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Toledo: Southwyck Redevelopment

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I don't think this is a good idea. There are already some other sports complexes pretty close to this location. I don't think it's viable, and obviously, this developer was blowing hot air.

 

I think Toledo could be in a position where it can let these suburban annex areas turn back into nature. If shrinking cities models are all the rage these days in the Rust Belt, then crappy suburban ghettos like Southwyck are the places to let go. Toledo should focus entirely on its urban core, which despite losses, still has a lot of potential and a great location near large bodies of water. While Downtown, Uptown, and the Warehouse District have some momentum going, the next tier of urban neighborhoods need serious help. Lots of great buildings are being lost and there are too many vacant lots now. I'd like to see those areas developed (Vistula, North Summit, East Toledo, Marina District, Old West End, Lagrange, Old South End, etc.) before any city money goes to outer ring suburban neighborhoods like Southwyck.

 

I think the only outer neighborhoods worth investing in are the ones by UT since there is obviously a captive audience there with a lot of student loan money. I think the chances of success with a Southwyck redevelopment have diminished greatly over the last couple of years. Reynolds Road collapsed fast. Is Toledo the only Ohio city with an abandoned high-rise outside of its downtown? That old 11-story Holiday Inn was looking pretty bad last time I was in the Southwyck area (2011). That part of the city very much had a "death of American suburbia" feel to it.

 

Dillin's old plan may have worked in a 2005 world, but not anymore. Gen Y is hitting up urban areas more than ever, and all development in Toledo, which is a city rightfully plagued by an out-migration of its smart and talented young people, should focus on the stuff close to downtown. I just don't see a future at Southwyck.

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Still today the Southwyck property sits vacant, nothing but barren pavement and old memories.

 

They did recently repave the roads around the barren Southwyck lot, but it was too little too late. The whole area is suffering, though there have been some new business changes and developments. A nearby vacant hotel was re-purposed into a Senior center: http://www.toledofreepress.com/tag/southwyck-mall/ .

 

The talk of making a sort of open air, outdoor mall were pretty foolish. Nearby there are two other such locations; Fallen Timbers, and Leviscommons. Both locations are frequently rumored to not be doing well, and both have many vacant stores at them. Frankly, our weather is too hostile to make an outdoor mall as viable as other locations further south.

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this is all just sad to hear. it used to be a fairly bustling mall. it cant be a mall again, but what? divided up for light industry and housing? maybe the mayor's new chinese developer friends have some ideas for it? or, in typical ohio fashion, will it continue to just placehold there biding time for many more years? its frustrating.

 

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The Southwyck/Reynolds area was in freefall last time I visited Toledo. That used to be my mall growing up, so I saw the entire decline happen from bustling to closure and demolition. I also used to be a bouncer near there. It wasn't just Southwyck that declined, but most of Reynolds Road. The whole area got to be really depressing.

 

Like much of the Toledo area, a lot of the target market went from middle class to working poor and/or unemployed, with most young people too broke to support the mall. A few gangs also moved into the area, and when that happens in Toledo, it's not long after that working class and middle class families start leaving. In the south side today, I suspect only really Beverly and Harvard Terrace are doing OK...though they still might be losing population as houses go from five people to two and 2-bd or 3-bd apartments house singles.

 

That's a story playing out metrowide. While it's great to have all that space to yourself, it's a symptom of the area's terrible economy, and it puts further downward pressure on city and county finances.

 

What to do with all that vacant property in Southwest Toledo? I have no idea.

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Council approves Southwyck sale

 

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Toledo city council unanimously approved selling the former Southwyck site during a council meeting Tuesday afternon.

 

Meantime, several Toledo city councilmembers offered a change to the ordinance asking approval for the city to sell the 58-acre Southwyck site along Reynolds Road.

 

More below:

http://www.13abc.com/content/news/Council-offering-change-to-Southwyck-purchase-proceeds-385592241.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I was just in this area off the turnpike. The mall is torn down I believe, but the roads and infrastructure look surprisingly well maintained. The median on Reynolds road has brick pavers, planters, and decorative lighting. Other than the mall being torn down it really doesn't look like that run down of an area to me.

