Toledo Talk

The new Standarts Lofts in the warehouse district

cross posted from the toledo group on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/toledohio/

Got a tour of the new Standart Lofts in the Warehouse district today, and they are UHMAZING! If you are looking for an apartment in Toledo, you really should check this place out. The lofts are surprisingly inexpensive, and the quality and views are stunning!

http://www.standartlofts.com/

pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/upso/sets/72157628944989711/

created by upso on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:03:19 pm     News     Comments: 127

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Comments ... #

What did they say about parking? It doesn't seem like they have very many spots.

posted by edg1262000 on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:09:07 pm     #  

They have more than enough, and plan on expanding it as needed in the future.

posted by upso on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:29:46 pm     #  

these are gorgeous, for sure! I'd live downtown in a heartbeat if there was a grocery store and/or drugstore nearby. If I'm going to take advantage of the walkability of living Downtown, I'd want that to include food and other necessities as well.

posted by kaj on Jan 19, 2012 at 07:14:27 pm     #  

I totally agree. From the sounds of it others agree with you as well, and I think there are many people working on trying to fix that problem

posted by upso on Jan 19, 2012 at 07:26:20 pm     #  

very nice. i love that modern/ industrial/ loft style.

posted by Postal on Jan 19, 2012 at 08:01:18 pm     #  

I was in there today. Very nice, indeed! This is a great addition to downtown. And it looks like there is a lot of parking space there.

posted by pete on Jan 19, 2012 at 08:03:41 pm     #  

They have the added bonus of being across the street from Grumpy's, so I have to admit I'm a little biased! :)

posted by upso on Jan 19, 2012 at 08:30:39 pm     #   3 people liked this

This is a great addition to downtown Toledo. I hope they fill up soon!

posted by swampprof on Jan 19, 2012 at 10:48:31 pm     #  

Looks like you caught Richard looking around the loft (guy in the hat peeking out the window)!

posted by smbfc on Jan 20, 2012 at 06:48:29 am     #  

Nice addition to T Town, if I was young and single I would be up for this.

posted by dbw8906 on Jan 20, 2012 at 07:16:43 am     #  

I was pondering the idea of renting out my house and living there for a couple years. I've always wanted to live downtown.

posted by steve155 on Jan 20, 2012 at 08:56:01 am     #  

If you haven't toured yet, do yourself a favor and check them out. Several times yesterday I thought about selling my house and renting a space. I'm not kidding. :)

posted by upso on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:14:09 am     #  

How would the utilities work?

posted by tm2 on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:24:20 am     #  

Are there tours available this weekend ?

posted by Hoops on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:37:40 am     #  

Just call, i'm sure they do individual tours! http://www.standartlofts.com/contact.html

posted by upso on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:47:07 am     #  

Very Nice!

posted by SavageFred on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:42:33 am     #  

I've spoken with a few different local grocery stores, and nobody is interested in taking the risk of opening anything up in downtown at this point. It's very much a chicken-and-the-egg situation, because the philosophy goes that retail follows people, not the other way around.
Hopefully the Standart Lofts are successful, and more projects like this will pop up. Downtown is definitely moving in the right direction, but we just can't seem to get over that hump to where it's obvious to everyone that it's on the upward trend.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 20, 2012 at 12:23:24 pm     #  

The interactive map is cool - but the only grocery shown is Farmers market. As said before - no groceries downtown, no place to walk a pet safely or get milk at 10 pm, no dice.

posted by CynicalCounsel on Jan 20, 2012 at 04:32:18 pm     #   1 person liked this

Well, there is a Shell station that has a convenience store. Obviously not the same as a grocery store, but it's something!

posted by Johio83 on Jan 20, 2012 at 04:36:52 pm     #  

tm2 posted at 08:24:20 AM on Jan 20, 2012:

How would the utilities work?

I'm assuming like any other apartment complex. You pay for them?

posted by slowsol on Jan 20, 2012 at 08:25:16 pm     #   3 people liked this

Why don't they show pictures of the bathrooms and possably what a furnished bedroom would look like??? I have seen enough of that kitchen already. I like very contemporary but I can't say it knocked my sox off.

posted by RockChick on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:47:50 pm     #  

There was 1 picture of a bathroom, I didn't care for the tile work, looked industrial to me.

posted by Linecrosser on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:48:34 pm     #  

posted by Linecrosser on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:49:18 pm     #  

Ok cant embed the picture from there. It was
http://www.flickr.com/photos/upso/6727520533/in/set-72157628944989711

posted by Linecrosser on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:49:54 pm     #  

few things.... :)

1. keep in mind i took those photos for myself, so they in no way cover all of the amenities the spaces offer. For example, each unit has a washer / dryer that washes and dries your clothes in one unit. VERY cool (or hot?) but I did not document it. :)

2. As far as checking out furnished units... the units don't come furnished. I personally wouldnt want to see an apartment furnished one way, and then find my stuff fit in a totally different fashion. RockChick, if you're interested, why not hit them up, and see if they have a moved in unit you can check out? They seem very accommodating!

3. as far as amenities are concerned, you have places for breakfast, lunch and dinner covered if you're willing to walk a block. As for groceries, YES it's a huge problem. I lived a block away from the standart lofts for 6 years, prior to my 6 years in the old west end. I loved it, but the lack of essentials was a bummer. Thing is, downtown is so awesomely center located, i could hit west toledo, south toledo, east toledo or north toledo in 5 to 10 minutes. I have the same problem in the old west end, and i've been dealing with it now for 12 years. It's really not a deal breaker, but i TOTALLY appreciate / understand / relate to the issue. You just have to be a little creative with your shopping, which personally for me is fun. :)

posted by upso on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:17:19 am     #  

not to completely derail this thread, but I'm curious - I'm a relatively new resident of the Old West End (north-ish side, near Central/Collingwood) and grocery stores are definitely a struggle. Aside from the farmer's market, I usually just go to Westgate for stuff. Where else would you recommend?

posted by kaj on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:28:59 am     #  

kaj, shoot me an email! info@upso.org
i have a ton of ideas for you! :)

posted by upso on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:30:33 am     #  

I haven't lived near a full-service grocery store here in the city for nearly 20 years. I go to a couple specialized markets combined with other trips for 80-90% of my grocery needs. That alone, certainly would not keep me from moving downtown if I was looking for a place and liked Standarts.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:55:46 am     #   1 person liked this

the grocery store is no further away living downtown than for anyone who lives in the suburbs and at some point the density will occur that will warrant a downtown grocer. retail follows demand... never the other way.

upso - i appreciate your enthusiasm and excuse my appearing slightly cynical but if i may ask... do you do these threads strictly because of a personal interest in these projects or (cynical part) is it also tied in with the warehouse district association or the chamber or something else and is the facebook page you or a group as well.

i don't mind either way, i just want to know if i am being marketed to in any way... again i hope to not offend

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Jan 21, 2012 at 03:22:13 pm     #  

valid question!

all my posts about toledo are from my personal excitement for the city.

i have zero involvement with the lofts, other than my love of the warehouse district. My restaurant pays annual dues to the warehouse district association but I don't attend the meetings and have no real vested interest in their agenda. I will admit my mother was the president of the association when I was in highschool, and I somewhat grew up downtown so I've been watching the progress for a loooooooooooong time.

I just love Toledo, and am excited to see things happening! :)

posted by upso on Jan 21, 2012 at 03:43:57 pm     #  

oh, and the facebook group is just me. no group association :)

posted by upso on Jan 21, 2012 at 03:44:31 pm     #  

What's the difference between living in suburbia and needing to drive your car 5-7 minutes to get to the grocery store, versus living downtown and hopping on the expressway for a few minutes?

In today's American environment, unless you live in a walkable neighborhood (very uncommon, sadly), or you live directly on top of a Kroger...you're still going to need to get in your car and drive for some groceries.

posted by BusterBluth on Jan 21, 2012 at 03:58:36 pm     #   2 people liked this

Is there anything left across the bridge for groceries?

posted by Linecrosser on Jan 21, 2012 at 04:03:38 pm     #  

I actually just moved into Standart a couple weeks ago and I love it. Very nice fixtures, and decor, and the exposed brick and huge wood beams give them a very cool urban look. They also have a washer/dryer in the units which was huge for me, I hated the communal ones at other apartments.

I have lived downtown for 3.5 years now, and the grocery thing has never bothered me to much I just try to plan ahead well. If I do need something quick I tend to hop on 280 and go to the Kroger on Navarre. If you hit the traffic lights good, it only takes 10/12 minutes so not that bad.

