Levitt pavilion moves toward construction

The firm that designed the new outdoor music amphitheater planned for downtown Dayton has applied for building permits to construct the facility’s pavilion and a nearby service building.

The group working to build the Levitt Pavilion Dayton still needs to raise about $300,000 to reach their $5 million capital campaign goal, according to supporters.

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But the architectural and design firm on the project — DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky — has applied for a permit to construct a 2,564-square-foot pavilion on the 100 block of South Main Street, as well as another to erect 2,100-square-foot service building on the 100 block of South Jefferson Street.

According to the building permits, the pavilion construction is estimated as costing about $2.46 million, while the service building is projected to cost just over $2 million.

Fundraising for the project is not over, but the goal is break ground on the pavilion in late summer, early fall. Building permits often are obtained many months — or longer — before a project gets underway.

The pavilion project will reinvigorate the seldomly-used Dave Hall Plaza into a lively entertainment destination that hosts at least 50 free shows each year.

Supporters say construction on the state-of-the-art amphitheater will begin shortly and will wrap up next year, with concerts beginning in mid-2018.

The pavilion is the linchpin of a strategy to remake the center of downtown into a thriving, seven-day-a-week urban neighborhood, featuring activated storefronts, new housing and offices and workspaces for creative professionals and cutting-edge firms.

The rehabilitation of the Dayton Arcade plays an outsized role in the strategy as well. But the Levitt pavilion is perhaps the most crucial component.

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The pavilion will put on at least 50 free musical acts each year, which supporters say will build community through the shared experiences of music.

Levitt will be a state-of-the-art pavilion that hosts a diverse range of programming, including local, national and international acts. The pavilion will be part of a national network of venues that receive financial support from a prominent foundation.

Some performers who have toured the Levitt amphitheaters have gone on to win Grammy’s and large record deals.

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