Toledo Talk

Promedica downtown

Apologies-couldn't find the most recent thread about this, but I wanted to pick this back up again. This ran in The Blade today:
http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2014/12/27/ProMedica-says-parking-impasse-would-scuttle-its-downtown-plans.html

Things that continue to feed my skepticism about this project

  • Lack of transparency of logistics conversations with the Collins administration-City Council seems to be in the dark about this
  • The full-on PR campaign going on right now as they announce that without the garage at that location (waterfront) the deal is dead
  • The buried tidbit about asking for the property between Imagination station and the Key bank building.
  • No one knows if this property will be acquired for free or with any sort of purchase price. I'm betting on free.

I want to like this plan, I really do. I know this would be great for downtown. Unless I'm missing something, I don't feel that either party negotiating is being upfront about what this involves regarding what is arguably the most valuable parcel of property in NW Ohio. I'll agree that it has been woefully underutilized. And this is the first time I've seen any sort of artist drawing of what the garage would look like, and i have to say, it's not quite as bad as I thought it would be. They do have it offset from the river quite a bit, and it's obviously no taller than surrounding structures. I still have an issue with the size of it's footprint. Something to remember-Promedica makes it's substantial money from the residents of Toledo and surrounding environs. It's not like they can just move out of the area. It is a benefit to them to be centrally located, so let's not act like this is the ultimate act of kindness. Promedica has done a great job investing in the community, but they have a long game on this whole deal, otherwise, it wouldn't make sense.

Promedica has a responsibility to make money and be competitive, and when they do nice things for the community-it's gravy and should be applauded, but we need to try to hold our elected officials accountable for these dealings. I don't feel that Collins is working in the best interest of the city, and once again, needs more transparency before he sells the island of Manhattan.

created by ahmahler on Dec 27, 2014 at 02:07:04 pm     Comments: 183

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only bummer I see in the renderings is how Fort Industry Square get's pushed away from view when you're in the park. While that space is MAJORLY under utilized at the moment, I hope that after Promedica moves downtown, businesses would start to rethink that wonderful building.

posted by upso on Dec 27, 2014 at 03:30:17 pm     #  

that parking garage is certainly messed up... it should extend down the length of summit street and NOT extend into and across the RoW of the old water street. the proposed design benefits only promedica at the detriment of everyone else. maintain and strengthen the grid people.... stop creating larger blocks... stop creating green and plaza locations in an urban CBD core, this is not the suburbs... maintain the public green space, promenade park; don't eat into it.

for a councilman who built his career around seemingly wanting to shed light and combat cronyism, as mayor collins has appeared to have taken a secretive, my or the highway approach to governing.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Dec 27, 2014 at 03:50:20 pm     #   5 people liked this

I feel like 10 years down the road, Promedica will not be downtown. Toledo will find some way to fuck it up like they always do. Promedica will be located in a suburb.

I have worked for a major healthcare campus with offsite parking, and let me tell you - it is not fun and the majority of employees hate it. You have to pay hundreds of dollars of your own money to park, then spend an extra hour or so of your day being bussed to and from the office. Heaven forbid you have an unexpected need to leave during the workday. It really hurts employee recruiting. Especially when I can get a job at Mercy's headquarters and park right in the parking garage attached to the building.

posted by dell_diva on Dec 27, 2014 at 04:27:03 pm     #  

My question is this, if it isn't a done deal does Promedica have site control? How can they give building tours without site control?

posted by trixanne on Dec 27, 2014 at 05:24:39 pm     #   4 people liked this

Not in favor of them trying to strong arm the city. Don't give in to them. No one needs these type of CEO's.

How much are they paying for that land next to Imagination Station or are they trying to steal that for free?

Is Promedica classified as a non-profit? Will all this property come off the tax rolls?

They should just build in the marina district in my opinion.

If their workers do not feel safe walking 2 blocks from a different garage why are they moving downtown? Majority of other downtown workers around the U.S. do not expect parking right in front of their building. Toledo is beyond spoiled.

posted by toledoramblingman on Dec 27, 2014 at 07:18:18 pm     #   6 people liked this

"If their workers do not feel safe walking 2 blocks from a different garage why are they moving downtown?"

