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Mayor pushes downtown projects to attract new people, businesses

By TOM TROY BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Toledo's downtown is showing renewed signs of life - even as a long shadow is being cast with the potential departure of Owens-Illinois Inc.  Two construction projects proposed by Mayor Jack Ford would provide parking and entertainment that could draw new people downtown.  And the new "Downtown Toledo Improvement District" could provide the cash to spruce up and promote the business district.  In his state of the city speech last Tuesday, Mr. Ford called for:

 

• Allocating money from the $2.4 million city parks fund, along with seeking private donations and park grants, to build an amphitheater in Promenade Park. 

 

• A parking garage in the 300 block of North Erie Street.  Projected at 300 spaces, the garage could attract investment to the Nasby-Madison Building and trigger investment in the immediate area. 

 

More at http://www.toledoblade.com/

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"O-I wants to be in a cool spot," Mr. Zaleski said. "If Steve McCracken [O-I's chief executive officer] is up there saying 'what a cool city this is,' maybe the [real estate] numbers don't matter so much."

 

 

Unfortunately with publicly traded companies these days, the numbers are the ONLY thing that matters.  And this move by Fifth Third really irritates me.  It seems like they really don't care at all about the city as long as they get their way-or else they will make petty threats and then take their ball and go home.

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I hate what Fifth Third is doing. The whole surface lot thing started because the company wants workers to not have to walk one whole city block to their cars. They'd rather tear down some historic buildings and park right outside their back door. What's funny is that Fifth Third operates out of one of the most historic buidings in Toledo, yet they're so quick to tear down other buildings. This mentality is what scares me about living in America.

 

OI too is bad off. They just don't want to admit the truth- being associated with a city like Toledo is now bad for their image. I seriously doubt that Toledo will be able to fill a building the size of OI's once they move to Perrysburg. One Seagate is a nice building with every luxury imagineable in perfect condition, but Toledo is a very hard sell these days (not sure how suburban Perrysburg is any better). I'm getting sad at the state of my hometown. Downtown is coming to life with all the new clubs, bars, and restaurants, but all the big business is leaving. Maybe the OI Tower can be apartments, and the people that live there can drive to the suburbs to go to work. :|

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ST. VINCENT AND TOLEDO

Two largest hospitals poised for expansion

Article published May 10, 2005

By LUKE SHOCKMAN

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Major rebuilding projects at Toledo's two largest hospital campuses have been talked about for months, but there was little outward appearance anything was actually happening.  That's about to change.

 

Beginning next month, construction equipment will dig large foundation holes for two large buildings: an eight-story, multi-use inpatient building at Toledo Hospital and a four-story heart center at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where some digging has already begun.  Soon after foundation holes are dug, large cranes will begin putting up the steel framework of both buildings, and by next spring, the outer surfaces of both structures should be finished.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/article/20050510/NEWS32/505100331

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From the 6/3/05 Toledo Blade:

 

City, county development teams unite

Springfield Township drops lawsuit, clearing way for merger

 

After mollifying a disgruntled faction of township trustees, Toledo and Lucas County plan to merge their economic development departments today.  The dropping of a lawsuit filed by Springfield Township that delayed the merger cleared the way for the Lucas County Improvement Corp. to become the economic development arm for the city and county without any more delays.

 

Members of the organization are scheduled to meet this morning at the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments to change the bylaws of the improvement corporation in a way that will allow the city and county to control the LCIC for economic development purposes.

 

"I think it's a very important step in [regionalism] for economic development," William Carroll, the city's development director, said.  "One of the reasons why we used the LCIC was to incorporate all the community resources available for economic development between the county and the city."

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050603/NEWS18/506030392/-1/NEWS

 

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Lucas County Improvement Corp.? Bah, they shoulda come up with something more creative...

 

Toledo + Lucas = TOLCAS: Toledo Office of Localized Cultivation of Advancement and Success (okay, pulling stuff outta you know where for that one)

 

or maybe...

 

Lucas + Toledo = LULEDO: Local Urban League Endowed to Development, Organization

 

Any others?

