A group called Soccer Shots is moving into 39 S. St. Clair St., which is a storefront space connected to the St. Clair Lofts. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Dayton looking for interested ‘pop-up’ shop owners

An initiative to fill storefronts downtown is accepting applications from business owners who want short-term leases.

Activated Spaces, an initiative to bring more small businesses to downtown, is accepting applications as part of its eleventh phase of the Pop-Up Shop Project. Now, entrepreneurs can apply for store or office space at lowered lease rates.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the number of retail and service start-ups occupying downtown Dayton’s first-floor spaces,” said Melanie Wagner, Activated Spaces program chair. “Pop-Up Office is in response to the growing number of entrepreneurs who are still looking for that boost to get started but don’t necessarily need a first-floor location. The new phase also addresses a need to fill more vacant office spaces downtown. It’s a good complement to our core users, and our volunteer team is excited to launch more retail, service and office users this fall.”

More than 90 startups have launched in downtown Dayton since 2010, and the number of small businesses is steadily growing, according to a news release.

Both Pop-Up projects match business owners and entrepreneurs with downtown property owners who have first-floor storefront or upper floor office space available for occupancy. Both programs assist new businesses with short-term leases offered at below-market rates, according to the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

Leases ranges from three to six months, and lease rates range depending on location and size. Entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for the Pop-Up Project must submit the application before Aug. 19.

The Pop-Up Project is an initiative of several community partners including UpDayton, Downtown Dayton Partnership and the city of Dayton.