Toledo Talk

Michigan developer seeks to buy, revive Berdan Building

The same developer who created the Standart apartments is going to develop the neglected Berdan Building. Good news for Toledo!
http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2013/03/06/Michigan-developer-seeks-to-buy-revive-Berdan-Building-in-downtown-Toledo.html

created by pete on Mar 06, 2013 at 09:20:23 am     Business     Comments: 59

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I am of course very very excited about this. Kevin, the developer, is a super cool guy. He knows what he's doing and is going to do a bang-up job on this.

Having residential at that intersection is going to significantly affect the dynamic going on in the warehouse district. The Bronze Boar, Grumpy's (obviously) and all other businesses in the area will benefit.

Couldn't have secured a better developer for the project.

posted by upso on Mar 06, 2013 at 09:45:01 am     #   1 person liked this

Good to see an old building saved. I like old architecture.

posted by JeepMaker on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:11:39 am     #  

Hip, Hip, Hurray !

posted by Hoops on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:25:11 am     #  

If only the Blade would let me read the article without the subscription pop-up...

I got the gist though. Good news!

posted by SJD on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:34:42 am     #  

After seeing what he did with the Standard Loft building I have high hopes for this project. And being involved with a business that recently relocated to the warehouse district I'd love to see more development.

posted by idinspired on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:37:42 am     #  

*Standart. Auto-correct strikes again.

posted by idinspired on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:38:18 am     #  

Fantastic to see it actually happening! (or at least on track to happen) And upso and I and some others can stop speaking in code about it.

Once this nears completion, that should lead to a bevy of needs around it. Standart/Bartley have both been seeking additional parking, and the addition of the Berdan is only going to exacerbate that problem. Personally, I think the best solution would be for the three properties to pool their funds and build a shared parking structure in the lot adjacent to the Commerce Paper building. They could even put a green space on the root for tenants to use, which would add some incredible value to the locations.

SJD, just stop the page from loading all the way. If you stop it after the article loads but before the comments section loads, you won't get the Blade's pop-up!

posted by Johio83 on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:49:22 am     #   4 people liked this

This is good news.

I wonder if The Blade tells its' advertisers that a portion of the web traffic has now been cut off due to a subscription block. Number of hits on sub pages has to have gone down.

posted by Molsonator on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:59:50 am     #  

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

posted by BusterBluth on Mar 06, 2013 at 04:31:43 pm     #  

This is the single biggest improvement Toledo can have to its best chance for an economically sustainable urban neighborhood. This is HUGE.

posted by BusterBluth on Mar 06, 2013 at 04:52:28 pm     #   1 person liked this

Yay! Maybe this will lead to Grumpy's eventually staying open for Saturday breakfast/lunch!

posted by viola on Mar 06, 2013 at 06:09:05 pm     #   2 people liked this

good news!!! the city needs to start planning some parking garages right now. our dearth of parking lots need to be made available for single family townhouses... eventually. apartments and condos are great but a mix of urban appropriate residential needs to be available... we need single family owner occupied equity building brownstones. further also coming to the WHD, the overlay district should help protect everyones investments and protect for the future those resources... buildings... that currently sit empty.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Mar 06, 2013 at 07:38:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

Molsonator posted at 09:59:50 AM on Mar 06, 2013:

This is good news.

I wonder if The Blade tells its' advertisers that a portion of the web traffic has now been cut off due to a subscription block. Number of hits on sub pages has to have gone down.

Nope. Because traffic has not been reduced. I just looked at the analytics and visits actually are trending up. Plus, more than 60% are return visits. I'm seeing a pretty consistent 2,000,000 visits a month since November of last year.