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Well, so much for that...from the 6/4/05 Toledo Blade:

 

DEVELOPMENT

Attempt to merge efforts crumbles

City, county at odds with townships

By DALE EMCH

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

An effort to merge Toledo and Lucas County's economic development departments collapsed yesterday when an apparent agreement with township officials disintegrated.

 

Officials met yesterday intending to merge the departments under the umbrella of the Lucas County Improvement Corp.  Instead, distrust over the formation process and who would control the organization led to the meeting's adjournment.

 

In rough terms, the disagreement is between a faction of township trustees and city and county officials.  Those lines aren't strictly drawn, though, because Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber has sided with some trustees who are hoping for a greater say in the organization.

 

"The bottom line seemed to be that [Ms. Thurber] wanted to stack the board with township folks and seek to take majority control of the executive committee," Mayor Jack Ford said.  "At that point, I decided it obviously was not in the city's interest to do anything with that forum and so we moved to adjourn."

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050604/NEWS33/506040354/-1/NEWS

 

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Trying again...from the 6/24/05 Toledo Blade:

 

City-county development merger may be on again

Gerken reaches out to township trustees

By DALE EMCH

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

The sometimes on and sometimes off merger of the Toledo and Lucas County economic development departments may be on.  Then again, it may not be.  It all depends on who you ask.

 

The hitch has been getting all the township trustees to agree to the structure the city and county have set up for the Lucas County Improvement Corp. - the umbrella organization proposed to house the merged departments.

 

County Commissioner Pete Gerken met recently with representatives of the local township trustees association and he said he thinks an agreement has been reached.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050624/NEWS33/506240307/-1/NEWS

 

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From the 7/2/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Joint economic development corporation debuts

By ERICA BLAKE

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Members of the newly formed Lucas County Improvement Corp. board called the merger of the Toledo and Lucas County economic development departments the beginning of a new day of cooperation.  As it works out the details, the group has to pay for the more than $26,000 in legal fees racked up during wrangling over how the board should be set up.

 

After working through a rocky start, members of the LCIC board - including representatives from each city, village, and township in the county - met yesterday for the first time to work toward the goal of developing the local economy.  Now in place, the group joins organizations such as the Regional Growth Partnership and the Lucas County Port Authority to each concentrate on a piece of the area's economic development puzzle.

 

"This is the first step in regional cooperation," said county Commissioner Pete Gerken.  "Now we move forward. We'll start the search for an executive director to run the day-to-day operations and merge the staffs of the city and county economic development departments."

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050702/NEWS33/507020375/-1/NEWS

 

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I'm happy to see this is really happening. One step closer to regionalism. We need more of this.

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From the 7/17/05 Toledo Blade:

 

 

Residential takes a breather

Construction slows, inventory of houses rises

By GARY T. PAKULSKI

BLADE REAL ESTATE WRITER

 

Burdened by a lukewarm regional economy and large inventory built up in a long housing boom, construction of single-family homes in metro Toledo and Bedford Township slipped 11 percent in the first half of 2005.  It was one of several signs that the local real estate market cooled in the first six months of the year.

 

Housing starts dropped from the same period a year earlier in the four counties that make up the metro area as well as in Toledo’s most populous Michigan suburb, according to statistics provided by local building officials.

 

Meanwhile, although median prices for existing homes held fairly steady, as did the number of sales, weaknesses in that market showed up in other ways in Bedford Township as well as in Lucas, Wood, Fulton, and Ottawa counties.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050717/BUSINESS05/50717011/-1/BUSINESS

 

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From the 7/21/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Lucas County takes step to extend hike-bike trail

 

It's an inevitable reality of hiking the Wabash Cannonball Trail - eventually, it comes to an end.  But as the popularity of the hike-bike trail gains momentum, so are the plans to complete it.  Lucas County commissioners approved a joint cooperation agreement with the trail's partners yesterday to begin the planning stages to pave the final portions of the county's part of the trail.  While the unanimous decision allows the start of planning, construction would not happen until 2009 and again in 2011.

 

The Wabash Cannonball Trail stretches 64 miles through Lucas, Fulton, Henry, and Williams counties - making it one of the longest rails-to-trails projects in the state.  It follows two former rail lines forming a North Fork and South Fork, which come together in Maumee.