I'm guessing it wasn't their idea.

posted by dell_diva on Dec 27, 2014 at 08:32:48 pm     #  

The feeling safe thing to me... is a bit silly. Downtown is one of the safest places in the city of Toledo but I appreciate that perception is rarely reality.

Has anyone talked about just beefing up private security instead of building more parking? TPD charges $30 an hour last I checked for off duty... how much is this parking garage going to cost?

posted by upso on Dec 27, 2014 at 11:29:45 pm     #   3 people liked this

In one of my engineering classes they used $12-15k per parking space for structured parking, and $30k for underground. These were to get a rough estimate that didn't include land cost. It seems to be pretty good estimate in the end.

posted by justphillips on Dec 27, 2014 at 11:57:33 pm     #  

I just can't believe that there are people who don't feel safe in downtown Toledo.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:06:51 am     #   6 people liked this

Nolan_Rosenkrans posted at 12:06:51 AM on Dec 28, 2014:

I just can't believe that there are people who don't feel safe in downtown Toledo.

Forget downtown, there are plenty of folks in the suburbs who think anywhere in the city of Toledo is unsafe. They're wrong, but that's what they believe.

posted by Ace_Face on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:13:28 am     #  

50/50 chance this project gets scrapped now

posted by Hoops on Dec 28, 2014 at 09:46:25 am     #  

The feeling safe thing to me... is a bit silly. Downtown is one of the safest places in the city of Toledo but I appreciate that perception is rarely reality.

For a company investing in downtown, I'm surprised they're propagating this myth. Why aren't we talking about demolishing the key bank building and replacing it with a garage? Wouldn't that be the space that makes more sense and during non business hours, couldn't you utilize for festivals and events that could take place down there? Here's another suggestion-what if Promedica bought shuttles and ran from the burbs every 30 min through the day? Then you don't deal with nearly the parking and you have everyone saving $ on gas, not to mention the positive environmental impact.

posted by ahmahler on Dec 28, 2014 at 11:17:39 am     #   1 person liked this

When I worked at the HCR ManorCare headquarters, the company gave us $40 a month for parking.

We had our choice of parking garages. At the time, that $40 subsidy would have covered the full cost of parking at 2 garages a block or two away. Or we could have an additional $15 per month deducted from our checks to park in the lot across the street that was connected by a walkway.

It was easy and convenient. The company took care of all the payments to ParkSmart. And we could use our card to access the garage 24/7. I used to park there for Mud Hens games.

I'd be curious to hear exactly how many spots are available in existing lots. My husband still works downtown, and I know the ramp where he parks seems to have plenty of space available. And has an underground walkway that could connect the majority of the way to the steamplant.

I'm not opposed to adding additional parking if it's absolutely needed, but I'm wondering if they are just determined to build a new ramp no matter what

posted by mom2 on Dec 28, 2014 at 11:47:06 am     #  

Nolan_Rosenkrans posted at 12:06:51 AM on Dec 28, 2014:

I just can't believe that there are people who don't feel safe in downtown Toledo.

I was walking around downtown last night. With my kids. After dark!

I like to live on the edge. ;)

posted by mom2 on Dec 28, 2014 at 11:50:10 am     #   4 people liked this

Amahler: regarding what is arguably the most valuable parcel of property in NW Ohio.

HAHA

At least you included "arguably" in your post.

Ahmahler, I'm curious to ask if you live in Toledo or more specifically downtown?

Since Promedica serves the the entire region, why should their headquarters be located downtown in order to be "centrally located?"

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 28, 2014 at 01:43:07 pm     #   3 people liked this

I may be a party of one at this table, but I don't find the waterfront attractive at all. The Maumee River is disgusting and each side has little appeal. There is too much industrial property mixed in.

Take away the restaurants on the east side of the river and OC and you have nothing left.

