Toledo Talk

Former Steam Plant = New YMCA

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/04/21/16M-project-unveiled-for-former-steam-plant.html

created by Walleye419 on Apr 22, 2012 at 09:36:08 am     Business     Comments: 38

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I was just logging on to share an e-mail I received from the Y with all the details, but you beat me to the news. :)

posted by mom2 on Apr 22, 2012 at 10:12:26 am     #  

Actually, Brewster beat both of you.

http://toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/article/114738/18Apr2012/Fiberglas_Tower_moves_closer_to_historic-site_list

posted by slowsol on Apr 22, 2012 at 02:34:17 pm     #  

If you think back a few years, you may recall Carty had urged the "Y" or some other "work out" facility to locate in the center city. He should be pleased with the decision.

posted by max on Apr 22, 2012 at 06:05:51 pm     #  

yes, carty did push several prospective groups to do an exercise facility.

this is excellent news... much better than having private residences (condos) in a public park. it will bring activity to the CBD before and after normal work hours and provide an amenity needed to support the existing residential.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Apr 22, 2012 at 06:10:32 pm     #  

i see this progress getting me in shape! it's on the way home from work, only 3 blocks away from the restaurant. SUPER convenient to pack in a work-out on my way home.

posted by upso on Apr 22, 2012 at 06:36:38 pm     #  

oops! upon further reading the majority of the project is still apartments in a public park... bad public policy. the YMCA is not a significant facility - just a small health club essentially. no basketball, no indoor running. the UT element could be interesting though vague at this point.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Apr 22, 2012 at 08:10:42 pm     #  

is it IN a public park, or surrounded by park?

posted by upso on Apr 22, 2012 at 08:28:20 pm     #  

it is exactly that ambiguity that creates the problem... jane jacobs discusses that very issue in her seminal book.

we can easily determine legally the standing of each property - although additional parts of promenade park do get mentioned as being added to the project. but there are numerous sticky questions about public/private realm that will come up and need good solutions based on solid planning

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Apr 22, 2012 at 09:11:50 pm     #  

Is Jimmy Jackson still a part of this? I think I remember when he was credited with promising to develop this property for condos or something.

posted by shortstuff on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:08:03 am     #  

"$5 million in federal and state tax credits"

posted by dbw8906 on Apr 23, 2012 at 06:15:07 am     #  

JJ is no longer part of the development deal with Dave Ball

posted by Hoops on Apr 23, 2012 at 07:30:57 am     #  

^^That's good to know. Wonder what happened to the $3 million they received to get the ball rolling on that failed project?

posted by Foodie on Apr 23, 2012 at 09:29:01 am     #  

SO - JJ's no longer involved with this deal???? As I recall, JJ was given the steam plant AND THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to get started on his project.

Can the taxpayers expect their $300K back?

posted by billy on Apr 23, 2012 at 09:53:19 am     #  

max posted at 06:05:51 PM on Apr 22, 2012:

If you think back a few years, you may recall Carty had urged the "Y" or some other "work out" facility to locate in the center city. He should be pleased with the decision.

Carty? I don't think so. He may have regurgitated the idea, but it was not his. The Toledo Blade editorial board has pushed for a downtown health club for a very long time.

User pete probably summed it up with this January 2011 comment

It was JRB of Block Blade fame, who demanded they build a gym downtown and close to Blade headquarters, too. When the Y's prez didn't do it, that became the genesis of Block's antipathy toward the YMCA and later broadsides against the organization.

In 2009, the Blade unleashed its Seneca County courthouse-style reporting onto the Y after the org decided to close the South Toledo Y.

posted by jr on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:07:58 am     #  

Now the Y is doing the same thing to the north end.

posted by deere1 on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:23:58 pm     #  

stooks:

Thanks for the link to that blast from the past. This is why I tend to laugh at all of the "CHINESE ARE INVADING TOLEDO" stuff that gets trumpeted. It seems like too many of the "local" developers just put forth a revolving door of proposals that always fall apart...

posted by texlovera on Apr 23, 2012 at 02:39:57 pm     #  

Nov 12, 2012 - Toledo Blade - Developer says steam plant project is still a go
- "Tax credits called key to downtown building"

David Ball announced plans in April to turn the downtown riverfront building he owns into 67 apartments and room for a YMCA site and a University of Toledo health clinic.