To me though I still wish there was a small bodega type store downtown, like the Schorlings by UT but with state liquor. I am actually annoyed more by the lack of a state liquor store downtown than a grocery store, but I think if someone combined them they would get great sales.....or....call me really crazy here, Combination small grocery, liquor store, and late night drunk food stop. (I love glasscity cafe but sometimes the walk there from the stadium area is brutal)

posted by glasscityguy on Jan 21, 2012 at 05:10:40 pm     #  

On that note, anyone have a spare hundred thousand or three I can borrow? You may/may not get your money back, no promises.

posted by glasscityguy on Jan 21, 2012 at 05:12:55 pm     #   1 person liked this

upso - i appreciate you taking the question and even more for the interest you show and the investment you have been willing to take on.

toledo deserves a great urban core... we are starting get the density in residential though we need to start getting owner-occupied brownstones rather than warehouse apartments... we have entertainment, restaurants, and bars though we must be careful to balance that with other commerical uses and other use groups... we are fine with parking for now but as density creeps up we need to replace surface lots with garages... we need city officals and a plan commission that stand up for urban design in urban areas and not allow drive-throughs, surface lots and car ports, alley vacations, buildings set back off sidewalks, etc.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Jan 21, 2012 at 05:47:03 pm     #   2 people liked this

Downtown living is not for me. However, I work downtown...if there was a grocery store, I would almost certainly make use of it.

I like to run errands on my lunch break and/or right after work. I could totally envision myself popping into a downtown grocery store at least once or twice a week.

posted by mom2 on Jan 21, 2012 at 06:48:48 pm     #  

personally, for me, if there was a decent grocery store downtown, I'd probably never leave downtown and the old west end.

posted by upso on Jan 21, 2012 at 07:27:14 pm     #  

There is a lobbying effort to get a grocer downtown. Whether it happens or not is still very much in the air at this point. However, it is something that is being worked on and I hope progress is made soon.

posted by Newbie on Jan 21, 2012 at 10:40:10 pm     #   1 person liked this

BTW, I didn't mean to sound negative above. (The "downtown living is not for me" comment.)

I like downtown & want to see it thrive. Enjoy working there and also visit often on the weekends.

Might have considered it when I was single & childless, perhaps.

posted by mom2 on Jan 21, 2012 at 11:37:48 pm     #  

Out of curiosity, what about having kids and a husband changes your view of downtown living?

posted by upso on Jan 22, 2012 at 01:33:44 am     #  

I'd end up having to transport my kids elsewhere to attend an acceptable school and for most recreational activites (like participating in sports, Scouts, etc). Would take away any convenience of living and working downtown if I had to drive my kids out to school every morning and afternoon.

We live within a few minutes of their school and all of their other activities. And we have a yard they can play in and other kids on our street to play with.

I like bringing my kids downtown for things (festivals, Imagination Station, museum, baseball & hockey games, restaurants, etc). But it seems more convenient to live elsewhere & bring them downtown occasionally vs living downtown and driving them elsewhere every day for school, etc.

Guess it's mostly kid-related reasons.

posted by mom2 on Jan 22, 2012 at 02:15:15 am     #  

I agree on the kid-related items. I would love to live in a downtown (not necessarily in Toledo), but my wife would never go for it.

posted by slowsol on Jan 22, 2012 at 02:26:15 am     #  

I'm planning to move shortly and would really like to move downtown into a loft like this. The deal breaker for me is my dog. No nice places to walk him.

If I were single and pet less I'd move in a heartbeat.

posted by INeedCoffee on Jan 22, 2012 at 04:02:29 am     #  

mom2 - That is what gets 99% of people out of the downtowns--kids. That is entirely understandable.

I think the future of OWE and Uptown will be much more family-oriented. The Warehouse District and Downtown should be, and for obvious reasons, for the young professionals; the 21-33 crowd who will frequent the bars and entertainment and use their disposable income on things other than diapers and such.

That said, living in the OWE with kids is still a damn fine choice, and one I would make if I were still in Toledo. Think about it, one would live in Scott's district and can (still?) voucher your way into one of the parochial schools for free. And once you're in, you're in for your entire school career, in as a 1st grader and you are good to go through high school graduation. That's not a bad deal for anyone.

posted by BusterBluth on Jan 22, 2012 at 04:56:54 am     #  

enjoyeverysandwich - I love this post.

"toledo deserves a great urban core... we are starting get the density in residential though we need to start getting owner-occupied brownstones rather than warehouse apartments... we have entertainment, restaurants, and bars though we must be careful to balance that with other commerical uses and other use groups... we are fine with parking for now but as density creeps up we need to replace surface lots with garages... we need city officals and a plan commission that stand up for urban design in urban areas and not allow drive-throughs, surface lots and car ports, alley vacations, buildings set back off sidewalks, etc."

I have a true love for downtowns and Toledo can definitely have one; every time I am back in the area and walk around downtown (after San Marcos, of course) and take note of the progress. I left Toledo in 2010 to go to Ohio State and study City & Regional Planning with the goal being coming back to Toledo or another rustbelt city to hope said progress. Toledo definitely has a great opportunity to make something awesome. Hopefully I will find whomever it is I need to get a hold of and make an internship for the summer haha

posted by BusterBluth on Jan 22, 2012 at 04:19:36 pm     #   1 person liked this

Excerpts from my September 2005 comment :

I talked with the real estate person for the Bartley Lofts. I asked her who was buying them. She said single men age 27 to 35. She said they were mainly lawyers, brokers, and accountants. ... and she said older, single women are buying them.

Maybe things are different now with people living downtown.

posted by jr on Jan 22, 2012 at 05:12:11 pm     #  

I was told that the people renting at the standart lofts are mostly young professionals, but the age range went from 20-70 and it was mostly couples. for whatever it's worth!

posted by upso on Jan 22, 2012 at 09:28:12 pm     #  

Linecrosser posted at 03:03:38 PM on Jan 21, 2012:

Is there anything left across the bridge for groceries?

LC, there is a small grocery store on Main between 2nd and 4th with a Rite-Aod right across the street. There is a Rite Aid in Rossford at the Eagle Point Rd light but they don't have a grocery, per se. There's a Sav-Mor (I think) a short hop up Woodville from the east end of the bridge, just before Navarre. A bit more east there's a Kroger's across from the refinery and a Meijers at Woodville and Wheeling (Great Eastern). In between all these places are the usual carryouts, restaurants, and a Walgreens at Woodville and E Bway. :)

posted by nana on Jan 22, 2012 at 11:28:54 pm     #  

There is also a decent amount of meat and produce at San Marcos

posted by upso on Jan 23, 2012 at 07:57:12 am     #  

Can I just say, I find it hilarious that they said the people moving into the Bartley Lofts were young professional single males, and single older females. Cougars on the prowl...

Newbie, can you share any info about this lobbying going on for a grocery store? Is it an organized group, or just people saying it should happen? What grocery stores are being targeted?

enjoyeverysandwich, there is a commission that has set a plan for downtown, and they covered a lot of the things you're talking about. I don't know what actual authority they have to enforce the plan, though. It would obviously be a lot more effective if they were able to get people to adhere to it, as opposed to just standing by saying "hey, we said we wanted it to be like this!" when somebody starts a project.

As for brownstones, there are a few areas around town that offer that kind of living. I've discussed the option on a number of occasions with different property owners, and it always lead to the same basic conclusion as the grocery store conversations: it's a great idea, and Toledo will need to expand there at some point... but it's too risky right now.

But, the reality of things is this: money solves everything. If people want brownstones, they can have them. For those who are interested, ask around, get to know others who feel the same way, and get a group together. When you have enough people who are willing to commit the money for the project, start talking to developers. If the money is there, it's no longer a risk for the builder, it's a guaranteed sale. And the beauty of that is that we're in Toledo; there is SO much available space. You could get 5 or 6 people to sign a contract with the developer and start the process immediately.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 23, 2012 at 10:51:34 am     #  

johio - we have worked hard for 30 years to make the planning rules more progressive... to essentially make mixed-use urban neighborhoods legal again (it had actually become illegal to do urban development in toledo 40 years ago) - but through it all, politicians influenced by developers who don't understand urban development, vote to ignore development rules or roll them back yet again (or weaken proposed legislation so it has no net effect).

take the townhouses at st clair street near swan creek. when proposed, the plan commission staff was set against it and it violated many rules set forth by the plan commission as updated in the 20/20 plan and previous rules.

these "townhouses" have a suburban center courtyard where all "front" doors are located with no street access. this arrangement is as suburban... think brandywine... as it could possibly be. should never have been allowed... and not surprisingly has been a failure. nearly as bad as carty's folly - the condos that were on the middlegrounds.

if these had been actual townhouse/brownstones... i suspect they would have been very well received and may have paved the way for a quicker turnaround in that area... created some interaction (synergy if you like that term... i don't) with the dixon block... put pedestrians on the street... created a safer more interactive street life.

even the dixon block when it was redeveloped put a common corridor through all of those adjacent historic buildings... this creation of a single entry primarily aimed at the back door parking is anti-urban and hurt the context of the original historic buildings. small things matter in urbanism and toledo violates these rules far too often.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Jan 23, 2012 at 01:30:12 pm     #   2 people liked this

"Can I just say, I find it hilarious that they said the people moving into the Bartley Lofts were young professional single males, and single older females. Cougars on the prowl..."