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Mall was demolished atleast 10 years ago..  reynolds rd has seen some upgrades the last few years to try to inspire growth..  There was about a 12 story clarion hotel that sat vacant just south of the mall site, it was taken down last year, had turned into an eye sore..

 

A lot of the killer to that strip, is the fact that fallen timbers mall was built about 4 miles away, and if ya go another exit up, the Similar levis commons is in perrysburg..

 

All of toledos malls have been taken down, aside from Franklin park mall... woodville mall in eastern northwood was last year but had been closed for a handful of years being nearly empty, and northtowne on alexis was taken down 7 years ago?

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^ so southwyck mall is now totally cleared out all of structures?

 

also, another question sorry, but with the newer malls, is franklin park still considered the top mall in town?

 

i have a great memory of franklin park mall as that is where i met muhammed ali and his family. he really loved toledo. i believe toledo is where he had his first pro fight.

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Southwyck is completely demolished.. no anchor stores standing either... northtowne and woodville malls both have atleast 1 anchor store standing though not sure if they are currently open businesses

 

Franklin is still the number 1 mall around here (and only indoor mall left) fallen timbers and levis commons are both lifestyle center malls..

 

And that's interesting about Ali.. I never knew this, but toledo was always considered a boxing town.. there was a jack Dempsey heavyweight title match just feet from where I work in Bayview park north toledo, early 1900s...

 

Toledo also home to Olympian boxer Devin vargas, and current ibf lightweight champion Robert easter

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Even with the recent improvement in the local economy, Toledo remains over-retailed. There are essentially two "malls" in area - Franklin Park is an upper-scale, enclosed mall surrounded in nearly all directions by everything except big box stores, and Fallen Timbers is a struggling, mid-scale open-air mall, with a range of shops that you might have found in all of Toledo's malls in the 1970s-1990s. Levis Commons has no department stores, it's a row of specialty shops catering mostly to women of means in the southern part of the metro area. The other malls are, AFAIK, completely gone.

 

I think that the Southwyck site will be redeveloped in the next five to ten years barring a very deep recession or nuclear war. There are few spaces that large in the developed parts of the city, with the surrounding infrastructure and transportation options, but it will have to be a mix of mid-level retail and housing. Right now, the housing market is recovering nicely in Toledo, but not to the point where there is any pressure on housing costs that would drive up the price of housing to necessitate new construction on that scale in that neighborhood. If we manage to avoid a deep recession in the next three or so years, I think there will be enough interest to develop some or all of that area. The mix I could imagine:

 

20% retail

40% housing

20% office space

10% new parkland

10% institutional

 

The historic strength of that area is that it was the only exit from the Ohio Turnpike between Toledo Airport and I-280 - so a very large percentage of the Toledo Turnpike traffic exited there. When the I-75 exit was complete (20-25 years ago?) that reduced the importance of the Southwyck area, which was compounded by the other forces affecting the other malls in city - loss of middle class jobs, shifts to big-box retailing, and the demographic and racial shifts in the southwest areas of Toledo.

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Levis caters to more than just the housewives of perrysburg... aside from that, there's a bunch of new construction going on there... a new hotel, more retail and more townhomes..

 

I'd say FT has a more diverse selection of shops, but levis has better and more dinning options, and soon to be 3 hotels on the grounds... does Fallen timbers even have 1?

 

 

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^ so southwyck mall is now totally cleared out all of structures?

 

also, another question sorry, but with the newer malls, is franklin park still considered the top mall in town?

 

i have a great memory of franklin park mall as that is where i met muhammed ali and his family. he really loved toledo. i believe toledo is where he had his first pro fight.