 

The partners in the trail - including Toledo Area Metroparks, the Lucas County commissioners, the Lucas County engineer's office, the village of Whitehouse, and the city of Maumee - have worked to construct and pave the trails through Lucas County.  The next stages to be planned include connecting the South Fork to the North Fork through the Oak Openings Preserve Metropark.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050721/NEWS33/507200403/-1/NEWS

 

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I love this trail. I use it whenever I visit my parents in Maumee. It's the only bike trail I've been on that goes through suburbs, country, and then a massive Oak Savanna forest with sand dunes and an old beach from Lake Erie

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From the 7/26/05 Toledo Blade:

 

 

PHOTO: Owner Moni Fatinikun beams during the Monat Market's first day of business yesterday.  ( THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER )

 

Downtown grocery opens in LaSalle Building

By TOM TROY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Toledo's small but growing number of downtown residents, as well as people who work downtown, have a new place to buy groceries.

 

Moni Fatinikun of Perrysburg officially opened the Monat Market yesterday in the LaSalle Building at 320 North Huron St. between Adam and Madison streets. It brimmed with frozen foods, fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, and packaged foods...

 

 

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050726/NEWS16/507260344

 

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Activists voice optimism for Sunoco refinery's $200M improvement plan

By TOM HENRY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Cautiously optimistic.  One might think the upcoming $200 million modernization of the century-old Sunoco Inc. refinery along the East Toledo-Oregon border would generate more calm in Rachael Belz, even though she leads Ohio Citizen Action's campaign for fewer emissions from that plant.

 

After all, Sunoco is making plans to install $100 million in additional pollution controls at that refinery alone, as part of an agreement the company hammered out with the government in June to settle federal Clean Air Act violations dating to 1998 at its four refineries.

 

The company is putting another $100 million into retrofitting the Toledo refinery so that it can meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements for producing lower-sulfur gasoline next year.  The investment is separate from the new pollution controls, Olivia Summons, Sunoco spokesman, said.  But the strongest words Ms. Belz can bring herself to say are those two: Cautiously optimistic.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050801/NEWS08/508010326/-1/NEWS

 

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From the 9/1/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Downtown taxation district debated at council session

 

The merits of a downtown taxation district were debated during a City Council meeting yesterday, just one week before a likely council vote on whether to authorize the district's funding.  Business owners for and against the district showed up before a session of council's committee of the whole to testify about whether the district would be a bane or blessing for area economic development.

 

The meeting began with a series of business owners like Gary Resnick, owner of Lasalle Cleaners on Jefferson Avenue, who urged the district to be passed by the council members in attendance - about half of them.  "You can sit and make no changes, or you can make positive changes," he said.  "You can cry about [economic decline], or you can do something."

 

Full story at http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050901/NEWS16/509010369

 

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From the 9/7/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Council agrees to fees for downtown tax district

 

After a brief debate, Toledo City Council yesterday authorized funding for a new taxation district in the heart of downtown.  The “special improvement district,” approved by a 12-0 vote in January, taxes a section of downtown bounded roughly by Adams, 11th, and Monroe streets and the Maumee River in exchange for additional security, cleaning, and marketing services for that area.  Its fees, based on street frontage and building value, are expected to generate about $550,000 annually for five years.

 

Property owners — including Owens-Illinois, Owens Corning, and Toledo Edison — representing 63 percent of the front footage in the district signed a petition supporting it.  The city also received 17 letters of complaint from building owners opposed to the fees, with some threatening to leave.  The district has 108 owners in all.

 

Full story at http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050907/NEWS16/50907039/-1/NEWS

 

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From the 9/27/05 Toledo Blade:

 

LAKE ERIE HEALTH

Stakes are big at roundtable on megafarms

By TOM HENRY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

They're big. They're smelly. They draw swarms of flies. And they've got a lot more people other than a bunch of environmental do-gooders worked up into a tizzy. Life on the farm isn't what it used to be. No, make that the megafarm.

 

Ohio is hardly the first state to feel the effects of a concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, on its rivers and streams. But the Buckeye State has become a big market for large-scale farms in recent years, especially in flat and rural northwest Ohio.

