Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kettering Businessman Asks: "Are You Ready to Save Dayton"

Reposted at Dayton Most Metro this opinion piece asks the question and gives a six point program on how to do it.

Are You Ready to Save Dayton

Here are four that are worth noting, C as part of a serious big plan to make something of the big drainage ditch we call a river. Then there is free parking and aggressive urban renewal. But the free land part is what's really interesting, as it sort of says downtown property is "worthless", since you literally have to give it away to entice developers. This sounds pretty radical, but this is exactly what Louisville did, buying dead property (including a dead shopping mall) and selling it to developers at very low prices, as low as $1.

So here are the four, but more at the link:

C. Condemn as much land as possible along the river and donate it to developers (yes, donate it) to build condominiums...

3. Free parking downtown. Yes, I said free parking and not “cheap” parking. If you do not have free parking available, you will never truly compete with suburban office space/retail.

4. Give significant tax breaks, free land and if necessary, free buildings to any credible developer who will build town homes within the city’s boundaries. We have already seen that underutilized and derelict buildings have been successfully converted to condominiums and town homes.

5. Demolish or restore buildings. Beg and borrow as much money as possible to relieve urban blight. Plant grass on demolished building sites. It looks better than a derelict building and presents opportunities for future growth...


Anonymous said...

When I saw this on the other site, I wondered what you would think of it. I too was struck by the free land concept. It's going to take radical ideas like that to end the "Dayton boycott."

Anonymous said...

Actually, they tried this in the 60s. Tear down enough buildings and put in surface parking and everyone will come downtown (to see the parking lots?). It didn't work then and it won't work now. One question to ask is why large metro areas survive even with inconvenient and expensive parking. The increased density of people and buildings is a large part of the answer.

Jefferey said...

Downtown Dayton's problem (for me) is that its not dense enough, that it has a weak "downtown feel" (the obvious contrast is Cincinnati). Finding a way to build it up more is what's needed.

I think there is so much parking available that they could experiment with free parking with the existing inventory of spaces.

D said...

Interesting ideas but it still seems catered to people who could already afford to live downtown (various expensive lofts).

I would add;
affordable housing
grocery store (free real estate + developer)
and instead of planting grass in empty lots grow food to sell @ the farmers market