Action plan unveiled for downtown Dayton recovery following COVID-19

DAYTON, Ohio — The challenges of the COVID-19 shutdown are not stopping plans for growth and redevelopment in downtown Dayton.

Officials unveiled a new action plan Friday to help downtown Dayton businesses cover following the pandemic.

100 community volunteers and stakeholders helped shape the Rediscover Downtown Dayton Action Plan, meant to help improve downtown for businesses, employees and residents.

Chris Shaw, Dayton City Commissioners, said, “People want to come back. They want to experience downtown Dayton. Want to enjoy what we have to offer.”

The action plan includes short-term and long-term goals starting with getting employees back to work.

Sandy Gudorf, President, Downtown Dayton Partnership, said, “Employers plan to bring employees back and maybe on a hybrid model – more in the office than at home. It’s really important for our downtown businesses. They need the lunch crowd back.”

A couple of planning subcommittees are working together to create outdoor work spaces as one strategy for getting employees excited about getting back to the office.

Those subcommittees were designed as such:

  1. Future of Office
  2. First Floor and Small Business Relief
  3. Outdoors and Recreation
  4. Downtown Development
  5. Arts, Entertainment, Culture and Venues
  6. Public Realm and Transportation
  7. Residents
  8. Marketing

“Putting a took it together to help bring workers back. We talked about how we engaged employees in to the downtown environment,” Gudorf said.

The plan includes $200 million in future projects to make downtown exciting for residents, visitors and employees.

Gudorf said, “Encouraging people to come back to have dinner at your favorite restaurant and continue to support these businesses who need your help so much,”

American Rescue Recovery Plan funds could also be used to fund future downtown Dayton projects. Right now, the city said they are continuing to get input from citizens on how they would like to use the $138 million in rescue funding to improve downtown Dayton.