You may now proceed to tell me what a crappy Toledo-an I am.

posted by Molsonator on Dec 28, 2014 at 02:38:11 pm     #   1 person liked this

6th-no, I live in Springfield township, if I could get my kids into Toledo school for the arts, I'd heartily consider relocating, and when we moved here 10 years ago, we moved from California and were ignorant as to what was happening, even then. So, I wish I lived there, and might yet.

I couldn't really think of another piece of undeveloped commercial property that was more appealing, but I'm open to the idea of elsewhere being more valuable. It's centrally located because it's basically in the middle of the region. Certainly more convenient for east siders, as well as maumee, Perrysburg, etc.

posted by ahmahler on Dec 28, 2014 at 02:49:10 pm     #  

The comments about downtown being a safe zone are ridiculous and being made by the usual cheerleaders here. I'd like to add that the dangerous zones downtown are clustered near the library and the bus stops along Erie and Jackson.

Businesses near the library already have hired extra security to protect their workers. Those security guards aren't there without good reasons.

Promedica should build a secure garage for their employees and if the city of Toledo and a rarely-used park are going to prevent that from happening, Promedica should walk away from the bargaining table.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 28, 2014 at 08:11:02 pm     #   2 people liked this

I'll also add the corner of Adams and Huron to the list of areas most should avoid if possible.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 28, 2014 at 08:15:55 pm     #  

M2, I was downtown with my kids last night too...great to see a sell out crowd for the first Walleye Winterfest game; over 11k people at 5/3rd. I've never seen it so packed.

We walked two blocks back to our car at night and were still alive to tell about it.

A bunch of us heading back this Friday for Beerfest....hope we live to tell about it.

posted by SensorG on Dec 28, 2014 at 08:44:39 pm     #   1 person liked this

not a cheerleader at this point 6th
but come on...

http://www.toledoblade.com/metrocrime

posted by upso on Dec 28, 2014 at 11:48:58 pm     #  

Because there are so many companies or people clamoring over this piece of property right now. I say someone wants to develop it and pay the taxes for it, it's first come first serve. Because so many want to utilize it now....

posted by avinsurer on Dec 28, 2014 at 11:57:13 pm     #   1 person liked this

Would destroying the park be a quality of life issue?

posted by MIJeff on Dec 29, 2014 at 01:12:47 am     #  

Follow the money and connect the dots:

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2014/04/02/City-public-utilities-chief-is-leaving-for-ProMedica.html

posted by Bandito on Dec 29, 2014 at 01:14:41 am     #  

I've watched that part of downtown for a long time. Here's what would work:

Do the Promedica deal. Steamplant and KeyBank building. Dedicate a tiny portion of the steam plant to a small historical exhibit about the steam heating that the plant used to provide. Lots of cool old photos. That way, some concept of the history is preserved. (It didn't need to be in the form of a mothballed building.)

Do the parking garage. Make it available for off-hour public use.

Massive Promedica endowments and foundations pay to move COSI. Sorry, whatever that place is called that we ripped off from Columbus and then paid for with a levy instead of tickets, memberships and donors. That sucker needs out of Portside. The HCR manorcare building, Fifth Third Field, Seagate Centre, and arena are all things that weren't in place when Portside was rushed ahead of the rest of the plan.

Restore portside as a mixed retail and restaurant space. This gives a lot of the waterfront view and usage back to the public. It helps the parking structure make sense.

Restore the portside docks. 75 boats full of people with paychecks wandering around down there looking for restaurants and a store is a constant booster all summer. Going to the docks across the river for dinner is one thing, but imagine people being able to bring boats full of friends for a full day of a baseball game, shopping, lunch/dinner, maybe a concert and fireworks? A festival?
A much needed boating destination.

Do NOT rename Promenade Park "Promedica Park."

Then you have:
-Saved historical interest of steam plant.
-Saved/restored the much-needed portside element.
-Brought boaters back to Toledo, and Toledo boaters back downtown.
-Saved the Promedica deal.
-Brought all the Promedica vendors to spaces like Fort Industry Square and the Edison building.
-Created reasons for other people to come back downtown, not just Promedica.
-Created enough revenue stream to fund upkeep, security, and civic programming in the area.
-A reason for the marina district to get finished.