 

The stakes are big for northwest Ohio and the biological health of Lake Erie. The region, historically a swamp, has for years been tiled and drained for use as productive farmland. But concentrated manure can slip through cracks in this region's clay soil when applied to land, finding its way to streams that flow into the Maumee River, one of the lake's largest tributaries.

 

Full article: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050927/NEWS06/509270309/-1/NEWS

 

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This was mentioned it the mayoral race thread, but here's the plan.  From the 10/12/05 Toledo Blade:

 

 

MAP

 

Ford offers Rib-Off fest more room downtown

Barbecue would spill from park into streets

By TOM TROY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

The Ford Administration offered a much larger space than Promenade Park, including some downtown streets, yesterday to keep the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off in Toledo next year.

 

The annual event's sponsor is considering moving the four-day August barbecue fest out of downtown. But the offer by Mayor Jack Ford's top staff appeared to have been well-received by representatives of United Health Services, which sponsors the Rib-Off.

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Well, this is a shame.  From the 10/14/05 Toledo Blade:

 

 

Rib-Off takes off for fairgrounds

Event leaves city after 22 years

By TOM TROY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Next year's Northwest Ohio Rib-Off will take place on the 45-acre Lucas County Fairgrounds, not in downtown Toledo where it has been for the last 22 years, United Health Services said yesterday.

 

The agency ended the suspense that has tinged the Toledo mayoral race by deciding to move its mouth-watering wares to the larger space in Maumee.

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From the 10/18/05 Toledo Blade:

 

 

Maumee reviews use of county Rec Center

 

With the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off moving to the Lucas County Recreation Center, the city of Maumee is reviewing the use of the complex.

 

Mayor Timothy Wagener told City Council that other events at the recreation center have created noise, litter, and parking problems, and suggested that council’s land-use and zoning committee study the issue.

 

Council President Richard Carr said he would like some idea of where all the visitors to the Rib-Off will park. This year, the event drew about 90,000 people over four days.

 

...

 

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051018/NEWS18/51018009/-1/NEWS

 

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^Ah, got ya. Maybe Bethesda should have tried that before shutting their doors. Imagine a rib festival with Montgomeny Inn downtown, yum.

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From the 10/20/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Agency's fate clouded by approaching mayoral vote

By TAD VEZNER

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

With the Toledo mayoral election approaching fast, the fate of a recently forged city and county alliance to encourage economic development is now a "wild card," area officials say.

 

But steps were taken this week to see that the partnership stays strong in the short-run.  A city ordinance was passed to help fund the Lucas County Improvement Corp., an agency Mayor Jack Ford and the Lucas County commissioners recently designated as the area's lead economic development agency.

 

Plans are to make the city's economic development director, Bill Carroll, the full-time executive director of the LCIC.  City Council approved spending $170,000 in compensation Tuesday to support the position through the end of 2006.  Mr. Carroll now holds the post on an interim basis.

 

County Commissioner Pete Gerken, who represents the county in the LCIC, said it is expected that Mr. Carroll will take the LCIC position until a nationwide search for a permanent executive is completed.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051020/NEWS16/510200305/-1/NEWS

 

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From the 10/27/05 UT Independent Collegian:

 

PHOTO: The UT Foundation recently purchased Mac´s Motors Inc., located across from The Crossings at 3107 Dorr St. There are currently no plans for the building or land.  Media Credit: Julie Foster

 

Visions of a new Dorr Street

By Chris Ankney

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2005

 

When the UT Foundation finalizes a $145,000 purchase of a building on Dorr Street in mid-November, the project to revitalize the south side of the street will be one step closer to execution, but still a long way from completion.  "I don't think you're going to see anything happen in bits and pieces," said Brenda Lee, president of the UT Foundation.  The foundation, which manages and invests donations given to UT, recently agreed to purchase Mac's Motors Inc., located across from the Crossings at 3107 Dorr St.

 

No plans are yet made for what will occupy the building. Discussions on this and what will occupy the other Dorr Street buildings owned by the university (including the NAPA building located at 3341 Dorr St. and the greenhouse at 3600 Dorr St.) will include more than just UT officials, William Decatur, executive vice president and chief operating officer and member of the University Dorr Street Taskforce, said.