At the time, Mr. Ball said he expected work to begin in July, but itís now November, and he said heís trying to nail down state, federal, and new market tax credits that he said would cover about $9 million of the projectís roughly $16.8 million cost.

ďAt the end of the day, itís all about tax credits. Thatís what we need,Ē he said.

He said heís received deposits for 14 of the proposed 67 upper-floor apartments, which would rent for $600 to $1,000 monthly.

Mr. Tibbits said a purchase agreement between the developer and the YMCA has since expired, and the YMCA is considering options for its Summit property including putting it on the market or remaining there, at least temporarily. The YMCA remains interested in a downtown location but cannot maintain both the Summit site and a future downtown facility, Mr. Tibbits said.

Development plans for the site have morphed since Mr. Ball and then-partner Jimmy Jackson obtained the hulking, smokestack-topped building from the city in 2005.

posted by jr on Nov 12, 2012 at 02:15:01 pm     #  

I wonder what the city can do, if anything, to help expedite this process? Working downtown, I can see there is a huge demand for residential. It's silly this kind of project would take to long to get rolling, but I really hope it does.

posted by upso on Nov 12, 2012 at 03:22:05 pm     #  

The delay is the same as the reasons for the other projects that failed. THEY WANT TO DO IT WITH OTHER PEOPLES MONEY.

posted by max on Nov 12, 2012 at 03:43:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

"The delay is the same as the reasons for the other projects that failed. THEY WANT TO DO IT WITH OTHER PEOPLES MONEY."

I don't have specifics for this project, obviously, but there is a huge amount of risk involved inherently with this. What do you expect them to do?

They could be waiting to do it with "others people's money," or perhaps the risk is simply too great? Toledo's market isn't in the same position as, say, Columbus. A development downtown won't be a guaranteed homerun like in Columbus' Arena District or Scioto Mile.

Unfortunately, we need to "get the ball rolling" in Toledo. If that takes state tax credits, then so be it. If it actually helps create an economically sustainable downtown neighborhood, then the payoff will be unbelievably great for the state and city both.

That said, to play devil's advocate: this isn't the best location. The state should be putting money/grants/tax relief into the Warehouse District. THAT is an actual urban neighborhood waiting to happen. It is much, much further along than downtown.

If the YMCA wants a downtown location...why not the (empty) Erie Street Market? It's 2/10-mile to Washington St. That means all of those lofts in the Triangle Building, Bartley Building, Xerox Building/Berdan Building (need to be invested in!!) are withing walking distance, a ~2.5min walking distance. Hell the West River Homes are 1/10 of a mile to the south. And parking....across the street is all the parking you'd need. Seems like a better use of public money.

posted by BusterBluth on Nov 12, 2012 at 08:31:20 pm     #  

That said, to play devil's advocate: this isn't the best location. The state should be putting money/grants/tax relief into the Warehouse District. THAT is an actual urban neighborhood waiting to happen. It is much, much further along than downtown.

to be fair...
we're talking 2 blocks from the steam plant to the warehouse district

personally, i think the river is the ultimate place for the next round of residential

posted by upso on Nov 12, 2012 at 10:31:47 pm     #  

max posted at 02:43:43 PM on Nov 12, 2012:

The delay is the same as the reasons for the other projects that failed. THEY WANT TO DO IT WITH OTHER PEOPLES MONEY.

That's usually what happens, you see. I deposit my money in a bank, and due to the miraculous process of fractional reserve lending, they loan it back out for projects like this. In return for not keeping all my money physically deposited in some sort of Scrooge McDuck moneybin, they pay me some tiny, tiny bit of interest on it.