This town is on the water. If any of the newspaper publishers had been a avid boaters, this community would be much farther ahead.

posted by justread on Dec 29, 2014 at 07:03:44 am     #   14 people liked this

SensorG posted at 08:44:39 PM on Dec 28, 2014:

M2, I was downtown with my kids last night too...great to see a sell out crowd for the first Walleye Winterfest game; over 11k people at 5/3rd. I've never seen it so packed.

We walked two blocks back to our car at night and were still alive to tell about it.

A bunch of us heading back this Friday for Beerfest....hope we live to tell about it.

I'm sorry, walking out of a large event with thousands of other people when adequate security is present is not the equivalent if leaving work after dark when you are parked next to the projects but work in the government buildings.

Is downtown Toledo safe? That depends what you are comparing it to: Detroit, yes; New York, yes; Sylvania, F no. Safety is relative and it is also about awareness. I have a lower chance of being a victim of crime because I pay attention to where I go, when I go, how I get there and how I am leaving. Some who go to downtown have the same awareness and mindset so they can make the circumstances as safe as possible.

But to make a blanket statement that downtown Toledo is 'safe', is ridiculous and it ignores the basic crime stats. Actually, I wonder if crime stats are showing increasing crime in downtown Toledo as we increase traffic at night with events and more residential population.

posted by MsArcher on Dec 29, 2014 at 08:20:29 am     #   7 people liked this

"ignores the basic crime stats"

Let's deal in facts, and not factoids. Upso posted the crime blotter, as has been posted and reposted pretty much any time the discussion of downtown crime rates comes up. And as it always does, it reinforces the point that downtown itself is very safe. Are there rough areas nearby? Sure, but if you're parking out by Moody Manor to walk to Promenade Park, you really need to embrace Google Maps. There's no logical reason anyone would need to pass up the plethora of parking options in downtown to ever need to get remotely close to the higher crime areas.

posted by Johio83 on Dec 29, 2014 at 09:41:47 am     #   5 people liked this

justread: if you find a way to make that a public issue (get it on a ballot or something) I will support it 100%! I love everything about that plan.

And I think the biggest thing I love is the fact that it IS a plan, which is something downtown (and Toledo in general) really lacks. In reading and exploring the urban developments and downtown revitalizations of other cities, there is always an overarching plan that the city pushed. The cities worked with corporate partners to convert entire areas en masse, creating whole perception shifts and avoiding the issues of "well yeah, that building is ok now, but the rest of the area sucks, so what's the point?" Don't get me wrong, I know we have the Toledo 2020 plan that got revised in '12/13, but until the city actually gets behind it and promotes it, it's just a set of ideas somebody put on paper.

posted by Johio83 on Dec 29, 2014 at 09:46:44 am     #   3 people liked this

"Downtown" encompasses a whole lot more than Promenade Park and unfortunately criminals don't pay much attention to fictional borders that we my like to erect.

posted by MsArcher on Dec 29, 2014 at 09:52:31 am     #   1 person liked this

MrsArcher, tell me which part of "downtown" is unsafe, and I'll tell you I've been there numerous times at night by myself and somehow survived.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Dec 29, 2014 at 09:59:29 am     #   4 people liked this

Sure, downtown can mean a wide range of areas. But I think everyone is on the same page that when we're discussing downtown from an entertainment and business standpoint, we're referring to the Central Business District, Warehouse District, and usually UpTown. And the crime blotter shows where crimes occur. Check through for any time period you want. If you find one that proves that downtown (again, the CBD, WHD, UpT) have significant crime issues, post it.

posted by Johio83 on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:00:28 am     #  

“We’ve told the city we will maintain that area. We’d like to dress it up a little bit more because right now it’s not really used a lot and not really well-landscaped. And that way if we would need it in the future, we can use it for something else,” she said.