Everyone I know that lives there fits into those categories so they may be on to something.

The brownstones are a great concept, but the ones that are already there are not working out perfectly, so Johio83 your right, what developer is going to take that risk when they look at the others. The warehouse apartments on the other hand are working great. Standart has had a great response and I have not heard yet that any of the other downtown apartments were hurt. The demand is there right now for warehouse apartments not brownstones. But its still good either way, I see nothing bad about more people moving into the area.

posted by glasscityguy on Jan 23, 2012 at 01:32:37 pm     #   1 person liked this

"Everyone I know that lives there fits into those categories so they may be on to something."

Seven years ago, I was told the so-called "older" women were divorced or widowed with some money, and they wanted to live in something a bit different than the usual condo or apartment, and they did not want to maintain a yard.

posted by jr on Jan 23, 2012 at 05:36:09 pm     #  

The grocery lobby is a combined effort between downtown residents and the mayor's office. Since nothing has been formally proposed, I can't go into much detail. They are looking at locations and formulating plans to entice a retailer to service the increasing demand.

Bottom line is Andersons, Kroger, Churchills (et al), would not work here- for too many reasons (another thread). We're trying to think outside the box and see if we can get a smaller store interested in locating here. This is still very preliminary - but sincere - and it will take a combined voice to get any attention down here.

posted by Newbie on Jan 23, 2012 at 10:49:52 pm     #  

"it will take a combined voice to get any attention down here."

I totally agree with that. That's the idea I was trying to convey in my post about people getting together to push the townhouse/brownstone idea. Organized masses are a lot more convincing to businesses than a few voices here and there.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 23, 2012 at 11:09:23 pm     #  

If the said hypothetical grocery store was, say, more upscale, or just had some kind of different defining quality about it, a smaller grocery store downtown might even attract some people outside of the downtown area.

And I agree with enjoyeverysandwich, the condos on st clair on swan creek are supposed to be cool for young professionals and all that but they completely miss the mark when it comes to actually blending with the surrounding neighborhood. They're an enclave of sorts, facing inward like they're afraid of what's on the street. Brownstone townhouses would be much more suitable for making a comfortable interaction between the homes and street, and it would feel more alive and safe down that block.

posted by Tobias on Jan 23, 2012 at 11:58:47 pm     #  

Agreed 1000%

posted by upso on Jan 24, 2012 at 07:54:30 am     #  

"They're an enclave of sorts, facing inward like they're afraid of what's on the street"

This is true but having lived in those condos and knowing people that live there now they don't want to be out on that street. Have you seen how much broken glass there is on a regular basis on South St clair? I agree it would probably make the street more safeif they were street facing, but the city would need to do more to help. But I'm not sure how that happens does a townhouse go in first, and the city make improvements later or vice versa?

posted by glasscityguy on Jan 24, 2012 at 10:15:20 am     #  

I think "community" plays into that to help bridge that gap. St Clair is a very nice little area, and it didn't get that way because the city decided or because a shop or two went in. It got that way because it was an organized effort from the store owners. So, just like you hear about neighborhoods getting together to combat the issues they're facing, I think the same is true for downtown projects like this.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 24, 2012 at 11:12:35 am     #  

Need a butcher, baker and a candlestick maker. The old days of a grocer, baker, produce store and bar in every neighborhood would be a nice thing to get back to.

posted by Linecrosser on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:28:53 pm     #  

"... a smaller grocery store downtown might even attract some people outside of the downtown area."

I doubt it. I don't see how such a store could beat the Fresh Market in Westgate, which is closer to me than downtown. Just guessing, but the focus of the grocery store should serve the needs of the downtown residents first before worrying about attracting outsiders.

Early to mid last decade, a small market existed on W. St. Clair St, but it closed in 2006. I don't know why it closed. Bad location? Too small? Ahead of its time? Bad business management? I sometimes patronized that market when I was downtown for other things. It seemed to have enough items for basic needs. Since it was small and locally-owned, the prices may have been higher, but I would think that being within walking range of nearby resident dwellings would trump the prices. If someone wants a lot of food stuff, however, this market may have been too small, requiring an additional visit to another store. So maybe people thought that instead of making two stops, it was better to patronize a large grocery store to buy everything in one stop.

posted by jr on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:38:33 pm     #  

I'm assuming like any other apartment complex. You pay for them?

Gee why didn't i think of that! I MEANT are there separate water, gas and electric lines for each unit? Most apartment complexes that i have ever been into only had electric.

posted by tm2 on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:38:49 pm     #  

Just guessing, but the focus of the grocery store should serve the needs of the downtown residents first before worrying about attracting outsiders.

You are absolutely correct

Early to mid last decade, a small market existed on W. St. Clair St, but it closed in 2006. I don't know why it closed. Bad location? Too small? Ahead of its time? Bad business management? I sometimes patronized that market when I was downtown for other things. It seemed to have enough items for basic needs. Since it was small and locally-owned, the prices may have been higher, but I would think that being within walking range of nearby resident dwellings would trump the prices. If someone wants a lot of food stuff, however, this market may have been too small, requiring an additional visit to another store. So maybe people thought that instead of making two stops, it was better to patronize a large grocery store to buy everything in one stop.

absolutely right again
i was involved with the market on a marketing and strategy level, and consider the owner a friend of mine. It was WAY ahead of it's time. I lived downtown in the warehouse district when it was open, and st.clair street wasn't nearly as thriving and vibrant as it is now. The pizza shop wasn't open next store, and in general there were significantly less people downtown.

If they were to reopen that exact store again today, but with more space for more options (as you mentioned) i think they would do killer.

posted by upso on Jan 24, 2012 at 04:20:21 pm     #   1 person liked this

upso, any idea a) why they closed (not looking to discuss personal matters, just whether it was strictly low traffic, or if there were other issues that lead to it) and b) is it something they'd be interested in or able to attempt again?

posted by Johio83 on Jan 24, 2012 at 05:17:06 pm     #  

The owner no longer lives in toledo. It was closed due to a lack of steady business (as far as I'm to understand)

posted by upso on Jan 24, 2012 at 05:50:44 pm     #  

Grocery Store? Why is this a factor in downtown vs. suburban living. I'm unaware of Kroger leasing suburban basements. If you're in the suburbs you get in your car and drive. If you live downtown you get in your car and drive. It's the same amount of time. This is neither a plus or minus. Oh wait you can actually walk and get a lot of groceries at the Farmers Market and Poultry house.
+1 downtown.

As for the stereotype of downtown loft residents, there are married couples that live in The Bartley, Huron, and Ottawa. Some even have kids.

Truth is universal. Perception of truth is not.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 24, 2012 at 06:54:50 pm     #   2 people liked this

"Truth is universal. Perception of truth is not."

What perception? It was the Bartley Lofts real estate person providing the info. And my comment also stated :

While I was there, a few older women were checking out the loft and asking about the process of buying one.

It was an open house, during the "Wander the Warehouse District Loft, Office & Home Tour."


posted by jr on Jan 24, 2012 at 08:47:08 pm     #  

I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but why can't something like Trader Joes work in the warehouse district? They are generally smaller stores that would also attract people into the downtown area because they have a somewhat cult following. They provide many unique items. They seem like a perfect fit for a downtown urban grocery. They also don't already have any other stores in the area.

posted by edg1262000 on Jan 24, 2012 at 09:42:13 pm     #   1 person liked this

"I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but why can't something like Trader Joes work in the warehouse district?"

Maybe not mentioned in this thread, but that idea has been mentioned numerous times in the past on this site. But mentioning it one more time won't hurt. Here's an earlier comment :

I'd love to see a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods in the Erie St. Market. I've already sent a letter to Traders asking (ie pleading) for them to consider downtown Toledo.

posted by Newbie on Oct 25, 2007 at 07:45:52 pm


Before Whole Foods is suggested again, remember that Whole Foods would not be welcomed anywhere in Toledo.

September 2005 - Toledo Talk - Costco versus Whole Foods that referenced a Frank Szollosi blog posting where Frank said:

Carty Finkbeiner threatens Costco and Westgate redevelopment. Carty's choice is Whole Foods, whose CEO has compared unions to herpes. Whole Foods at Westgate would threaten the good United Food and Commercial Workers at Krogers.

My January 2006 comment :

According to Liz Holland of Westgate, Whole Foods has zero interest in the Toledo area market. That means they're not interested in Toledo, Maumee, Perrysburg, nowhere around here. According to Holland, anyway.

