The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan was unveiled yesterday. It expands the area traditionally thought of as downtown in an effort to create a larger more sustainable community.
Mike Ervin says that making downtown Dayton larger just makes sense.
"Downtown is a much bigger place extending down to the Oakwood border and the University of Dayton to Miami Valley hospital and a number of neighborhoods, spilling across the river and down alongside it. That's really our downtown when you think about," says Ervin.
Ervin is the co-chair of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan. He's a community volunteer from Dayton, but he says that benefits of the plan will reach far into the larger Miami Valley.
"This is about the entire region. So if you live out in Tipp City or in Centerville or in Yellow Springs, it's important to you that we have an exciting, thriving, vibrant downtown where people want to be," says Ervin.
The plan does more more than expand the boarders of downtown Dayton. It covers a wide range of topics including public spaces, outdoor recreation and the arts. The City of Dayton and the Downtown Dayton Partnership will use the plan to help grow the area's workforce by making the city an aerospace hub.
Housing is another focus. City Manager Tim Riordan says that encouraging people to live downtown is important. He wants to see 2,500 housing units become available over the next ten years.
"We expect to have units that are in a range of prices. We expect to be able to use existing buildings, and I think one of the things you'll see in this plan that you haven't seen before is more student housing to serve both the Sinclair and UD markets," says Riordan.
The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan has been 18 months in the making, and many of the City's current infrastructure projects are included. Dayton's recent designation as a Bicycle-Friendly Community was also part of the plan. Full details of the plan are available at downtowndayton.org