OH! You mean tax dollars? Well, the only differences between the government and a banks are that a) instead of getting paid interest in actual cash, I get to see society (hopefully) improve and evolve, and b) I arguably have the ability to tell the government I don't want them loaning my money out to certain characters.

posted by anonymouscoward on Nov 13, 2012 at 12:17:47 am     #   1 person liked this

anonymouscoward posted at 11:17:47 PM on Nov 12, 2012:
max posted at 02:43:43 PM on Nov 12, 2012:

The delay is the same as the reasons for the other projects that failed. THEY WANT TO DO IT WITH OTHER PEOPLES MONEY.

That's usually what happens, you see. I deposit my money in a bank, and due to the miraculous process of fractional reserve lending, they loan it back out for projects like this. In return for not keeping all my money physically deposited in some sort of Scrooge McDuck moneybin, they pay me some tiny, tiny bit of interest on it.

OH! You mean tax dollars? Well, the only differences between the government and a banks are that a) instead of getting paid interest in actual cash, I get to see society (hopefully) improve and evolve, and b) I arguably have the ability to tell the government I don't want them loaning my money out to certain characters.

What characters? they will do what ever the hell they want with it. I didn't approve of solyndra or fisk motors, and I think there are a lot of people that didn't like it, didn't stop them and no one has held them to task for it.

posted by Linecrosser on Nov 13, 2012 at 02:16:40 am     #  

"to be fair...
we're talking 2 blocks from the steam plant to the warehouse district"

That is true, but a 1/4-mile radius around the Steam plant gets you to Cherry St, Monroe St, and Huron St. I wonder which radius fits more downtown residents.

For the record, as long as the Steam Plant actually happens, I'm perfectly okay with it.

posted by BusterBluth on Nov 13, 2012 at 11:38:58 pm     #  

oh I know what you're saying
just want to clarify that if this project succeeds on the river, we will benefit in the warehouse district by default of being so close.

The warehouse district needs the entire downtown to thrive, not just our corridor. :)

posted by upso on Nov 14, 2012 at 12:09:34 am     #   2 people liked this

It seems like longer ago than 2004 that Jimmy Jackson was involved with the steam plant hype.

posted by 6th_Floor on Nov 14, 2012 at 07:14:34 pm     #  

"I don't have specifics for this project, obviously, but there is a huge amount of risk involved inherently with this. What do you expect them to do?"

I expect them to stop trying to get government money (i.e. steal from we taxpayers) for what's clearly an uneconomic exercise.

"Unfortunately, we need to "get the ball rolling" in Toledo."

No, we don't. That only leads to welfare babies in business suits, sitting around eating free government cheese, while the real workforce gets taxed heavier and heavier.

The middle class is now a stone. And yet you expect us to keep getting blood from it, BusterBluth. Untenable.

The sharpies in the nice suits have played us for suckers for decades now, using the same fears, eating cheese taken from our wallets, and arriving at the same result: Uneconomic businesses, like COSI and the Erie Street Market.

This so-called economic model does nothing but fail. So why do we keep trying it?

posted by GuestZero on Nov 15, 2012 at 02:12:38 pm     #   1 person liked this

^ GZ is back from Galt's Gulch!

posted by viola on Nov 15, 2012 at 04:58:19 pm     #  

Viola, I never believed "going Galt" actually works, but I most sincerely believe that one necessarily votes with one's dollars. I do that all the time.

Our real outrage should be reserved for public officials who vote with our tax dollars, and do so in accordance to the cronyconomy.

posted by GuestZero on Nov 15, 2012 at 06:30:12 pm     #  

:: drops bag of popcorn and bottle of beer in shock

GUESTZERO IS BACK YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

posted by anonymouscoward on Nov 15, 2012 at 09:41:51 pm     #  

Hopefully, the steam plant will be a larger success than the Riverfront Apartments have been across Summit Street.

posted by 6th_Floor on Nov 16, 2012 at 03:56:12 am     #  

I don't think we're comparing apples to apples in a couple of the comments here.