For those who don't know, I am a Blade employee.

posted by paulhem on Mar 06, 2013 at 09:09:14 pm     #  

^^ I am sure a lot of people go to the site to see if they can get in. Sometimes they can and sometimes they can't. More knowledgeable ones know how to bypass the no-go filter. Relying on the "analytics" may be self-defeating and inaccurate for your paper.

posted by pete on Mar 06, 2013 at 09:25:20 pm     #  

Sigh

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Mar 06, 2013 at 09:49:02 pm     #  

So you don't tell them it's subscription based? And when I go to a page and it gives me the subscription boot....analytics says I hit the page which doesn't help an advertiser because i didn't have time to see the ad, Paul. So that can't be right.

posted by Molsonator on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:08:47 pm     #   2 people liked this

I'm seeing a pretty consistent 2,000,000 visits a month since November of last year.

visits don't equal people
how many unique users are you seeing?

posted by nits on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:08:54 pm     #  

YAY!

posted by OhioKimono on Mar 06, 2013 at 10:11:58 pm     #  

nits posted at 09:08:54 PM on Mar 06, 2013:

I'm seeing a pretty consistent 2,000,000 visits a month since November of last year.

visits don't equal people
how many unique users are you seeing?

Irrelevant

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impression_(online_media)

"Counting impressions is the method by which most Web advertising is accounted and paid for, and the cost is quoted in CPM (cost per thousand impressions)."

posted by paulhem on Mar 07, 2013 at 12:05:06 am     #  

Hopefully we can get him to purchase and revive the Pythian next.

posted by someguy23475 on Mar 07, 2013 at 02:27:02 am     #  

Molsonator posted at 09:08:47 PM on Mar 06, 2013:

So you don't tell them it's subscription based? And when I go to a page and it gives me the subscription boot....analytics says I hit the page which doesn't help an advertiser because i didn't have time to see the ad, Paul. So that can't be right.

Molsonator: We are breaking ad sales records every month.

If you are that interested in the detail, then you must be considering advertising with The Blade. Our advertising department can be reached at (800) 232-7253

posted by paulhem on Mar 07, 2013 at 08:38:08 am     #  

This thread is about the Berdan building.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Mar 07, 2013 at 08:41:26 am     #   11 people liked this

This story is one of the reasons people subscribe. As most if you know, The Blade breaks and reports news before most media outlets.

Also, here's what is actually happening.

http://subscriptionsitecentral.com/subscription-prices-rising-article-count-dropping-ad-revenues-steady-at-metered-news-sites/

"But most counter-intuitively, the growth in paid subscription prices and the lowering of meter counts doesn’t seem to have decreased advertising dollars."

posted by paulhem on Mar 07, 2013 at 08:58:47 am     #  

Nolan - Thanks for the reminder. It's awesome that you have only been on this board for a little over a month but have the confidence to play moderator. Keep up the good work.

Paul - So when you quoted this "Counting impressions is the method by which most Web advertising is accounted and paid for, and the cost is quoted in CPM (cost per thousand impressions)."

Then referenced this "But most counter-intuitively, the growth in paid subscription prices and the lowering of meter counts doesn’t seem to have decreased advertising dollars."

You are actually mixing sales with impressions. Sales could be up and impressions could be down...which is what I believe you are saying. Plus you never did say - are you telling advertisers this is a paid site?

posted by Molsonator on Mar 07, 2013 at 09:22:50 am     #  

Sorry Nolan...

Molsonator:

The Blade's online subscription is a benefit to our advertisers.

What I am saying: As ad sales are rising, while subscription rates are increasing.

I have to refer you to our ad sales team for any further details. (800) 232-7253

posted by paulhem on Mar 07, 2013 at 09:32:08 am     #  

Nope. You answered my question.

posted by Molsonator on Mar 07, 2013 at 09:37:03 am     #  

The "meter" is the number of pages allowed before the subscription is required. The study showed that even when the number of free views are decreased, there has been no change in advertising revenue.

That's why the quote begins with "counterintuitive."

posted by paulhem on Mar 07, 2013 at 09:38:07 am     #  

You did it again Paul - You just mixed impressions with revenue!

posted by Molsonator on Mar 07, 2013 at 09:43:54 am     #  

While I have totally messed up this thread - Dave Hackenberg's article in Sunday's paper on Jim Taylor was very touching. Good stuff."

posted by Molsonator on Mar 07, 2013 at 09:51:50 am     #  

Molsonator: I took advantage of "messing up the," so both if us are baaad TTers.

You asked something that a lot of people want to know. When folks see the subscription popup in a news story they have a right to ask.

