Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Dayton Mall is Ghetto.

City-Data forums are for people relocating to an area to solicit advice from people who already live there. This means mostly suburbanites wanting to relocate to other suburbs, so one gets some interesting insites on what the locals think of their city as a housing choice. As this is the internet, people tell you what they really think. (and there is also real estate agent action with some obvious steering going on):

Dayton doesn’t have its own subforum, but Dayton-related threads appear in the Ohio forum. There was this interesting exchange on the Californian Seeking Advice Re: Suburbs of Dayton thread:

YoMikey617: "Springboro is OK, but I'm not so sure I'd bend over backwards to buy a house there… The nearest mall is Dayton's worst, The Dayton Mall. People in towns surrounding the Dayton Mall will drive 3-4 exits further to avoid Dayton Mall."

MiddyDJ: " Maybe I'm reading wrong. But please expound on this for me. Did you mean the exists near the Dayton Mall are worse are did you actually mean the Dayton Mall is horrible? Lol I found it funny you said that."

Penelopelp: "You have got to be kidding me! … The only reason why I can imagine anyone avoiding the area is because the traffic is heavy because it is a big shopping area".

YoMikey617: : "Uhhh, most people in Centerville and most people I know along Mad River road drive north on 675 to shop because the Dayton Mall is GHETTO. That whole area is just suburbaghetto these days and people with money don't feel safe shopping there."

So the Dayton Mall is ghetto, and the area around is suburbaghetto?

"YoMikey617" might be making an aesthetic/urban design critique, or he might be commenting on the merchandise, but the use of the term ghetto has racial connotations

Too many black faces in and around the Dayton Mall?

Enough to cause discomfort to some suburbanites, causing them to shop elsewhere?


Anonymous said...

I really don't think this is true, or maybe it's only true for either racists, classists, or people who are so wrapped up in being "high falootin'" that they have to inconvenience themselves to never see African Americans. I am white, upper middle class, and lived in Centerville until fairly recently. My spouse and I lived SECONDS from the Dayton Mall, so we shopped there all the time! The only time in the entire three years we lived that that we shopped at the Greene was when it first opened out of the novelty factor or when we absolutely had to go to a store that wasn't represented at the Dayton Mall. The mall we tend to skip nowadays is actually Fairfield Commons. Now we live near downtown Dayton, and though the Greene is now technically closer, we did none of our holiday shopping there. Heck, when we lived in Centerville, we practically LIVED at the 725 Starbucks because it was open 24/7 and always had a really fun vibe with lots of people! That area is "ghetto"?! You're right, there is a definitively racist tone to that statement. The DM is fine, and if people in this area are afraid of diversity, they should all live in Oakwood and never go west of Brown Street!

Jefferey said...

Fairfield Commons is a much nicer mall in terms of design. Dayton Mall is one of those old DeBartolo malls, and is fairly utilitarian in design, compared to Fairfield Commons, with its two levels and lots of natural light.

In terms of retail i think the DM is a bit more mid-market compared to Fairfield Commons, though they are not that different.

There is a difference, too, in the character of the "mall sprawl" around the two malls.

But I am wondering how widespread this "racial" preception is, though. This could be just one guy talking, but he could be reflecting thats out there, just never articulated.

jafabrit said...

Hum, that is new to me, I had never heard that about Dayton Mall. Retail wise I don't see much difference between fairfield and dayton mall. As far as the race of the shoppers, sheesh, I just hadn't noticed. I tend to get in and out as fast as I can lol!

Donald Phillips said...

Just between us yuppies, I think there are too many Yahoos and Lotus Eaters in downtown Dayton!

La Reyna said...

I love going to the Dayton Mall. I also loved going to the Salem Mall before it bit the dust around 2005.I love the choices and the diversity the mall has to offer. The other malls, The Greene and Fairfield are in Greene County and are too upscale for my budget.

To say that the Dayton Mall is ghetto is not only racist, but classist. Dayton Mall is the only mall left in Montgomery County. We need to support and appreciate the Dayton Mall.

Stephanie B.

Anonymous said...

Dayton is about 45% African-American so, depending on your definition of "ghetto", all of Dayton could be called a "ghetto", or not! A lot of good info on Dayton may be found at:

As for Dayton Mall, I shop and dine at the mall frequently (several times a week). I find it to be pleasant.

One novel feature is that most of the mall is traditional "indoor" construction where you can enter the various stores from an enclosed common area, including a food court. But in addition there is a newer section of the mall that is in the newer trendy "village" style where there is no enclosed common area and every store opens only to the outdoors.

Personally the "village" style discourages me from shopping because in the winter I have to go out into the freezing cold repeatedly (and likewise in the sweltering heat in the summer). I like the traditional malls where there is a shirtsleeve environment all year round once you get inside the mall.

In summary, I like the Dayton Mall even though the Mall at Fairfield Commons and The Greene are newer. I don't like The Greene because it is entirely in the "village" style where you have to go outside into the weather to go from one store to another.

Have fun in Dayton! :-)

Anonymous said...

Where are you from? I think that in Ohio there is more division among the races than in some states but I think that there is less racial tension. And I suspect that it is really more about division among classes than races.

The Dayton Mall is an older big suburban mall. The first respondant sounded like a high school kid. Springboro is fine, I like Centerville and Beavercreek better and I think those schools are pretty good.

In my memory of malls they all tend to come and go. I think the new village style is a reflection that people are realizing that dedicating a huge building to housing stores that sell mostly discretionary items will never be a wise long term investment. However, when someone asks about an area they probably aren't dying to know about the local mall.

Unknown said...