 

Full story at http://www.independentcollegian.com/media/paper678/news/2005/10/27/News/Visions.Of.A.New.Dorr.Street-1035884.shtml

 

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From the 11/9/05 edition:

 

PHOTO: WANT FRIES WITH THAT? Kelley Kolesar and Katie Loftis work on a project at Maxwell's Brew in Toledo, where wireless is abundant.  ANDY NELSON - STAFF

 

PHOTO: WIFI: Chris Graver connects at Maxwell's Brew in Toledo.  ANDY NELSON - STAFF

 

Holy Toledo! A surprising leader in wireless access.

By Mark Sappenfield | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

 

TOLEDO, OHIO – Just west of downtown, past shuttered storefronts and rows of tidy brick homes that bespeak a brighter past, Eddie Kanon has brought a slice of Silicon Valley to the rust belt.

 

Simply by connecting an antenna to his high-speed Internet connection, he has allowed all the laptop-toting customers in his diner to surf the Web.  And he is just one of a groundswell of business-owners and citizens here who are broadcasting wireless Internet to anyone who wants it - sometimes for a charge, sometimes not - making Toledo America's fifth most "unwired" city, above the likes of Denver and Boston, according to a survey by Intel.

 

In any public library, at the airport, and even at the minor-league ballpark, for instance, Toledoans can browse their favorite blogs, wire-free.  It is a curious distinction for a city still struggling to become more than a memorial to America's vanishing industrial heartland.

 

MORE: http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1109/p01s04-ussc.html

 

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Should a county's economic development director live inside the county?  From the 11/14/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Acting chief of LCIC doesn't live in county

By TAD VEZNER

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

The current head of Lucas County's new economic development agency does not live in Lucas County - a fact top county officials say they will overlook for the moment, but may scrutinize in the future.

 

Bill Carroll has been interim director of the Lucas County Improvement Corp. - the city and county's primary economic development engine - since July.  He lives in Rossford.

 

Currently the economic development director of the city of Toledo, Mr. Carroll soon will negotiate a temporary salary with the LCIC, which recently was allotted $170,000 for his position through the end of next year by the city of Toledo.

 

When asked whether it mattered if he lived in the county he would have to trumpet to potential investors, Mr. Carroll dismissed the issue as irrelevant.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051114/NEWS33/511140309/-1/NEWS

 

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Well, Carroll is out which is not unexpected.  I don't expect many people from Ford's team to be around for Carty.  From the 12/1/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Toledo's economic development chief resigns

Carroll unsure of role in new administration

By TOM TROY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

William Carroll, who was hired by Mayor Jack Ford to revive a moribund city economic and community development department, said yesterday he has submitted his resignation and will leave the same day as Mr. Ford - Jan. 3.

 

Mr. Carroll also said he will decline the position of executive director of the Lucas County Improvement Corp., the newly enlarged city-county economic development agency.

 

He said he has had no conversations with Mayor-elect Carty Finkbeiner or his chief of staff, Robert Reinbolt - a silence that he said concerns him.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051201/NEWS16/512010472/-1/NEWS

 

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From the 12/12/05 Toledo Blade:

 

Finkbeiner says he has perfect guy for top development job

Mayor-elect to lead revitalization efforts

By TOM TROY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

Mayor-Elect Carty Finkbeiner plans to have a top-notch economic development guru in the mayor's office, somebody who really knows how to make it rain - himself.

 

That's the direction he said he's leaning.  "The fact is, I'm a respectable development guy myself, having done it eight years [as mayor] and three years on the [Toledo-Lucas County] Port Authority [board of Directors]," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

 

Mr. Finkbeiner was a member of the port authority board of directors from February, 2003, to July 31, 2005, after being mayor 1994 to 2002.  Mr. Finkbeiner went through nine permanent and acting development directors during two terms.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051212/NEWS16/512120317/-1/NEWS

 

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The trend continues, from the 12/11/05 Toledo Blade:

 

PHOTO: New houses like the one being shown by Moe Sanner are unsold as buyers await sale of their current homes.  ( THE BLADE/LUKE BLACK )

 

PHOTO: The house in Monclova Township that Brandy Barrett and her husband are considering.  ( THE BLADE/LUKE BLACK )

 

After recent torrid pace, sales in new area subdivisions slow

High-end developers feel most pinched

By GARY T. PAKULSKI

BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

 

Young, single, and eager to move from West Toledo to a new housing development in trendy Sylvania, he waited and waited.  For his home to sell.  "It is a nice house, but the problem is there were 119 others in the immediate area on the market," said agent Sharon Jording, who is still trying to arrange the transaction.