 

Over the holidays, I visited Toledo and hit Franklin Park Mall. It was remarkable to see. The mall was incredibly diverse and integrated in a way I would never see in Oakland or San Francisco (there are no real malls in Oakland while SF has the excellent downtown Westfield and a small mall at Stonestown near SFSU). We're not just talking racial, class, and ethnic diversity, but religious diversity too. I never see hijab in the Bay, but it was common in West Toledo. Franklin Park's retail seems to hit every single demographic in Toledo. It was incredible people-watching and it looked vibrant with a good mix of stores hitting different income levels. We have nothing remotely like that diversity in the Bay Area. Things are much more segregated here by class and income while ethnic diversity has assimilated away (and I don't think anyone is religious anymore lol). Judging by the crowds, I'd say Franklin Park is still the main (and only real) mall in the Toledo market. They have survived against the odds. Toledo's retail scene was still much stronger than Oakland's (Oaklanders shop in San Francisco, Alameda, Berkeley, or Emeryville). This proves economy isn't everything. Toledo is one of the nation's poorest cities and it's getting poorer. Oakland is one of the nation's wealthiest cities and it's getting infinitely wealthier (though crime and rioting are what has killed Oakland's retail scene, not economy). Franklin Park looked healthier than expected.

 

By contrast, Fallen Timbers looked dead and still struggling with vacancy. While this could be excused since it opened at the start of the recession, at this point, there is more going on. Online retail's tax advantage hurts all brick-and-mortar retail, but Franklin Park seems to have overcome this. Fallen Timbers just didn't have anything unique about it. If you're going for a destination retail experience, you need more local businesses. Franklin Park and Levis Commons have more local businesses from the Toledo region. I think this is why they are doing better.

 

Levis Commons was always more high-market and niche to suburban Perrysburg's top incomes. I was mad when it opened since I was worried it would kill Perrysburg's great little downtown retail scene by the Maumee River, but it appears that Downtown Perrysburg is still healthy. The historic buildings were intact and I didn't see many vacant storefronts. Maumee's historic "Uptown" retail district also looked healthy. Ditto with Sylvania. This was good to see. The pull of those new suburban developments was not strong. Toledo's streetcar suburbs still had vibrant historic retail districts.

 

In fact, I'd bank on Fallen Timbers closing within five years. :| The Toledo area had very little new suburban development going on aside from a few projects in Perrysburg Township (near Levis Commons). Downtown Toledo appeared to have the most development momentum in the region.

 

*Theoretically, Southwyck could be redeveloped if Fallen Timbers goes under. Southwest Toledo is pretty far from Northwest Toledo where Franklin Park Mall is located (though Toledo's light traffic makes driving easy). Southwyck has a good location by I-80/90, which is one of the busiest freeways in the United States. There is also still a middle class in adjacent Maumee, Monclova, and Springfield. Those three suburbs are enough to support a mall, and Southwest Toledo, while declined, still has a large population. For a suburban annex area, parts of Southwyck are not bad. There are some streets of decent apartments with good density, and Swan Creek's nature preserve is pretty cool. It's a heavily wooded area. As far as suburban areas in America go, you can do much worse (like deep East Oakland's notorious Eastmont "Mall" lol). I'd rather see Reynolds Road redeveloped than any new development further out from that. The infrastructure is already in place. It also has good connections to Maumee and other parts of the Toledo region.

 

Given the struggles of Fallen Timbers, I now think it's possible that Southwyck could come back as a retail destination. Fallen Timbers anticipated a lot of suburban development that never materialized. While it could theoretically pull in people along US 24 from as far away as Defiance, that doesn't seem to be happening.

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There's actually a lot of development out by fallen timbers, go check it out on mapquest.. it's been gradually building up since ft was first constructed, and the newly redone trail is sparking development from waterville to whitehouse.. that whole area is on a big upswing..

 

I think it's safe to say downtown perrysburg is alive n well, and levis continues to grow, slowly than planned, but it's getting there..

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^It is very limited development compared to most of America. The pace of change in Northwest Ohio is glacial...

 

It was good to see historic Perrysburg has survived the growth at suburban Levis Commons. Perrysburg has the best of the historic streetcar suburb downtowns in the Toledo area. Maumee would be a lot better if they could do something about the dated hipsters and throwback hippies at Village Idiot lol. Maumee is looking hella dated. I think it's time for a revamp in Uptown Maumee and some infill buildings on empty lots in the core. Since it's so close to Downtown Perrysburg, it needs to step up its game. They are both great towns with beautiful historic cores, but Maumee appears to have had some decline.