That quote is really troubling. "If we need it in the future, we can use it for something else." That would not be negotiable for me. I'm ok with them putting the proposed parking garage on Promenade Park, but giving them the option to convert it into something else in the future? No way. They don't get the tax breaks AND the right to all of the additional property for their own disposal.

posted by Johio83 on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:02:31 am     #   3 people liked this

Nolan_Rosenkrans posted at 09:59:29 AM on Dec 29, 2014:

MrsArcher, tell me which part of "downtown" is unsafe, and I'll tell you I've been there numerous times at night by myself and somehow survived.

Nobody mugs newspaper reporters. There are two main reasons for this.

posted by justread on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:10:08 am     #   2 people liked this

Johio83 posted at 10:02:31 AM on Dec 29, 2014:

“We’ve told the city we will maintain that area. We’d like to dress it up a little bit more because right now it’s not really used a lot and not really well-landscaped. And that way if we would need it in the future, we can use it for something else,” she said.

That quote is really troubling. "If we need it in the future, we can use it for something else." That would not be negotiable for me. I'm ok with them putting the proposed parking garage on Promenade Park, but giving them the option to convert it into something else in the future? No way. They don't get the tax breaks AND the right to all of the additional property for their own disposal.

Agreed. They don't get the whole park, the docks, or portside. They get the steamplant, the KeyBank building, and the new garage. They don't get to Promunchify the rest of it.

posted by justread on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:12:28 am     #  

Funny how many of us thought from time the "plan" was first announced that the parking garage issue was BS and neither side was being forthcoming. IMHO, neither side is yet telling the whole story.

posted by Foodie on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:32:43 am     #   1 person liked this

Well, they shouldn't have called it "underground" when 80% of it would be a multi-story, above ground structure. That gives people the bait and switch feeling.

posted by justread on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:43:14 am     #  

Amen, Foodie.

It seems like every party to this has a hidden agenda.

Those of us on the sidelines would love to see the old steam plant resurrected as something beneficial to the community, but does it have to be at the expense of our waterfront?

On the other hand, go to the thread that relates to historical Toledo photos and look up the one of Summit Street. There was NO view of the waterfront back in the "good old days. " And the steam plant generated steam, which I assume powered/heated the nearby buildings -- also a very noble use for that building.

And what is the city's benefit here, other than the tax dollars of people working downtown? Would Promedica pay taxes on this property, or would they be granted one of those "tax abatement forever" deals like Jeep seems to have?

What exactly does Promedica want to do with the land to the north?

posted by Anniecski on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:47:05 am     #  

Funny how many of us thought from time the "plan" was first announced that the parking garage issue was BS and neither side was being forthcoming. IMHO, neither side is yet telling the whole story.

Right on Foodie, that's my biggest contention is that they are making these decisions behind the scenes , and the idea of really thinking long and hard about this, I have absolutely no confidence they brainstormed and looked at alternate solutions. Evidence from the article Bandito posted last night dated April 1 of this year (I guess we are the April Fools). Robin Whitney, formerly in the collins and Bell administration was announced as the new Promedica VP of Property Acquisition. One of her quotes- "Ms. Whitney said one of her jobs will be getting a parking garage built on the old federal building site at Promenade Park. “I have my challenges cut out for me,” she said." This smells to me like it was all a snow job in the way it was handled regarding that garage. They handled the public by telling them they were going to explore all ideas, then behind the scenes, they worked towards nothing but the garage in the park.

As far as safety downtown goes, you need to get over it. It's as safe as any part of the city, and probably most of the burbs. Go walk around, there's nothing scary. I've walked and ridden bikes past midnight countless times and have never felt concerned.

posted by ahmahler on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:49:36 am     #   2 people liked this

There was NO view of the waterfront back in the "good old days. "

Not much. They built things on top of one another in blocks back then. We didn't have "Metroparks" either. Doesn't mean we didn't grow into the understanding of the value of open and natural spaces with the leadership of families like the Knights. Today, a somewhat sweeping riverscape is appropriate to our times and our values. Some of the most beautiful spots in our community are open river vistas.