You da man!

posted by paulhem on Mar 07, 2013 at 10:02:33 am     #  

It sure would be nice to get all this crap cleaned out of this thread. The only people that care about the Blade's advertising are the two of you. Why don't you swap email addresses so we don't have to hear about it?

posted by slowsol on Mar 07, 2013 at 10:27:43 am     #   10 people liked this

I'm hoping they stick with their original plan of retail on the bottom and apartments above. That would be a pretty idea location for a small grocery store.

posted by Johio83 on Mar 07, 2013 at 10:41:49 am     #   1 person liked this

I was thinking the same thing. Some sort of food retail would be fantastic.

posted by upso on Mar 07, 2013 at 10:49:29 am     #  

Doesn't the Bartley have parking on the ground level of the building? Could something like that be accomplished with the Berdan?

posted by Anniecski on Mar 07, 2013 at 11:09:53 am     #  

Right now there isn't enough of a footprint for a ground lot, but I'm sure they have something in the plan. Since he already owns the Standart lot it's quite possible he's looking for some joint parking as well.

posted by upso on Mar 07, 2013 at 11:18:41 am     #  

They do, but it's not nearly enough for what they need. I know they were trying to work a deal for the lot across Washington last year. I'm guessing the Berdan would have the same issue - there's room, but not enough room. Sooner or later, as development (hopefully) continues, downtown is just going to have to accept the reality that parking garages are a necessary part of dense, thriving urban areas.

posted by Johio83 on Mar 07, 2013 at 11:27:06 am     #  

How high is the water table there, could underground parking be accomplished?

posted by Linecrosser on Mar 07, 2013 at 12:31:38 pm     #  

That's a good question. I guess it also depends what "underground" is for that spot, since the grade drops about a full floor from Erie to Huron. If they had it "underground" at Erie, that wouldn't be an issue, since that would just be grade level for Huron anyway.

posted by Johio83 on Mar 07, 2013 at 01:28:05 pm     #  

the water table is pretty shallow there but the primary problem is the softness of the soil i would suspect. the lower part of the building on the huron side was the original swamp/flood plane for the maumee and swan creek. the footings have been stable under the berdan building (i checked for settling cracks 15 years ago, but not recently) but you wouldnt dare dig down further underneath it and risk destabilizing. a garage on the lot across huron would require caissons or very wide spread footings... but still easily accomplished.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Mar 07, 2013 at 01:46:57 pm     #  

plain... sorry

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Mar 07, 2013 at 02:23:37 pm     #  

That's true about the original flood plain. Swan Creek used to go on a very different path than it does now. Most of what is now the Warehouse District was on the other side of it back then.

posted by Johio83 on Mar 07, 2013 at 03:33:42 pm     #  

fascinating! do we know wether or not the berdan building has a basement?

posted by upso on Mar 07, 2013 at 03:54:00 pm     #  

If I had a vote, I'd want to see a parking garage on Berdan's side of Erie St. There are some small buildings on that site; they aren't important or tall.

A five-story garage with a eye-catching modern facade would do wonders for the loft cluster which is developing. Standart, Bartley, Sunflower, 100 S. Huron, and now Berdan (and Easy Street Cafe); the Xerox Building should follow by the end of the decade.

It would have to be a great design, as the Standart building would look directly at it. One wouldn't need Frank Gehry to go nuts with it, but 12' of classic brick and a modern facade of something like this would be great (it's tough to be edgy and not simultaneously gaudy): https://lh3.ggpht.com/_qP5djbcOw-0/TOXpaZQduWI/AAAAAAAACzM/3LqFl184fUE/s1600/P1030229.JPG

posted by BusterBluth on Mar 07, 2013 at 03:55:45 pm     #  

Woah. I think I'd get headaches if that were the view out of my window. However, I love the fact that the bottom floor is full of retail. Preserving sidewalk space is a must for parking garages.

But yeah, lot's of perfectly suitable spots for a garage around there. The parking lot across from Bartley at Ontario and Washington. Or, there are plans to rip out the current access point of the Anthony Wayne Trail onto Erie, with Lafayette crossing. That intersection is a freaking mess. But the plan is to completely redo it, with it possibly becoming a roundabout, at which point a garage on either side of Lafayette, either behind 100 S Huron or Grumpy's, could be an extremely convenient and accessible location.

posted by Johio83 on Mar 07, 2013 at 04:05:17 pm     #  

haha how did I know people would think I was suggesting THAT exact thing. I wasn't.

