Downtown’s finally getting bigger.

I’ve always said one of the problems in Dayton is our narrow definition of Downtown. I consider South Park, UD, Miami Valley Hospital, Grandview, the Dayton Art Institute, the Oregon District- all to be downtown- and have been laughed at for it.

Now, apparently the idea has caught on:

The effort is divided among three committees focused on the plan for downtown, a value proposition for the urban core and funding sources for implementing the plan. The group defines value proposition as the things that make Dayton an attractive place to locate and its competitive advantages.

Dr. Mike Ervin, a local philanthropist and co-chair of the planning effort, said the principles laid out on Jan. 27 are meant to act as a starting point for the discussion over downtown’s future.

The group hopes to have a draft plan completed by June, he said.

“The future belongs to those regions taking urban revitalization seriously,” Ervin said. “Those are the regions that are and will continue to attract high-value jobs, young professionals and those businesses and institutions that want to employ them.”

Also chairing the planning effort are Michael Greitzer, co-chair of the Downtown Dayton Partnership Greitzer, and Dayton City Manager Rashad Young.

During the press conference, the group issued what it calls guiding principles for planning. The list includes such issues as housing, sustainable development, training for green jobs and evaluating and recommending whether the city should have streetcars.

Ervin said the area under review will include not only the central business district, but also other neighborhoods and landmarks such as Miami Valley Hospital, the University of Dayton and the Dayton Art Institute.

Public Meetings:

Feb. 10: Noon at Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St.

Feb. 12 5 p.m. at c{space, 20 N. Jefferson St.

Feb. 17: 7 p.m. at Sinclair Community College, Charity Earley Auditorium, Ponitz Center.


Short surveys offered at Surveys also available at Dayton Metro Library branches.

[note- I got this error message at the end of the online survey: The system cannot find the file specified.]


Discussion threads have been set up at


Official Facebook name: A Greater Downtown Dayton Plan.

via Local leaders want input on revitalizing downtown.

While it’s great that Mike Ervin is pushing for yet another plan for the future, if he really wants to lead downtown back- he should consider running for mayor. We’ve had a lot of plans and projects for “fixing downtown:” Courthouse Square, The Arcade, The Arcade Tower and the Cit Fed Tower, the Schuster Center, Riverscape, and 5/3rd Field all come to mind.

What we haven’t fixed is putting someone in charge who can paint a big picture and get people on board.

Realizing Downtown is bigger than the 12 blocks between the river and the railroad tracks isn’t rocket science. Getting a real board of directors (City Commission) who can guide the CEO (the City Manager) on a path to prosperity- that’s the real plan.

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