Holland said Abbell approached Whole Foods about a year ago. She told Whole Foods they were talking with Costco about coming to Westgate. At that point, Whole Foods became interested in Toledo, but for some reason, Whole Foods later lost all interest in this region.

Back in November 2004, a Columbus Dispatch story described Toledo as "the second-most unionized city in the nation."

It's a bit understandable why Whole Foods and Toledo may not play well together.

I have no idea what the union or non-union status is of Trader Joe's and if such a company would be welcomed in Toledo. Are Traders Joe's employees non-union? If so, then that could be a reason why they're not in the Toledo market because it's not worth the hassle.

I don't think Costco is 100% union. They got in at Westgate after the city granted Costco an exception to Toledo's living wage issue.

posted by jr on Jan 24, 2012 at 10:22:10 pm     #  

"What perception? It was the Bartley Lofts real estate person providing the info. And my comment also stated :
While I was there, a few older women were checking out the loft and asking about the process of buying one." jr

Her perception was erroneous and has shaped yours and others. There are a few older women in that building, a few older men, a few younger women, a few younger men, a few younger couples, and a few older couples. A representation of our society.
The first occupied unit was a married couple with two college age children living with them.
A few older women window shopping the day you walked through does not represent the reality of the inhabitants just as the majority of warehouse day tours through standart will not reflect the eventual inhabitants.

The pictures you took were on a stunning day it's a shame they did not have the shades completely up. That specific unit was purchased by a doctor and his wife far from the representation the realtor provided to you.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 25, 2012 at 12:26:22 am     #   1 person liked this

The Bartley has a wide demographic. Young, old, married, single, kids, no kids, gay, straight, blue collar, white collar.... Any generalization really does not apply.

Trader Joes would work downtown due to its unique model and the fact that it would draw people to itfrom the suburbs. It's a destination type of thing. However, I would be happy just to have another small market like the one that was on St. Clair. Between San Marcos and the farmers market, I can get most of the food I need. I drive to Costco for bulk tp and paper towels (along with the rest of Toledo).

posted by Newbie on Jan 25, 2012 at 08:49:03 am     #   1 person liked this

Also, TJ's is non-union, but from what i have read, it's not much of an issue in many towns because they pay above-average wages and benies.

posted by Newbie on Jan 25, 2012 at 08:56:50 am     #  

"Whole Foods, whose CEO has compared unions to herpes

I knew there was a reason I liked Whole Foods so much. :)

Yet another example of how the union mentality has hurt this city.

posted by dell_diva on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:33:19 am     #  

MrGlass419, I totally agree about the location issue. I've made that argument SO many times since I decided to move downtown. The first thing out of people's mouths is always "but you'd have to drive to find a grocery store!" And my response is always "have you ever in your life walked to a grocery store?"
I don't know why people think along those lines. And it's even more annoying when it's coming from friends of mine who live in rural spots, like farms in Ida. They have to drive 15 minutes to find a gas station, why are they worried that I might have to drive 3 minutes to get to a grocery store?

posted by Johio83 on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:48:15 am     #   2 people liked this

Johio, where do you live downtown?

posted by upso on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:52:28 am     #  

Well, it's in quite the state of disrepair, but about a block away from my favorite sandwich shop in downtown. Also a big part of the reason I wish the Erie Street Market were what it was a decade ago.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:01:45 am     #  

:)

posted by upso on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:30:44 am     #  

When I worked in the retail business (within the last 5 years), Trader Joe's specifically said they would not open a store in Toledo, and were not planning on opening more in Ohio.

But times change. You never know.

posted by slowsol on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:48:16 am     #  

I would think for some people, the priority of having a grocery store within walking distance, even though they didn't have one in their old, more sprawled out neighborhood, is because its an essential element to a walkable "lifestyle" they might have envisioned for themselves, if they're bothering with living downtown. People don't just live in dense mixed use central business districts solely because they want to live in a cool old building.

I would walk to a grocery store if I could. I like buying food, only when I'm making a meal. When I stock up, I always forget something, wish I had something, or get something that I never use and gets wasted. Being a short walk away from the store I just go grab what I need, when I need it, and its a reason to go for a nice little walk. Lugging groceries home isn't a problem if you only have one or two bags.

Just my opinion.

posted by Tobias on Jan 25, 2012 at 01:12:55 pm     #   6 people liked this

Why would we need a Whole Foods in Toledo when we have the lovely Fresh Food Market at Westgate?? Based on the non union comments I will not step foot in a Whole Foods. Was NEVER a fan to start with.

posted by RockChick on Jan 25, 2012 at 03:33:44 pm     #  

Would Trader Joe's build in a setting like downtown Toledo, or does Trader Joe's only build if it's going to be an anchor store in a strip-mall type of development where Trader Joe's would be surrounded by numerous other stores, mainly chains?

Newbie said

Bottom line is Andersons, Kroger, Churchills (et al), would not work here- for too many reasons (another thread). We're trying to think outside the box and see if we can get a smaller store interested in locating here.

Why not list some of those reasons? And can you define "smaller store?" The old Churchill's on Central Ave is small. Is that still too big? Have you visited the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op? It's tiny, but effective. Is that more the size that's being considered?

And what does thinking outside the box mean?

To me, The Andersons company makes a lot of sense to be the group to operate a downtown store. It seems they know how to do grocery in the Toledo area with their market in Sylvania and their expansion in their Talmadge Rd store, which is really nice. But they do more than just food.

Why couldn't The Andersons open a store downtown that's slightly bigger than the co-op but smaller than the old Churchill's? Other things need to be considered, of course, like location, customer parking, space to unload stock, etc.

A small downtown Andersons store could sell other products in addition to food. Downtown residents may have a need for household items, such as paper products, cleaning supplies, and maybe even hardware items or pet food. We know the big Andersons stores sell a wide variety of products. Why couldn't a little, downtown version sell a small subset of those items? I don't think the downtown store would need to sell lumber and small trees. But it should focus on serving the downtown residents and not the residents in Perrysburg or Whitehouse.

If some items aren't selling well in the small, downtown Andersons, they could move that stock to one of the other Andersons stores. They have the flexibility to try different things. Over time, The Andersons would figure out what sells and what doesn't in their small, downtown store.

And because they're a big enough company and maintain other stores in the area, they could more easily absorb the growing pains in the early going. And wouldn't their product prices in a downtown store be about the same as their other stores?

It seems The Andersons loves to tinker with how their products are stacked or displayed. I don't know if that's busy work, or if the frequent rearranging of stock is based upon what's selling. But the Talmadge Rd store is busy, so The Andersons must be doing something right.

I think The Andersons would know how to make good use of a very small space. The Andersons also knows how to expand an existing store. So maybe a small downtown version would exist on property with additional space for a possible future expansion.

Although unrelated to operating a downtown store, I think it's worth reminding people that The Andersons has been a good community supporter.

If The Andersons has already expressed zero interest in any type of downtown store, that's one thing. But if The Andersons is being excluded from discussions, that's bad.

Who is more likely to succeed with a downtown Toledo store? The locally-headquartered The Andersons or some other option.

The little Market on St. Clair closed in 2006. Some reason must exist why a local or chain company has not tried to open a downtown store since then.

posted by jr on Jan 25, 2012 at 03:49:17 pm     #  

Mike Anderson gave me a pretty concrete "no" when prodded about looking downtown.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 25, 2012 at 04:01:23 pm     #  

The Anderson's Market in Sylvania would be a good pattern to follow for a downtown store, in my opinion. They have a good product mix there: beer & wine, high-end groceries, produce, a meat counter, and lots of prepared food options. jr is right about their ability to feature dry goods in season and their freedom to ship goods around to other stores. I'd love to see them take over that old restaurant building near the High Level bridge (Family Gardens? whatever). Good visibility and plenty of parking there. And the place will probably never be a restaurant again, after so many have failed.

When I take time to track down the right person at Anderson's HQ, I have found they are very responsive to suggestions. Can some of us work on putting together a comprehensive proposal to submit to them? We can hold meetings at Grumpy's ;-)

posted by viola on Jan 25, 2012 at 04:06:15 pm     #  

OK, Johio. I'm glad someone has tried, anyway!

posted by viola on Jan 25, 2012 at 04:08:53 pm     #  

A list of who NOT to expect may exist:

  • The Andersons #
  • Whole Foods #
  • Trader Joe's #

It has been mentioned multiple times in this thread that it's no problem for people living downtown to drive elsewhere for groceries. So I can understand why The Andersons and others would have no interest in operating a downtown store because numerous stores already exist within a 10 to 20 minute drive of downtown, including The Andersons.

