When I first moved here several decades back, one of the first places I visited was the old Arcade building downtown. I remember thinking, even as a child, that it was an amazing place to shop and look around. It was one of the first experiences I had that gave me a sense of early 20th century nostalgia.
A few years later, the Arcade closed, left to rot. There have been several small attempts to revitalize the building, but nothing has been successful. Why do you feel Dayton can't get people downtown? Why can't they inspire enough interest to bring the Arcade back?
Other cities, even close by, have successful niche marketplaces existing downtown. Look at the North Market in Columbus. What is Dayton doing wrong in its efforts to revitalize the downtown?
I think initially there were no incentives to move your business downtown. Tax rate was higher than other areas. Tech Town was supposed to help revitalize downtown, but with multiple development projects going on (Austin Pike, Research Park), it’s hard to compete.
I think it is difficult to attract anyone to develop a downtown where businesses are fleeing near and afar. There is a reason people were evacuating and, hopefully, she's gone. I remember the arcade as well. Also, in the wrong area, the wrong people congregate. Why do they not at the 2nd street market? I don't know. I'm guessing limited hours and "purpose-shoppers."
I too would be interested in, not only seeing the arcade open again, but participating in its reintroduction.
I look at the example of the City Center in Columbus that blossomed briefly, then declined and is now completely torn down. It was a very nice upscale mall, then Easton, Polaris and Tuttle Crossing started keeping shoppers in the suburbs and the problems associated with the inner city began plaguing it, complete with at least one shooting, and it was finished.
Perhaps it could be a niche marketplace as you mentioned, I don't know. But when we see brawls at bus stops and other problems already mentioned, I think some would be hesitant to open a business or shop there.
"Even my henchmen think I'm crazy,
I'm not surprised that you agree"
I have lived in the Dayton area for 36 yrs. I have seen the ups and downs. I was here when GM was booming, they built the Truck and Bus plant (which sits vacant), 675 was built and the Dayton Mall, which is not really in Dayton, was just a few shops. Downtown Dayton was once a safe place to shop and enjoy the smaller city life. Dayton city leaders have tried to work on smaller projects to bring life back to downtown but with the linited funds it hasn't done much. Crime downtown isn't that bad but theres just not much to do there. They pumped a ton of money into the River Fountians in an attempt to bring people in but like I had said, once you are there to see the fountians theres not much else. There has been a 200% increase in the Northern and Eastern, and Southern communities ( Butler Twp. Beavercreek, Miami Twp. ). With the loss of General Motors in Moraine, its just a matter of time before there is more devestation spread.
vwWagoneer is right about the "wrong people" congregating at the Arcade when it was open. And after it closed, those people moved over to the main library and caused problems there.
I know one of the guys that used to own The Arcade after it closed. He had high hopes of reopening it and restoring it to close to it's former glory. But the City of Dayton kept standing in his way. He told me of one time that he had a couple of city officials that wanted to see the inside of it. So he gave them a tour. During the visit they noticed the inoperable escalator that had a couple of the service panels open for repair that was being done. They told him that he needed to put "caution barriers" around the top and bottom of the escalator so that people wouldn't fall in the service areas. He explained to them that he was the ONLY person that had access to the building and he knew the panels were open. They ended up citing him for a safety violation in his empty building!! He had more stories of how the city and county jacked him around. He finally said the heck with it and sold the building to the next round of suckers that are facing similar obsticals.
It was a cool building though. When I worked downtown in the late 80's I would eat lunch there a couple of times a week.