 

Perrysburg is clearly ahead of Maumee now.

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There's actually a lot of development out by fallen timbers, go check it out on mapquest.. it's been gradually building up since ft was first constructed, and the newly redone trail is sparking development from waterville to whitehouse.. that whole area is on a big upswing..

 

I think it's safe to say downtown perrysburg is alive n well, and levis continues to grow, slowly than planned, but it's getting there..

 

Not sure what development you wrote about - there have been some new housing starts out by that area, but I don't think another building has been constructed at S@FT since one of those national chain restaurants, PF Chimichanga or Donaldo Fujimura's or something. Seems like there are a lot of empty stores in the complex too.

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something like crocker park or the greene lifestyle mall type developments would be a good fit for that property. except as a hybrid with more emphasis on housing and business sites and less on retail.

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One of the big problems with Southwyck and that Southwest Toledo annex area is that it wasn't fully built out until the 1960s and 1970s. It is designed for cars. This really limits its potential without major infrastructure changes. The streets are wide, and though Toledo does a good job with crosswalks and sidewalks (Lucas County in general seems better than normal with that compared to other metro area's suburban districts), it just isn't walkable. It would take a sea change to ever make it walkable. This would require public money that Toledo/Lucas County just doesn't have.

 

Toledo has a lot of momentum right now in core neighborhoods like Downtown/Warehouse District/Uptown, and signs of stabilization are being seen in Vistula, Lagrange, Old West End, East Toledo, and Old South End. I don't think Toledo's population will drop much below 275,000 people by the 2020 census. There may even be a slight turnaround by then due to all of the recent urban core housing developments. Where the big losses are likely to be seen is in mid-century suburban annex areas like Southwyck along with the continuing depopulation of West-Central Toledo (now Toledo's worst urban slums). Maumee also seems to have recently lost a lot of population (maybe a latent effect of the Ford plant closure?). So Southwyck is basically at the end of a string of declining neighborhoods stretching from West-Central Toledo to Maumee. There is a long line of urban and suburban slums along Airport Highway that is going to be tough to turn around any time soon. That is now arguably the hardest area of Toledo to redevelop. It is car dependent, and even at its peak, it never had anywhere near the density of Toledo's urban core neighborhoods or stuff closer to the Maumee River. Southwest Toledo also lacks anchor institutions. At least further north by UT, the university can be a major impetus for urban infill in the far west side. While MUO is not far from Southwyck, like many hospitals, it's an island with zero urban development around it.

 

*I feel at least part of the new focus on the urban core is due to crime drops in the greater downtown area and first ring urban neighborhoods. The urban core feels a little safer than it did five years ago. At the same time, it seems like crime may be increasing in second ring and outer neighborhoods of Toledo. The Southwyck area is really dismal right now, and the loss of that big hotel makes it feel even more dead. It's tough to imagine much investment there...

 

Reynolds Road and Airport Highway are just depressing and ugly. With all this said, the location is still superior to Fallen Timbers and much more centered for metro Toledo's population. Though I'd argue Southwyck can't be redeveloped with retail unless Fallen Timbers goes under. Malls are dying nationwide and there is only room for one big retail center in the southwestern metro area...

 

Just out of curiosity, how is Springfield's Spring Meadows doing?

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I don't get out to Spring Meadows often but it seems to be keeping up okay. Stores go out of business occasionally but seem to be replaced with other popular stores, and there's lots of new external restaurants like ChikFilA, Starbucks, Panda express, and others popping up so it's doing okay.

 

From the time it was proposed, I thought Fallen Timbers was a bad idea. They thought it would thrive off the growth in that end of the county but while being near a lot of booming suburban residential growth, it still manages to feel like it's in the middle of the countryside. Anymore it really just exists as a quicker, uncrowded alternative to Franklin Park. They didn't design it well though. As a "lifestyle center" outdoor mall thing, Levis Commons is more aesthetic, feels more like a dense, vibrant little downtown where FT feels really open and wide and drab. I think the main full service restaurants at FT are Granite City, PF Changs, and Tilted Kilt.....if they're all still there.