So maybe a bodega in Uptown and one in the Warehouse District will suffice. Something like The Market on St. Clair, but more than one.

posted by jr on Jan 25, 2012 at 04:59:33 pm     #  

I should point out that it was at a baseball game though, not like we were actually sitting down at a meeting going over projections or something. Was a "how are things going? Ever look into downtown?" kind of chat. And that was before Standart Lofts became a reality, so who knows now.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 25, 2012 at 05:09:29 pm     #  

Nobody seems to want to bite the bullet and take a chance on making a store downtown. I myself could see something on one of the first floor buildings downtown, even if divided into separate needs areas. Such as a bakery, delicatessen maybe more of a Lee Williams, pharmacy, grocery. Each could keep their own hours, wouldn't overlap greatly on product sold, cooperate in the same location. Maybe a satalite of the ESM in there for produce. Its just a thought, they could open up in stages based on what was needed or supported for the downtown community.

posted by Linecrosser on Jan 25, 2012 at 06:21:04 pm     #  

It's a lot of fun to speculate about who we think should/could/may want to be downtown. The bottom line is: if a Trader Joe's (don't even think about Whole Foods - Toledo doesn't even come close to their demographic model) or an Anderson's Market or fill in the blank store thought there was $$ to be made from a downtown location, they'd be there.

Personally, I would LOVE to see Trader Joe's come to this area. But, let's be honest. Northwest Ohio has a horrible non-business friendly reputation. Deserved or not, perception becomes reality. Especially when you are a company headquartered several thousand miles away and unfamiliar with this area.

Furthermore, why would anyone want the hassle of locating here and dealing with the political cesspool that is Northwest Ohio?

posted by Foodie on Jan 25, 2012 at 06:46:55 pm     #   1 person liked this

Tobias "if they're bothering with living downtown"

My last post on the grocery downtown subject vs suburbs. Yes it would be great to have a full service grocery to walk to, but there is not one. Instead I'll walk to the farmers market or poultry house that is open during the week and carries milk. Or pop over to the spitzer building for their carryout or the riverfront carryout. When I do full on grocery shopping I'll drive like everyone else in the suburbs does.
However I'll continue walking to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee spots that others have to drive to. I'll walk to Hens and Walleye games, I'll walk to the Valentine or Rep, I'll walk to concerts and shows at Huntington. I'll walk to events like Blarney's October fest or Smoke on the Water. More importantly I'll walk home from nightlife while others insist on driving home and risking their life and the lives of others.
If their is one stereotype of those living at The Bartley that holds true, it is there is a disproportionate amount of residents from other cities especially Chicago that have lived there. The lack of a grocery has not kept them away. Toledoans that view things as glass half empty as opposed to half full is another story.
Finally, based on you "statement bothering to live downtown" I doubt you would live downtown if it was New York City, so a grocery store is irrelevant. When a grocer follows the continuing influx of residents someday, whether its next year or ten years from now, most Toledoans will find a new glass is half empty to gripe about, while outsiders appreciate what is offered

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:54:08 pm     #   2 people liked this

It is highly unlikely The Andersons would offer groceries downtown as their general stores are a money losing operation. Unless it has recently changed their general store division has lost money for years while the Grain, fertilizer/turf, and rail divisions are doing fantastic.

How the stores lose money I'll never understand as their parking lots are always slammed on the weekends.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:57:40 pm     #   2 people liked this

I chose to (not "bothered" to) live downtown. I think many, like me, do agree with MrGlass that it's not all about the so-called "easy" amenities. The way I see it, I have access to whatever I need within walkable distance. The suburbs have bred a delusion of accessibility. I've found it to be an absolute nightmare to go to the Sylvania Kroger at 5pm on a weekday - I can't wait to get back downtown after being there. But that is just me and my weird East-coaster self, I guess...

posted by Newbie on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:30:23 pm     #   1 person liked this

from JR "So maybe a bodega in Uptown and one in the Warehouse District will suffice. Something like The Market on St. Clair, but more than one."

that would be a great place to start. JR I love your ideas and understanding of the area dude.

As for the Andersons coming downtown, to me it's a no brainer if they can find a spot with enough parking (ie: a redeveloped erie street market) Move their woodville mall shop downtown (away from that dying building), and hit sooooo many more neighborhoods while still being accessible to their east side demographic.

There are still a ton of people working downtown that would tap into that.

posted by upso on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:49:33 pm     #   2 people liked this

MrGlass419, why are you taking it so personally that some of us prefer to live in the suburbs? Some of us have children and prefer a backyard with a swing set and a place for our dog to run around. There's no need for your "suburbanites are drunk drivers" smugness.

posted by dell_diva on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:07:17 pm     #   4 people liked this

I live in Sylvania. I can honestly tell you that I would not live downtown if they paid me. Seriously. Are you joking? Have you ever looked at the crime distribution map in the Blade?

Dirty, nasty downtown Toledo with a Ho and pimp on the corner. Homeless degenerates drifting around.

Please.

posted by Star56 on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:24:30 pm     #  

troll score = 6.5/10. The Ho and pimp comment was a little off center and your dismount was a little shaky. Try again!

posted by kaj on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:53:55 pm     #  

Tobias, your comment above struck a chord, and it's really what I was trying to say when I brought up the whole lack-of-a-grocery-store thing upthread. I am not a native Toledoan - I've been here just over six months, and moved here from a much bigger Midwestern city. There, I lived in a neighborhood very similar in character and structure to OWE, except for there was a much greater infill of businesses, restaurants, stores, etc.

I harbor no delusions about being able to go car-free in Toledo, but ultimately, I'd like to be able to do so as much as possible. Having a reliable place to get a wide variety of groceries and sundries downtown would really help that. I work downtown and would love to eventually reside downtown. Of course there are groceries and drugstores and other places within driving distance, but if you are really trying to draw people into the downtown area to reside, there has to be more than the nightlife available for their day to day needs.

posted by kaj on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:05:18 am     #  

dell_diva posted at 10:07:17 PM on Jan 25, 2012:

MrGlass419, why are you taking it so personally that some of us prefer to live in the suburbs? Some of us have children and prefer a backyard with a swing set and a place for our dog to run around. There's no need for your "suburbanites are drunk drivers" smugness.

We live near Elmhurst Elementary. The school rates high. I see parents walking their kids to school. For some households, it could be a reason to live in this part of West Toledo.

We have a dog. The mutt and I like to run around in our backyard, which is easier to do now during the off-season for gardening.

I like to observe nature, and having only a small urban backyard can be extremely productive and rewarding for nature observing. We're surrounded by big oak trees, which can be problematic at times when big limbs decide to fall, but the big oaks are bird magnets. The perimeter of our little backyard is lined with the detached garage and numerous bushes and small trees, giving the backyard an isolated or enclosed feeling. It's shady during the summer. We grill and eat outside when it's warmer. (Sometimes we build a fire in a small cage, although I'm unsure if it's permitted by law.)

Our backyard is a nice place to sit, relax, observe, write, and sketch. And yet, it's in the city. I can drink my gin and tonics or Bell's beers from The Andersons. No need to drive anywhere. It's very walkable. Our backyard is exactly zero feet from our house.

I have bird feeders up all year. I've accumulated an impressive list of bird sightings around our home, which some people may be surprised at, considering the urban setting and small yard. On some mornings in May, during the peak of the spring bird migration that features the Neotropical migrants, I can step out our backdoor and quickly observe a dozen or more warblers plus other migrating songbirds. Interesting winter finches visit our feeders on some years.

Our backyard is mainly comprised of the concrete driveway to the detached garage and garden beds for flowers and produce. We enjoy gardening, which means less mowing, tasty food, and flowers blooming into October. I like to observe insects, and the Oak Openings native plants are great for attracting insects. I like to listen to and identify the insect songs of late summer and early fall. And I can enjoy all these activities on a little plot of reasonably-priced property in the city. Our yard.

If we continue to live in the city, we've thought about "radical" urban homesteader ideas like having our own chickens for eggs, although I'm not interested at the moment in caring for another pet. While I am opposed to some or even many aspects of home ownership, and I grumble about things like home repairs, the thing I would miss most would be not having a backyard. Same for my wife.

Toledo is 88 square miles, and most of its remaining 287,000 residents live outside of the downtown area. I have to admit that living in the Elmhurst area of West Toledo is a good place to be.

posted by jr on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:16:59 am     #  

dell_diva
Nothing at all against the suburbs. They offer an excellent place to raise a family and many in our metro area have outstanding schools.

What I'm referencing is the lack of logic in the need to drive to a grocery store which is present in both living situations in our metro. It's a red herring as it is not a plus for either the suburbs or downtown. Those that use it have no intention of living downtown if the grocery materializes so it does no good to lament the situation.

It doesn't matter if Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and The Anderson's all opened shop downtown simultaneously, someone like Star56 has no interest in living downtown. The same group of individuals that feel that way use the discussion topic as a way to knock the city.

