Undervalued, undersold, misunderstood.

If you were selling a product, would you spend all your time talking about its shortcomings? Would you make great efforts to point out your competitions benefits over yours? Would you spend every moment of your sales pitch focused on your flaws?
So when Dayton Daily News Editorial page Editor, Ellen Belcher asks questions about “why we can’t compete” in her editorial today– the answer lies in the front page headline: “The Greene could be the area’s needed shot in economic arm.”
Notice the words “could be” and tie to the gloom and doom of a “sick economy.”
A simple headline: $200 million dollar development poised for grand opening” would have worked just fine.
They also have an article about the future of the Downtown Dayton Partnership- again, focused on its shortcomings. This is an organization that gets more press than it deserves- that contributes nothing more than scandal to our community.
If Dayton’s leadership hadn’t abandoned ship years ago- maybe the Greene would have been built close to UD Arena, on the Tech Town site- near 5/3rd Field, or possibly on the old Reynolds site on Germantown- all with great highway access and central to the region.
The fact is- Yaromir Steiner just built Dayton’s new “Downtown”- the Downtown the paper and the Downtown Dayton Partnership dream about- he just didn’t build it where they think it should be.
Unless Dayton elects some leaders who can tell the sellers of doom and gloom at the Dayton Daily News to shape-up or ship-out (oh, I almost forgot- they are moving out of the “doomed Downtown”) and to start selling our positives- we will be undervalued, undersold and misunderstood.
Every headline can tell a story- every sales pitch can look for the positive; Ellen, this can start with you.

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4 Responses

  1. Jeff August 20, 2006 / 12:14 pm
    You say Steiner has built the new downtown. I think that has happened once before.

    “Downtown” relocated to suburbia over 30 years ago (particularly the retail part). There was a big planning effort to rebuild and “save” downtown during the 1960s, but it was already too late. Sort of the lost history of Dayton.

    All this is sitting in the library downtown, these market analyses, planning studies, etc. to ‘save’ the city.

    Yet they knew they where doomed. From a planning study in 1969:

    [i]”WILL DOWNTOWN DAYTON MOVE (OR HAS IT?)(Nov. 1969)
    Already South Dayton Mall (SDM) is anticipated to overshadow the present CBD retailing function. SDM will have 2.2 million sq. ft. of retail space consisting of 106 stores. Downtown Dayton presently comprises approximately 2 million sq. ft. with Rikes Department store accounting for 600,000. Adjacent to the SDM are an additional 168 acres already zoned for commercial used. Some of Dayton’s existing merchants are estimating that 40% of their total sales will be generated by SDM. This may, in fact, be a conservative estimate.

    Office buildings are already locating in nearby areas adjacent to the mall. A million-dollar building is programmed to be built southwest of the 741-725 intersection. The $8 million NCR training/office complex is currently under construction. In addition many smaller buildings such as the Shell Oil Company regional office headquarters…. are in various stages of development.

    …Downtown Dayton has waited too long to begin the replacement of its obsolete facilities, and a variety of factors are working to pull office/sleeping room and retail space users out of the traditional center city. If they continue to be unopposed these forces will work to shrink downtown Dayton’s share of the regions economy…Time is not longer on the side of Downtown Dayton. Immediate steps must be taken.”[/i]

    I did a pix & graphics thread on some of these plans, what was lost, and what resulted, which can be found at these links to the Urban Ohio Site. So if you or your readers are interested in the recent history of downtown you can read them:

    http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=7298.0 Mid Town Mart To Courthouse Square

    http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=7061.0 Center City West (which is particularly tragic)

    http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=7258.0 The Furniture District to Mid Town Mart

  2. Daniel Greene August 20, 2006 / 7:29 pm
    That is a really good opinion by Esrati in my opinion, and Jeff’s analysis is well-put. Thanks to both. I can’t think of anything to add except make Dayton as favorable economically as Beavercreek and people like REI (who is looking to expand to Ohio I might add) might actually build something at the junction of 75 and 35 as a way to serve Cincy, Dayton, and Columbus. We have a large bicycling and an urban kayaking community. (when I say we I mean all of greater Dayton)
  3. PhotoJim August 21, 2006 / 9:57 pm
    REI in Dayton !?! I hope so. They would be a big boost for the local outdoor sports market, which is something that has been neglected for quite some time.

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