 

For subdivision developers in the Toledo area, that situation has become all too familiar in recent months.  Amid concerns about rising interest rates, gasoline prices, and home heating costs, along with more unsold homes, sales of lots in new subdivisions have slipped from their strong pace of recent years.

 

Some developers in the Toledo area report year-over-year declines of up to 20 percent.  The lull follows a period of torrid development locally.  Over the past five years, developers have submitted plans for more than 7,800 lots in 140 new subdivisions, according to records in Lucas and Wood counties and the Bedford Township office.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051211/BUSINESS05/512100337/-1/BUSINESS

 

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From the 1/5/06 Toledo Blade:

 

Refinery halts work over level of benzene

 

For the second time in eight days, unexpected benzene contamination has halted work on the $100 million hydrogen production complex that BOC Group Inc. is having built at the Sunoco Inc. refinery.

 

About 200 construction workers were sent home Tuesday morning because tests showed benzene levels were above the government's safety threshold of 1 part per million again, Kristina Schurr, BOC spokesman, said.  She said she was not sure how high the cancer-causing levels of benzene had risen.

 

A similar event occurred Dec. 26, when workers were sent home because benzene fumes were also found to be abnormally high.  About 100 gallons of a gasolinelike mix of products had spilled on refinery soil.  The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said none migrated off site.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060105/NEWS06/601050353/-1/NEWS

 

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A related story from the 1/30/06 Toledo Blade:

 

Plan by TMACOG ties into proposal for a walking path

By TOM TROY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

A proposal by Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner to develop a walking path from suburban to downtown Toledo would fit with a plan already envisioned to connect Maumee to downtown Toledo by bike path.

 

Mr. Finkbeiner vowed in his State of the City speech last week to create a "walking path" as one element of his "Get Fit Toledo" health program.  After the speech, he said the route he had in mind is the Anthony Wayne Trail.

 

Using the Trail is roughly the concept envisioned by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments as a link in a bike network that would connect southwestern Lucas County to Oregon.  David Dysard, vice president of transportation for TMACOG, said a bicycle network is part of the agency's 2004 long-range plan.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060130/NEWS08/601300320/-1/RSS

 

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I once lived in Maumee and always wondered if that old NS right-of-way could be used as a bike trail.  Here's hoping that day comes, especially since many of the country roads around Luca County have become more dangerous for bicycling.

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A wrap-up on 2005 from the 1/29/06 Toledo Blade:

 

Home buyers had a field day locally in 2005

Market mostly soft amid worries about the economy

By GARY T. PAKULSKI

BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

 

For house hunters prowling for a bargain, Toledo remains a veritable George Washington's Birthday Sale.  Median sales prices of existing houses in the city slipped 1 percent last year to $80,000, according to the Lucas County auditor's office.

 

While official numbers suggest the housing market in 2005 in northwest Ohio overall was solid, with modest increase in prices and numbers of sales, real estate agents said it continues to be a buyer's market.  "I've been selling since 1965, and this is the slowest I've ever seen it," said Ted LaCourse, a sales agent with ReMax Central agency in Sylvania Township, who specializes in Toledo's Point Place neighborhood.

 

While not all agents agreed that things were that bad, figures collected by the Toledo Board of Realtors confirm that last year was tough for sellers in northwest Ohio.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060129/BUSINESS05/601290316/-1/RSS04

 

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From the 2/1/06 Toledo Blade:

 

TOLEDO

Ex-Ford aide named to run downtown taxing district

 

The board of the newly created Downtown Toledo Improvement District named its executive director yesterday, which also was the deadline for the first property tax payments to support the agency.  The board hired Tom Crothers, who was chief of staff and finance director under former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford, to head a two-person office to manage the 38-block district.  He will be paid $70,000 a year, according to John Eberly, co-chairman of the district's board.

 

Full story at http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060201/NEWS16/602010382/-1/NEWS

 

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