A strong vital core is necessary to attract young top level talent for our regions employers, and foster innovation through close interaction of talent across a breadth of industries. A cancer at our center will metastasize to all of our burbs overtime. For those that an urban lifestyle is conducive, our downtown provides a superior solution. Our local youth and talent have been told for their life it is inadequate. We can choose to allow red herrings or we can promote our area. The future of our downtown and our burbs will be intertwined.

We are at "The Tipping Point" which way we fall is up to our community.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:26:48 am     #   3 people liked this

"However I'll continue walking to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee spots that others have to drive to. I'll walk to Hens and Walleye games, I'll walk to the Valentine or Rep, I'll walk to concerts and shows at Huntington. I'll walk to events like Blarney's October fest or Smoke on the Water. More importantly I'll walk home from nightlife while others insist on driving home and risking their life and the lives of others."

Don't forget the The Toledo Repertoire Theatre and the art store.

A downtown Perrysburg resident could walk to:

  • Kazmaiers Market
  • Mills hardware store
  • the kitchen supply store
  • Commodore Barbers
  • hair salon(s)
  • Shamas Salon & Spa
  • McGivern Jewelers
  • the Daily Grind coffee shop
  • churches
  • bank(s)
  • restaurants and bars
  • the library
  • the Farmers Market every Thursday evening during the growing season
  • downtown festivals
  • the swimming pool
  • the 577 Foundation
  • Woodlands Park
  • Hood Park
  • Riverside Park
  • and more ...

It would be a very short drive to Orleans Park to fish during the walleye spawning run. It's a short drive/long walk to events at Fort Meigs.

So I'm going to hold off on awarding downtown Toledo this area's patent on walkability. I personally don't give a shit about minor league baseball and goon hockey, so sports is no reason to live downtown. I'll take the 577 Foundation over sporting events.

posted by jr on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:52:47 am     #   1 person liked this

You live in one of the best areas of Toledo, jr. Elmhurst is a great elementary school. Now DeVeaux? Not so much. What I meant to convey to MrGlass419 is that it's not feasible for people with families to live "downtown." West Toledo is a great place to raise kids, for now. Unless things start turning around crime-wise, I'm afraid these remaining few nice areas of Toledo are going to start going downhill.

And I agree with you about 577 Foundation vs. sports. Give me 577 any day!!

posted by dell_diva on Jan 26, 2012 at 09:15:11 am     #  

I think perrysburg has the best downtown strip in the region. Most of the restaurants are terrific, and jr, as you note... there is a ton of resources in a small foot print. The difference is, the population density is much smaller than a potentionally fully occupied downtown Toledo. That's the reason I could see a chain store possibly getting interested in downtown toledo. You stack people up in apartment buildings, and that equals a lot of demand.

My grandmother lives a block away from louisiana ave in perrysburg, and I grew up near there. The downtown wasn't always so full of greatshopping, and it shows with planning, and focused interest by business owners that you can change things. I'm hoping that happens here in toledo as well.

posted by upso on Jan 26, 2012 at 09:48:09 am     #  

jr & dell_diva
really? You both are cementing the point. No one asked if you give a &*!$ about sports as you eloquently stated and we know the burbs are nice for children and it's in all of our best interests for them to continue to be nice. A downtown will never be the answer for all members of society. The fact it does not fit your lifestyle has nothing to do with whether it is a livable downtown. Once again the Standart lofts are going to being a fantastic living arrangement for those that desire to live in an urban environment.
I didn't feel the need to list every walkable place downtown, which there are comparables for things you list on your perrysburg walkable list.
I did list the Rep previously
Fastenal hardware
there are barber shops downtown
there are Salons and Spas downtown
there are jewelers
there are coffee shops
there are churches
there are banks
there is a library
there is a market
there are festivals & parades
there are swimming pools open year round
there is a metropark on the river a Promenade park and International park
museums, art galleries,
assortment of live music
upscale men clothing
upscale women's clothing
and as you say more...

The facts continue to be, there are more people living in cities today than at any point in the history of our world. The percentage is rising. Perrysburg, Sylvania, Ottawa Hills, Monclova, Maumee, and all the other burbs do not present an urban environment and they are not supposed to, so that is not a knock. An increasing portion of our younger society and empty nesters desire to live in livable urban environments. Downtown Toledo is our regions only horse in the race.

No one feels the need to go on topics and state why Maumee or Perrysburg is wrong for them.

Saying things like Give me quicker boating access to Lake Erie over 577 any day is pointless.

I hope our suburbs and urban environment can provide compelling opportunities for business' and individuals. The branches and leaves (burbs) whither and die eventually after the core of the tree rots (downtown). Both need to be promoted and don't need local assistance in tearing them down.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:01:38 am     #  

To stay on topic. The Standart rooftop is going to be an awesome place to view fireworks after Hens games and the Fourth of July
I'm really impressed with the embedded sidewalk up lighting they've installed. They have done a first class job.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:04:38 am     #  

Yeah, I think the point has strayed a bit. It isn't a matter of what is better, downtown or suburbs, it's a matter of leveling out Toledo's focus. Compared to other cities around the country, we are skewed waaaaay over to the suburban side. Pro-downtowners aren't saying we need to eliminate suburbs, but that we need to provide realistic choices to those who don't feel a suburban life is what they're after.

And I like MrGlass's comment about the tree. The more vibrant the downtown, the better things will be for the suburbs. And to add to that, I think a strong downtown would be an excellent deterrent to the brain drain issue. Urban living is very appealing to 20 somethings, and it's just a perpetual reward system: those kids that want to live in an urban area like what downtown has to offer and they stay. They spend their money downtown, and downtown businesses in turn have more money to raise the bar and provide better and better options. Those kids get older and move out to the suburbs, and the cycle continues. In the end, it only makes metro Toledo better.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:10:25 am     #   3 people liked this

I just want to thank everyone for their civilized dialog in this conversation. :)

posted by upso on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:18:28 am     #  

I'm not asking this question to be snotty or negative or anything. I just am really looking for insight... re: the tree analogy. How does a vibrant downtown in any way affect a suburb like Perrysburg? I don't see a connection between the two at all.

posted by dell_diva on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:37:09 am     #  

I see a vibrant downtown affecting the neighborhoods around it, because some people want to live NEAR a vibrant downtown, not in it. So neighborhoods like old south toledo and the OWE and maybe even the lagrange area could benefit as interested parties migrate towards the downtown.

If more jobs come to the downtown (ie: well paying jobs) more professionals would move to the outlying suburbs to be closer to their jobs, while avoiding whatever it is their fear in / of an urban life.

posted by upso on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:40:11 am     #   4 people liked this

And I'd say a big part of it is that, to Toledoans, Perrysburg is Perrysburg, Sylvania is Sylvania, and so on. To anyone outside, Perrysburg is Toledo, Sylvania is Toledo, Maumee is Toledo, etc. Just like when you go to Disney, nobody says "I'm going to Lake Buena Vista for a week!" You say you're going to Orlando, which is inaccurate, but it's understood.

So, it doesn't really matter how strong suburbs are to outsiders. If the city itself is weak, that's how they'll view the whole area.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:49:02 am     #   3 people liked this

great point

posted by upso on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:51:45 am     #  

If our downtown can maintain forward progress, surrounding neighborhoods will definitely matter. Eventually its going to get to the point where people demand more nice single family houses, that are near the action downtown (like the OWE) but eventually the OWE will be pretty bought up and people will start investing in other surrounding neighborhoods. I can see Vistula being important in the future.

posted by Tobias on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:54:26 pm     #  

Lower the income tax and the propery taxes and more people would move back to the city.

Why would you subject yourself to higher taxes and an income tax just for the joy of living in Toledo if you work outside Toledo?

Is it really worth working 2 weeks to a month just to live in Toledo (income taxes you pay for a year if you live in Toledo) when you can live in the township or a neighboring city and save that money?

posted by toledoramblingman on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:02:18 pm     #  

toledoramblingman, who is doing your taxes? If half your income is going to city taxes, your accountant may have a decimal place in the wrong spot somewhere.

posted by Johio83 on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:08:20 pm     #  

Johio83. For those of us who work outside of Toledo city limits. Lets take 100k since it is an easy number. Why would somone live downtown and send the city of Toledo a check for $2,250 (2.25 total income tax) plus higher property taxes, plus all the other levis that Toledo votes for every year?