Simply saying, parking garages without facades are ugly. Very ugly. And plenty of facades have the modernism touch that is horrible (like this: http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/198025/198025,1239030066,19/stock-photo-modern-parking-garage-in-papendorp-utrecht-netherlands-28407295.jpg or that disgusting facade on Summit St.)

Something "post-modern" would be more accurate I think. But what do I know, I'm not an architect.

One thing is certain, avoid this: http://images.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2009/09/02-car-museum.jpg

posted by BusterBluth on Mar 07, 2013 at 04:19:11 pm     #  

There are many cities where parking garages are now mandated to "fit in" with the surrounding architecture. One I'm familiar with is Coral Gables, Fla.-- they have 8 - 9 story municipal garages you couldn't pick out at a distance because they blend in easily with the other buildings.

Somehow, designing a garage that looks similar to buildings in a "warehouse district" shouldn't present the architectural challenge of the decade. You can do it through facades or simply designing a garage that doesn't look like a concrete monolith relic from the Soviet Union.

posted by oldhometown on Mar 07, 2013 at 04:33:25 pm     #   2 people liked this

Yeah, that method (requiring them to fit in aesthetically) seems to be the best way to do it. There's little challenge in making it look nice, but the issue is that there's little or no benefit to the parking garage itself. It's an added expense that doesn't directly lead to an increase in profits for the garage owner, so little reason for them to do it.

It's kinda like having a house in shambles on your block. The city can force the family to fix the place up and get their yard in order, because it's dragging down the value of the surrounding neighborhood. Same principle here. A garage with a nice facade is a lot better for the surrounding area than a hunk of concrete, so cities make a requirement of the former.

posted by Johio83 on Mar 07, 2013 at 04:46:11 pm     #   1 person liked this

I really don't understand why they want to add retail, but I'm sure the apartments will be quickly 100% occupied.

posted by 6th_Floor on Mar 08, 2013 at 08:56:54 am     #  

a grocery / carry-out would do well there. but other retail? i agree... it's questionable at the moment

posted by upso on Mar 08, 2013 at 09:30:03 am     #  

(just to clarify, when I say "retail" I'm speaking in broader development terms. When talking about developing a property, you usually just term things residential, commercial, or retail, with retail being any location in which money would change hands. So a restaurant, bar, café, etc, would fall into retail. Differentiates it from other commercial properties which would be more like a company's office space.)

posted by Johio83 on Mar 08, 2013 at 09:48:39 am     #  

Upso- I did a walk through of the berdan 10 years ago. The river side of the building has an entrance to the basement in a similar fashion to the Bartley. The support pillars are close though, maybe every 10 feet and my recollection was not the entire length of the building is accessible by car in the basement. Can't remember if it was walled off or dirt floor after a certain distance as its been a long time. You need a hazmat suit in there due to the amount of pigeon droppings.

posted by MrGlass419 on Mar 09, 2013 at 11:39:31 am     #  

Any of you warehouse district folks have any info on this? Did this deal fall apart like all of the others?

posted by idinspired on Jul 07, 2014 at 04:46:36 pm     #  

Far as I know, it's still on. They'd said a while back that it wouldn't be until the 2nd half of the year that they had their crews down here working on it. They had another project in... Flint, I want to say, that they were going to finish before starting with Berdan.

posted by Johio83 on Jul 07, 2014 at 05:01:47 pm     #  

I was told you wouldn't notice work on the exterior until the interior was more stabilized.

posted by upso on Jul 07, 2014 at 05:12:41 pm     #  

I wasn't told about where the project was and I didn't ask, so it may be in Flint. However, I was told that because of another project, Berdan won't begin until at least mid/late 2016.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 07, 2014 at 07:55:58 pm     #  

And needless to say, I wasn't at all surprised about Berdan being delayed...

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 07, 2014 at 07:56:44 pm     #  

The Standart took awhile, too, didn't it?

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Jul 07, 2014 at 07:57:50 pm     #  

Any updates?

posted by ckbeats21 on Dec 18, 2016 at 11:30:51 pm     #  

I stopped by for lunch at Packo's yesterday and saw new windows at the Berdan-on the second floor on the east side and the third floor on the west side. They look great.

posted by Toledostrong on Dec 19, 2016 at 07:46:10 am     #