activated spaces

re-activate and beautify downtown

what is activated spaces?

Activated Spaces Dayton is about giving new life to currently vacant downtown spaces. Split into multiple phases, this volunteer-led initiative is dedicated to showing just how active and alive our downtown is with art, culture, business, shopping and more. Activated Spaces is part of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan.

The project strives to:

  • Re-activate and beautify vacant storefronts and office spaces with unique businesses
  • Encourage entrepreneurs, artists and community groups to occupy space for short- and long-term use
  • Showcase downtown properties and increase interest and investment in available downtown space

phase one

Phase One of Activated Spaces was The Street Team. They worked in partnership with local property owners and artists to fill currently empty store front windows with vibrant and beautiful works of art.The art is there for you to enjoy day or night – check it out on your lunch break or make it a part of your evening out. The work of the Street Team was on display throughout Downtown Dayton.

phase two

Phase Two of Activated Spaces is the Pop Up Shop Project. This team matches downtown property owners who have vacant storefronts with potential tenants who have a great idea. Specifically designed for short-term occupancy, the Pop Up Shop Project enables the potential tenant to experience being a part of Dayton’s vibrant downtown with a short term, lower risk lease. Since the inception of the project in 2011; 24 shops have launched, 13 of which are still open. The project has activated more than 21,000 square feet of previously vacant space and 41 new jobs have been created. More pop up shops are in the works for 2017.

phase three

Phase Three of Activated Spaces is the Pop Up Office Project. This phase of the program builds on the success of the Pop Up Shop Project. Selected Pop Up Office tenants will receive a short-term lease option for downtown office space, a small stipend to help offset startup costs, as well as professional services support from the volunteer team. The Activated Spaces team has partnered with the ownership at Liberty Tower to remodel a traditional office suite into an open, non-traditional, collaborative space. Project supporter, Business Furniture, has kindly loaned office furniture to outfit the space as well as donated their time for space planning and layout of the Pop Up Office.

All three initiatives are led by enthusiastic volunteers from local young professional-focused organizations – Generation Dayton and updayton – who recognize the value in having a vibrant and creative downtown. They are dedicated to seeing these projects come to fruition and the clear success of the storefront art competition demonstrates their commitment.


participating groups

The Pop Up Project is driven by volunteers from the young professional organizations UpDayton and Generation Dayton with support from the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the City of Dayton, and community volunteers. Activated Spaces is part of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, a strategic blueprint for the future of downtown.

it all starts with an idea...