If you work in a city that doesn't tax your income - it makes ZERO sense to then go live in a city that does.

posted by toledoramblingman on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:20:12 pm     #   1 person liked this

dell_diva
Re: tree analogy
If we have a discussion with HR at our regions large publicly traded companies, medium sized employers, or tech based startups you will find there is difficulty competing for highly skilled and highly educated young professionals. Retention of the best becomes even more difficult. There are many that leave existing jobs for the allure of vibrant regions as a lifestyle choice. Business will locate where talent is. Which means the loss of jobs if our region doesn't provide a compelling option. Loss of regional jobs affect city and burbs

There is a stream of cars from Perrysburg that commute daily to downtown. The loss of jobs lead to foreclosures, lack of buyers, devaluing of home values, and less patrons to support the shops and restaurants of a downtown perrysburg strip making them less viable. Levis does not survive on Perrysburg alone. Its shopowners are dependent on Toledoans also. Reduction of incremntal income is the difference between profitability and closure. The loss of that tax base makes it more difficult for the burbs to maintain water, police, fire, and schools.

If Perrysburg stays as it is today and Toledo vanishes there is not enough population base and wealth to support large expensive quality of life issues. National concert acts and shows, Museums, Symphony, Zoo's, sporting stadiums and arenas, theater, and ballet. Less wealth for donations to our university. New business school buildings are not cheap. Retirees of means demand quality of life.
It is truely a symbiotic relationship.

If you doubt the relationship look to our northern friend. Detroit boasted some of the wealthiest suburbs in our country. They have not been left unscathed by the problems of Detroit.

Watch Dan Gilbert who is moving 5000 jobs from the burbs to Detroit focusing on Corktown and downtown because he feels it is a good business decision. He employs young knowledge based job professionals. It is a recruiting and retaining tool. He has to compete against Chicago to hold talent.

If you haven't read "The Tipping Point" it is a fascinating read
"Triumph of the City" is another great book

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:27:39 pm     #  

toledoramblingman
Very interesting point. There is major structural flaw in the way the tax system is set up. Many move from the inner ring to a further out ring to avoid taxes and crime. As the population increases so does the need for schools, new roads, water and sewer, increased police and fire protection. As these costs increase the outer ring must move to a further distant ring to once again avoid taxes and crime. Leaving behind rings with a declining population and less resources to cover expenses. The decay continues to spread further and further out like a plague until there is nowhere left to expand.

Lost in the process is the increasing tax by spreading essential services over greater and greater distances, the cost of fuel to trasport ourselves. The increased car cost of needing multiple vehicles and increased wear and tear. The tax to fight the poverty we believe behind.

Our current structure encourages us to behave like locusts which leads to the discussion of the symbiotic relationship of a city and its burbs and the importance of regionalism.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:44:37 pm     #  

I believe the Riverfront carry out closed earlier this month, if it was located on Summit across from the Key Bank building.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:54:48 pm     #  

Yeah, it did. I work just down from there on Summit.

posted by kaj on Jan 26, 2012 at 06:24:19 pm     #  

I had lunch at Grumpy's today, mostly so I could get another look at the exterior of these lofts and the surrounding area. The more I think about it, the more interested I get...

posted by kaj on Jan 26, 2012 at 06:28:46 pm     #   1 person liked this

How was your lunch? :)

posted by upso on Jan 26, 2012 at 07:03:09 pm     #  

There will also be four apartments opening shortly across the street from 100 South Huron. More and more going on in the warehouse district all the time!

posted by Johio83 on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:17:32 pm     #  

"The facts continue to be, there are more people living in cities today than at any point in the history of our world. The percentage is rising."

Not in Toledo. Census numbers for Toledo:

1950 303,616 7.5%
1960 318,003 4.7%
1970 383,818 20.7%
1980 354,635 -7.6%
1990 332,943 -6.1%
2000 313,619 -5.8%
2010 287,208 -8.4%

Last decade when the Bartley Lofts and the St. Clair townhomes opened downtown, they offered buyers a 10- to 15-year property tax abatement. Is that crap still continuing?

How about this. Offer the property tax abatement to homeowners who have lived in Toledo for at least 15 consecutive years instead of or in addition to someone moving here from Chicago.

Downtown is improving. Yes, no kidding. Good. It was improving back in the 1990s too. But it irritates me as a Toledo resident and transplant to this region when the focus is overwhelmingly on downtown Toledo while the rest of the city decays, and we have our taxes, fees, and assessments increased. That makes the other communities more attractive than West Toledo.

This is an easy area to drive around in. You may not like it, but this area is a driving society. I prefer walking. But we like our vehicles. That could be because this is an auto-producing region. And for many area residents, it's simple to enjoy or work downtown or other parts of Toledo while living elsewhere.


"I think a strong downtown would be an excellent deterrent to the brain drain issue. Urban living is very appealing to 20 somethings, and it's just a perpetual reward system: those kids that want to live in an urban area like what downtown has to offer and they stay."

I'll point out where Toledo has blown it big time, in my opinion. Below is another example of how Toledo has managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.

Some creative types like to live in small, rural college towns like Athens, Ohio. Some prefer to live in big cities like Chicago and New York. But a mid-sized city like Toledo could or should fill that in-between role.

First, a June 2011 comment by BusterBluth:

Columbus has done very well linking their downtown reinvestments with the Short North and German Village and they're wonderful places to live. Toledo needs to take it further, fill the downtown voids and link it with the Old West End neighborhoods to really get the snowball rolling. It takes 20+ years and I don't think the folks in charge in Toledo [have] the mindset or the patience.

In that same thread, June 2011 comment by djimpelr:

I drove drove the one Market area and then the other areas on High St., I presume is the Short North area. People walking in and out of shops, spending money on mainly local vendors, people enjoying parks and people watching, and well, it was just happening. I can only imagine how things are when the majority of college kids are back. But the fact remains, when there are creative open minds (and not just uber-liberal types) and outside the box mentality, the possibilities are endless when it comes to prosperity.

My July 2006 comment

Technology and the arts, Toledo has just enough to get by, but the city has plenty of room to do better in both areas. What's interesting is that the arts and technology usually go together.

In the 2005 rankings for top cities in the U.S. for the arts, Columbus ranks #20 in the top 25 list for cities with a population of 500,000 and over. On the top 25 list for cities in the population range of 100,000 to 499,999, Ann Arbor ranks 8th, Pittsburgh 10th, Cleveland 13th, Cincinnati 21st, and Buffalo 23rd, but Toledo doesn't make the list.

The arts scene in Toledo is good, but it could have been so much better if UT had offered a Master of Fine Arts program, and if UT and the Toledo Art Museum had formed a better partnership years ago. The opportunities squandered by those two institutions have hurt the city.

Rankings could be worthless. Cities may buy their way onto a list. But here's another one, anyway.

Summer 2011 issue of American Style Magazine - Top 25 Mid-Sized Cities for Art :

1. St. Petersburg, Fla.
2. Savannah, Ga.
3. New Orleans, La.
4. Charleston, S.C.
5. Scottsdale, Ariz.
6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
7. Tampa, Fla.
8. Alexandria, Va.
9. Boulder, Colo.
10. Miami, Fla.
11. Pittsburgh, Pa.
12. Athens, Ga.
13. Providence, R.I.
14. Minneapolis, Minn.
15. Chattanooga, Tenn.
16. Salt Lake City, Utah
17. Colorado Springs, Colo.
18. Honolulu, Hawaii
19. Buffalo, N.Y.
20. Rochester, N.Y.
21. Raleigh, N.C.
22. Cleveland, Ohio
23. Kansas City, Mo.
24. St. Louis, Mo.
25. Cincinnati, Ohio

Columbus ranks 23rd on the 2011 list of Top 25 Big Cities for Art

The 2011 Top 25 Small Cities for Art - Saugatuck, Mich ranks 4th. Saugatuck and nearby Douglas are nice areas for art.


Anyway, in February 2006, the Toledo Blade published a lengthy story about the failings of the partnership between the University of Toledo Art School and the Toledo Art Museum. I think the article irritated people at both orgs, so the Blade did a good job.

My comments in a February 2006 post

The Sunday Blade contained a story titled UT-art museum collaboration falls short of objectives.

It does seem odd that with a top-notch art museum nearby that UT's arts program isn't better than it is. Based upon the terse comments from art museum officials, it doesn't appear that the art museum is interested in cozying up with UT anymore than it already has. But then again, it also appears that UT hasn't placed much emphasis on improving its arts program. One part of this Blade story was titled "Missed opportunity."

But it's still more than an art museum and a university with a good arts program. They are all pieces to the puzzle. But Toledo needs artists, and the artists need places to work.

Last year [2005], I heard that the Ford administration or some group in the city was planning to contact all the owners of vacant buildings along Monroe Street from downtown out toward the art museum to see if the building owners could make their vacant spaces available to artists for studios and galleries and possibly for more of UT's arts programs. I wonder what's happened with this "project" if it can be called that?

