made into a conference table, it’s a tribute to dayton’s rich history. Dayton natives said it brings back memories of their childhood, but they’re proud to be part of what it represents now.
O’Hara said, “The Hub and the Dayton Arcade trend more toward collaboration and innovation-driven by people in a collaborative space as opposed to being in an office.”
“We’ve often called this the emotional heart of Dayton and to be partner with the University of Dayton bringing this back to life for the Entrepreneurs’ Center is the honor of a lifetime,” Koorndyk said.
A virtual grand opening event will be at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 4.