The Downtown Hub Corridor of the Dayton Riverfront Plan is just that: the hub of all other corridors in the plan. The center where they all converge. RiverScape MetroPark has shown that the public’s investment in that park, just less than $40 million, led to the private sector investing 10 times that amount in the couple of blocks surrounding the park — more than $400 million since 2000! We want to spread this type of community economic development throughout Dayton along all the river corridors.
The plan for the Downtown Hub Corridor proposes to catalyze this in a few ways. One is by creating the River Walk, a loop trail around downtown on both sides of the river and at the top and bottom of the levee from the Riverside Bridge to Fifth Street. This will be a ladder-type loop trail, with “rungs” at the Main Street, Monument Avenue, First and Third street bridges. It will connect to trails reaching into all the other corridors and strengthen the connections between downtown and the underserved neighborhoods to the west and north.
To further strengthen that connection, the Downtown Hub Corridor proposes the ambitious redevelopment of Sunrise MetroPark, located along the west bank of the Great Miami River downtown, and McIntosh Park, a very successful city of Dayton park located along Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and the Wolf Creek. These two parks, which are in essence located across the street from each other, will anchor the connection of Dayton’s west neighborhoods to the river and downtown.
From there, the Dayton Riverfront Plan proposes its most exciting and powerful recommendation: to connect Sunrise MetroPark and McIntosh Park to a new park on the downtown side of the river with a pedestrian bridge that also is a park over the river. This bridge will offer a beautiful connection that symbolically transforms the river from something that divides our community — east from west, Black from white — to the place where our community unites.
The Dayton Riverfront Plan partners are pursuing grants and other significant funding to spur the redevelopment of Sunrise and McIntosh parks. For example, the Garden Club of Dayton already has pledged to donate $50,000 in 2022 to fund the construction of Centennial Plaza, located at the corner of Monument Avenue and West Riverview Avenue in Sunrise MetroPark. This site will celebrate the Garden Club’s 100th anniversary by focusing on river ecology, native habitats and pollinator plants — all of which are core dimensions of the plan for Sunrise MetroPark. We’ll keep you updated in these emails on grants and any additional funding!