From a February 2006 Blade op-ed:

NOTHING stands as a more stunning testament to the ongoing culture of mediocrity at the University of Toledo than UT's failure to take advantage of its collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art. As detailed in a Blade story on Sunday, UT's art department has squandered easy opportunities to join with the world-class art museum to advance the university's educational mission.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, when it granted the UT art department accreditation in 2004, admonished the university for failing to have a full-time faculty member assigned to teach in the new pavilion. The art museum's response? UT never asked. That's no way to bring national prominence to the art school program, as promised two decades ago by then-UT President James McComas.

Lack of operating funds is the handy excuse given for UT's failure to make a success of its museum collaboration, but the real culprit is the lack of inspired leadership - the tendency to settle for less than the best.

Excerpts from a March 2006 Toledo Free Press opinion

Never mind the equally stunning fact that the UT art school was not even formally accredited until 2004. This mind-boggling revelation, which originally came in the form of an audacious self-congratulatory UT press release announcing the art school's 2004 "milestone," astonished even those long accustomed to UT ineptitude.


From my notes at a June 2005 ReUrbanism meeting

Monroe Avenue for the Arts is being used to try to attract musicians and other artists downtown. City conducted a study about Monroe. City will meet with all building owners on Monroe to see what can be done to attract artists.

But it has been stated in the past that the University of Toledo has little to no interest in downtown Toledo. And many agree with the notion that UT should be isolated.

From my same June 2005 ReUrbanism meeting notes:

It was said that one of our greatest assets is the University of Toledo. It's landlocked. Need to find a way to connect UT with downtown Toledo. Get more students downtown like in Ann Arbor and Bowling Green.

One at the meeting spoke with a [UT] trustee or trustees, and he believes UT has a suburban attitude and desires to keep its world on campus.

Crazy ideas were proposed at that meeting and elsewhere last decade:

It was suggested that the UT Law School be moved downtown, and have UT play their sports in a downtown arena.

If UT trustees aren't interested, then get new trustees. It's a public university. UT receives taxpayer dollars. UT should be more open to being a part of Toledo's downtown growth.

The arts and UT. Apparently, UT would like more studio space concentrated in an area such as Monroe St downtown.

Light rail mentioned as a possible form of public transportation like what's used in Dublin. It would be a way to connect UT to downtown. Also suggested that TARTA do more.

In 2004 or 2005, some signs were installed downtown, proclaiming the "Monroe Avenue for the Arts".

February 2005 Toledo Talk thread titled Strategic Toledo Arts plan.

Here's the report (PDF file) created from input at public meetings that were held back in 2003: http://toledotalk.com/toledo-arts-plan.pdf

In 2007, the following formed:

The above are positive steps, but installing signs and creating a map or report are not the same as a community growing organically over a generation or two.

My 2006 comment :

Graduating high school students interested in the arts are probably more likely to choose a university for undergrad work that also offers an MFA. Or lets say they do their arts undergrad work at UT, but then they want to go to grad school. Most likely they'll leave UT for a school offering an MFA.

When arts students are searching for a good, affordable university, UT probably won't be on their list. With our fine art museum, UT should be attracting arts people from other areas of the country. After graduating and if they like the arts community in Toledo, they may stay here and work at a job that let's them use their arts skills, or they may start their own biz.

The arts district or community could stretch along Monroe St from downtown out to the art museum and the Old West End. I heard this mentioned last year, that the city would contact the owners of the many vacant buildings along Monroe St and see if the owners will allow artists to use them, and maybe get more of UT's arts programs downtown too.

Some of UT's arts classes are already taught at the museum now. Maybe move all of UT's arts school downtown. That may require some kind of convenient people-mover to shuttle students back and forth from downtown to the main campus.

Similar statements in a July 2007 comment

Technology and art seem to go together. That is, computer or scientific nerd types like living and working in areas that also have a thriving arts scene. Maybe it's a left and right brain balance thing.

Steve Jobs said about the early days of his Apple company that he didn't employ the brightest computer scientists in the world. He said he employed artists who just also happened to be the brightest computer scientists in the world.

Over the years, I've noticed computer types here and elsewhere who in their spare time are painters or sculpters or poets or simply fans of the arts. I've seen hard core massively intelligent computer programmers take a break at their workplace by banging out some classic tunes on a grand piano.

In my opinion, with the university and a fine art museum, the Toledo arts scene and arts community should much bigger and better than it is for a city this size. I blame the problem on what's described in the title of this Feb 12, 2006 Blade story titled UT-art museum collaboration falls short of objectives.

Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio University and maybe some other MAC schools offer Master of Fine Arts degrees. UT's lack of a MFA program is an unfortunate blunder for the local area.

A graduating high school arts student may ignore UT because of UT's lack of an MFA. Or maybe the student does undergrad work at UT but leaves to pursue a MFA at another school. And upon graduating from that other school, that student may not return to Toledo. At another school in another city, that student may end up wanting to stay there because of that city's arts community and jobs that allow a student to use his or her art skills.

I think a decent, affordable MFA program at UT, plus Toledo's Art Museum, plus Toledo's affordable living standard, plus Toledo's population size which would mean a better chance at finding work or starting a biz or finding a thriving arts community, would have been a big plus to this area economically and culturally. Sometimes new, small, non-art-related businesses like to locate in artsy, eclectic areas.

Five to six years have now passed. Has anything changed or improved with the UT - Art Museum relationship? Maybe it doesn't need to change. I know UT is good for engineering, law, education, and the medical field, but is UT offering an MFA? Is the UT leadership still embracing its isolated views? Does that even matter anymore? Of course, positive changes in these areas should have occurred at least 20 years ago. A blown opportunity that cannot be rectified quickly. Maybe someone can explain how these things fail to happen.

posted by jr on Jan 27, 2012 at 02:15:21 am     #  

"Maybe someone can explain how these things fail to happen."

easy... because the same people who got elected 20 - 30 years ago and their support people are still getting elected and calling the shots

it is odd how no local politician moves on to higher office outside the county... county commissioner or other county office has become the zenith of power for our pols. a relatively easy gauranteed career/retirement... getting re-elected by staying in the blocks' and the unions' good graces.

and toledoans do not rise up... not against the blade, the ut foundation, and not the politicians. toledo voters are apathetic and every new person that gets elected soon falls under the influence of the same cast of characters behind the scene. we need loud and intelligent people to run for office with the expectation of not running for office again... open the doors and let in fresh air

i have tried to bring this up in several threads here lately and it makes people very uncomfortable... the threads immediately get put on the political page and die. but, for most of toledo's problems, this really is the solution. toledo's problems really are politician problems

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Jan 27, 2012 at 06:12:32 am     #   4 people liked this

Toledo has seen its share of politicians with agendas only geared towards their major supporters (ex: unions) or make a big splash about commitments with no accountability when they fail to live up to promises. But then again, what city does not have these same types.
I feel that Toledo in general is full of apathy, and no one really cares. Status quo is acceptable and change is not realistic. I'll admit I fall into that category.
Enjoy......wich makes some vaery valid points.

posted by Hoops on Jan 27, 2012 at 09:22:54 am     #   1 person liked this

And I like MrGlass's comment about the tree. The more vibrant the downtown, the better things will be for the suburbs.

As I have mentioned here and elsewhere on TT, I enjoy downtown and hope to see it thrive. Even though I live in Sylvania and would not move downtown (at this stage in my life), I still enjoy being able to work and visit downtown.

I don't know what the answer is to bring more people downtown, but I hope that some of the ideas suggested here work.

posted by mom2 on Jan 27, 2012 at 11:19:57 am     #  

Thanks for posting the info about the lack of zeal shown by both UT and the art museum. An MFA program might be a great draw in the future ... especially since a degree in studio arts will still be one of those areas that requires people coming to a room, projects being evaluated by a "live" instructor. It could be a way for UT to protect its academic turf. So much educational content has moved to a web-based delivery model. A good education in the arts still requires bodies inside buildings.

Having a new museum director might help to change the current stagnation. Maybe having a few new instructors in the arts program at UT could shake things up. The current UT arts teachers seem to have lost all of their retirement status when they transferred employment from the museum to UT ... which is a good recipe for keeping older individuals working FOREVER. Perhaps they don't feel like putting forth the professional effort to improve either institution. New blood in the decades ahead may change that.

Also, in fairness to UT, I have lived in many cities where people bemoan the lack of collaboration on anything (even the incredibly easy stuff) between the university and the city/county power structure. The phenomenon is known as "town vs. gown" -- and it's not unique to this area.

posted by viola on Jan 27, 2012 at 01:21:24 pm     #  

Great article on the Standart in today's Blade. Building filling quicker than expected so far and is about 1/3 full already.

Article states there are 1265 units in the central business district with a vacancy rate of 3.9 percent.
Commodore Perry, Lasalle, and the Riverfront at 100% occupancy.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 29, 2012 at 10:47:26 am     #   1 person liked this