City of Dayton taking steps toward bigger vision for the future

City of Dayton taking steps toward bigger vision for the future (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) -- It's no secret the City of Dayton is trying to build and revitalize several parts of downtown in hopes of drawing more people into the city.

Elected officials, board trustees, campaign donors and staff gathered Tuesday morning to sign the final piece of steel before it was placed on the Levitt stage.

"The most important thing, along with [Levitt Pavilion] being a music venue, is that it will drive economic development in this area," Dayton City Commissioner Chris Shaw said.

Levitt Pavilion construction is on schedule. The music venue is set to open August 9. It will host 34 free concerts this year and 50 next year.

"It's an extremely exciting day because it's showing that out of the ground is coming a community asset that we're really excited to share with everybody," Lisa Wagner, Executive Director of the Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton, said.

Looking to the Future

In addition to what's happening right now in Dayton, there is also a much bigger vision for the future.

A room full of people showed up to the Dayton Metro Library downtown for the presentation of the final Dayton Riverfront Plan.

The final plan was created from significant input provided by the community through online surveys and public meetings.

It includes ten site plans for parks that are adjacent to the river corridors. The parks include:

  • Deeds Point MetroPark
  • Deweese Park
  • Island MetroPark
  • Kettering Fields
  • Riverscape MetroPark
  • River's Edge Park
  • Sunrise MetroPark
  • Sunset Park
  • Triangle Park
  • Wesleyan MetroPark

"Today development in downtown is going crazy," Carrie Scarff, Chief of Planning and Projects for Five Rivers MetroParks, said. "We've got housing, we've got businesses, we've got all kinds of things going on. We've got to make sure those quality of life elements are keeping up and our rivers present our greatest opportunity."

The Dayton Riverfront Plan seeks to identify ways to invest in the riverfront that can spark new development while enhancing riverfront access for all people.

"To design the parks together and have them have the same language so that when you come down to the river there you're not on the west side or east side. You're just at the river."

Plan partners include Five Rivers MetroParks, the City of Dayton, the Miami Conservancy District, Montgomery County, Greater Dayton RTA, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

Scarff says the next step is to prioritize projects and begin implementation within the next few years. Once the plans are prioritized cost and funding options can be determined.

The final plan can be read here beginning June 13.

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