 

Franklin Park is really the only mall the city needs in this day and age. It keeps up with renovations and additions and is always packed.

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Toledo offers Southwyck to Amazon in bid for HQ2

The contest for Amazon's HQ2 is on and Toledo's bid for the massive, well-paying employer is a $780 million incentive package that includes tax exemptions, the land where Southwyck Shopping Center once stood in South Toledo, and 521 acres in the city of Maumee.

As a way to strengthen the proposal, Toledo officials said they included Maumee, and land around the Shops at Fallen Timbers, in its bid for Amazon to locate a new headquarters in the area.

http://www.toledoblade.com/business/2017/10/19/Toledo-s-bid-for-HQ2-worth-780-Million.html

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Im glad we made an attempt, as unlikely as it is we would ever win. For starters, we dont even meet the 1 million population mark that Amazon desires for a new home city. We also dont have an international airport, which I imagine isnt very impressive. And while I love Toledo and think its making great progress in its revitalization downtown, were still far from being the large, progressive, cosmopolitan, hip, city that I imagine Amazon sees itself setting up shop in....especially when it comes to where theyre employees would want to live and work.

 

But like I said, it never hurts to try. Cant win if you dont play.

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On 8/22/2019 at 12:40 AM, TwoStickney419 said:

 

I kinda agree with the plans they have now. I never thought Southwyck would have any future as some of the things people had suggested or hoped for in the past, like a lifestyle center type of mall, IKEA, or even a park. The desire just isnt there. As the article said, it's a dead area. Plenty of people still live in the area, but it's just as easy for them to cruise down the street to the newer businesses in Maumee off Conant and Dussel. It's just seen its day and is a victim of being old news when it comes to suburban sprawl. I've always figured the best we could hope for there would be more apartments or office buildings along Southwyck Blvd, and maybe some new smaller shopping plazas fronting Reynolds Rd. 

 

The idea of light industrial (nothing ugly or pollutive) probably is the best bet. The sites accessibility to the turnpike is its asset. A distribution center would make a lot of sense there for sure. People finally realized that the Northtowne Mall site off Alexis had no real commercial viability either. It makes the most sense for industrial as well being in a unfashionable outdated business corridor.

Edited by Tobias C
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7 hours ago, Tobias C said:

 

I kinda agree with the plans they have now. I never thought Southwyck would have any future as some of the things people had suggested or hoped for in the past, like a lifestyle center type of mall, IKEA, or even a park. The desire just isnt there. As the article said, it's a dead area. Plenty of people still live in the area, but it's just as easy for them to cruise down the street to the newer businesses in Maumee off Conant and Dussel. It's just seen its day and is a victim of being old news when it comes to suburban sprawl. I've always figured the best we could hope for there would be more apartments or office buildings along Southwyck Blvd, and maybe some new smaller shopping plazas fronting Reynolds Rd. 

 

The idea of light industrial (nothing ugly or pollutive) probably is the best bet. The sites accessibility to the turnpike is its asset. A distribution center would make a lot of sense there for sure. People finally realized that the Northtowne Mall site off Alexis had no real commercial viability either. It makes the most sense for industrial as well being in a unfashionable outdated business corridor.

 But the Southwyck site is surrounded by offices and housing, unlike Northtowne or Woodville - the other dead malls in the metro area. Some kind of mixed use distribution, commercial, residential, office mix would work best there. A lot of the surrounding retail and office space is occupied - albeit different than during Southwyck's heyday. I disagree with the article that it's a "no-man's land" - that's a racist dig at the area's growing African-American population. 

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Theres a couple new things being built on Reynolds, near the old mall site but not actually on it.. *actually think 1 of the properties atleast touches the boundary for the old southwyck lot..   not sure what they are, but nothing huge. 

 

 

Not only does the southwyck area compete w maumee, but also the airport hwy Holland meadows areas..  

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i cant believe someone paid over $3M for that site.

 

it has to be amazon fulfillment center part two.

 

regardless, its good news to hear at long last.

 

hopefully its more than one thing.

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