Feb 4, 2014 posts:
- developing the downtown riverfront area
- begin in 2016
- renovation of the Steam Plant
- retain the Steam Plant's historical aspects
- modern-looking, campus-like setting
- build a public downtown fitness center
- underground parking structure ... Promenade Park
- garage landscaped to blend in with the park
- Mayor Collins said the state needs to assist
Excerpts from the nearly 1800-word story by Ignazio Messina, reorganized a bit to produce somewhat of a summary.
ProMedica, the largest employer in the Toledo area, wants to bring employees who are scattered over “a large number of locations” under one roof into a signature building that would enforce its brand while developing the downtown riverfront area into a modern-looking, campus-like setting.
Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and chief executive officer, told The Blade the company's purchase and renovation of the Steam Plant could cost up to $40 million and begin in 2016.
Mr. Oostra stressed that ProMedica is in the early stages of its plans for the building, but said the company would retain the Steam Plant's historical aspects, including the two smokestacks that tower over the Maumee and possibly add retail businesses.
The YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo could also partner with ProMedica to build a public downtown fitness center as part of the campus on the ground-level of the KeyBank building, Mr. Oostra said.
Mr. Oostra said an underground parking structure is envisioned in the expanded portion of Promenade Park adjacent to Summit Street on the site of the former downtown Federal Building. He said the garage would be landscaped to blend in with the riverfront park and provide parking for people coming downtown for riverfront entertainment and festivals.
Mayor Collins said shortly after becoming mayor last month he ordered the suspension of the $5 million renovation and expansion of Promenade Park, pushed by former Mayor Mike Bell, because it may be needed as part of ProMedica's downtown campus.
Incentive packages are commonly used by government to retain or attract businesses.
Mayor Collins said he was looking for financial help from the state government's capital budget to pay for the garage.
“We need to get the message down to Columbus that we are not the fourth wheel on a tricycle and we need money coming out of Columbus to assist with this,” the mayor said. “We cannot write a check for a parking [garage] today.”