1) GuestZero, the Erie Street Market and Imagination Station aren't private sector ventures. Providing funding for a private company is a lot different than funding a city-run operation. (And if we're going to complain about public money going to a private company, why was nobody complaining that the city just gave Libbey over $1M in tax credits to stay in Toledo, just as the company was laying off employees?)

2) 6th, the Riverfront Apartments are low-income, and the Steam Plant will be market-rate. If you ask me, there shouldn't be a single low-income property in the CBD area of downtown. If the whole idea is that a downtown can be a self-sustaining ecosystem, filling it with people who can't afford to provide for themselves is not going to help.

posted by Johio83 on Nov 16, 2012 at 09:28:57 am     #  

Johio,

The Riverfront Apartments are low income because not enough "non-low-income" or suckers willing to pay the "market rate" could be found to fill the building. The Hillcrest is heading in that direction as well.

I realize that in order to sell these scams to certain politicians holding the bags of gov money, many or all of the subsidized downtown building renovations were contracted to include a minimum percentage of low income tenants.

I don't think the city envisioned Riverfront Apartments being a 100% high-rise housing project. However, those darned unintended consequences, which are all too common with gov master planning, again were the end result.

The convenience store at the property closed earlier this year, and of course the different ownership at Murphy's Bar/151 found a quick hole in his wallet from trying to business in a dead zone.

I'm convinced that 67 apartments at the steam plant will not change the future of downtown. Will it be a cool place to live? Probably. However, it's a small addition and frankly unworthy of the amount of coverage it already has received...especially with the amount of money Toledo already pissed away at the location via the Jimmy Jackson handout.

The YMCA merely is moving from one part of Summit Street to another. Is the distance much greater than one mile? Is that worthy of any coverage whatsoever? NOPE!

Of course all the folks who run around with excitement about further "downtown development" pretty much refuse to acknowledge what has happened during the past decade along Summit, East of Cherry Street to the 280 bridge. It's something Toledoans ought to consider before getting excited about another property developer handout.

posted by 6th_Floor on Nov 16, 2012 at 11:12:15 am     #  

Johio83 opined: the Erie Street Market and Imagination Station aren't private sector ventures

And that's exactly the problem, well, a twofold problem. One, they're uneconomic businesses. Two, they're not functions of government.

And if you'd bother to listen, we real fiscal conservatives always pour derision over any so-called partnership or favoritism between business and government. Tax credits should actually be illegal, since it violates a basic principle of government in the US, that being the equal treatment of one taxpayer, citizen or organization over another. Giving one business a tax break just for sitting there, means you should give all businesses a tax break. That leads directly to the outcome that "economic development" would logically lead to lower taxes on the entire base. But that gives the government weenies less cheese to play with... and if our government is anything, it's filled with aficionados of matters dairy.

posted by GuestZero on Nov 16, 2012 at 06:11:56 pm     #  

Nice oooooold picture of the steamplant. Most other buildings are gone, save for Ft. Industry Square, a couple of the large hotels and commercial buildings behind most everything in front, cleared during urban renewal after WWII.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/13982?size=_original#caption

posted by swampprof on Nov 18, 2012 at 10:52:59 pm     #  

Johio,

Here's a piss-poor mgt story for you regarding Table 44 Downtown.

So, I'm out tonight at C'N'B and I overhear people talking about how 44 actually opened this Sunday because of a couple downtown scheduled events.

However, they had several tables walk out because the service was horrendous. The place didn't have nearly enough staff, so even with only a dozen or so tables the wait was too long. Then, the cake icing on top of already horrible service, they RAN OUT OF FOOD.

They should just sell the business at whatever price and find something else to do.

posted by 6th_Floor on Nov 19, 2012 at 04:00:47 am     #  

Great pic, swampprof. The downtown used to be packed with buildings. It was the city's business hub. Now it's a ruin of government and welfare and government welfare... and all that is likely to get much worse.

posted by GuestZero on Nov 19, 2012 at 02:10:57 pm     #