But yet there was so much USE of the water in the good old days. And they had so many excursion boats. Just no Frisbee.

posted by justread on Dec 29, 2014 at 11:22:00 am     #   2 people liked this

One's safety downtown or anywhere else is relevant to the situation they put themselves in.

While I don't live in fear, I also don't put myself in questionable circumstances such as walking down narrow, unlit alleys in the middle of the night. I'd be far more concerned for my safety in many of the areas that border the downtown.

posted by Foodie on Dec 29, 2014 at 01:35:47 pm     #  

Much of the discussion here takes for granted that ProMedica should move into the Steam Plant and that a corporate office is an appropriate use of that building. ProMedica, Mayor Collins, and the rest of the city bureaucracy would likely argue that the Steam Plant is the only property in or around downtown that is suitable for ProMedica's use, ignoring all the other vacant buildings that are closer to the current center of downtown (which I place at Madison and Huron) and vacant land everywhere.

So why did ProMedica choose the Steam Plant? Could it be because Mayor Collins made the status of that property a campaign issue on which he had to deliver? Back in 2010, he was critical of former mayor Bell's decision to drop a lawsuit against the developers (originally filed by the previous mayor, Finkbeiner), and I'm pretty certain that he made the Steam Plant an issue in the last mayoral campaign as well (along with the Marina District), though I can't find relevant articles or quotes right now.

If my hypothesis is correct--i.e., that he made a campaign issue of the Steam Plant--this is a recipe for giving everything away, regardless of the merits of the project or the value of what is given away. The deal has to go through, because it has to go through, regardless.

posted by Bandito on Dec 29, 2014 at 11:51:02 pm     #   1 person liked this

Word is this deal was on Bell's plate but he passed on it because of it's potential affect on the park / riverfront. This was basically handed to Collins in month one, and now in month twelve it's still sounding fishy. Bell might have have the right idea.

posted by nits on Dec 30, 2014 at 01:33:13 am     #   1 person liked this

ProMedica, Mayor Collins, and the rest of the city bureaucracy would likely argue that the Steam Plant is the only property in or around downtown that is suitable for ProMedica's use, ignoring all the other vacant buildings that are closer to the current center of downtown (which I place at Madison and Huron) and vacant land everywhere.

I assumed that they wanted both buildings because of their marquee locations along the river and as part of a new Toledo skyline with lighted logos. Can't let Fifth Third Field and Huntington have all the neon joy.
I do hope that they seal the pipes that lead from the steamplant to hell. They forgot to do that in a building on Superior St.

posted by justread on Dec 30, 2014 at 06:33:29 am     #  

"Could it be because Mayor Collins made the status of that property a campaign issue ..."

His 2013 mayoral campaign website did not get that specific.

http://dmichaelcollins.com/platform

  • Revitalize the downtown riverfront

The platform page also states:

  • Commit to being transparent in all city business practices

posted by jr on Dec 30, 2014 at 07:52:05 am     #   1 person liked this

I'm unsure about the Nasby building's status, but the other two large empty buildings at Madison and Huron are owned by someone who the city has been going through a legal battle with for about two years now. They can't just take them from him to give to Promedica, unless they did some seriously loop hole exploiting eminent domain tactics.

posted by Johio83 on Dec 30, 2014 at 08:06:57 am     #  

(As much as I wish they could. I'm sure anyone who has kept up with that situation of the Nicholas and Spitzer buildings would agree, the guy is a deadbeat and everyone would be better off if he just turned them over to someone else)

posted by Johio83 on Dec 30, 2014 at 08:11:23 am     #  

No question.

I think that is the attraction of the steamplant. They eliminate one of the primary leftover albatrosses while having the ability to do a totally new build to suit on the inside. Something they could not do with the Spitzer or Nicolas. Plus, it's a better location for marketing. And if they do one thing, it's marketing. And some health care.

posted by justread on Dec 30, 2014 at 08:22:29 am     #  

Since there is so much interest in this story I've arranged for Ray Medlin to appear on my show Monday at 7:05 to discuss a letter he and others have received asking them to take an anti parking structure stance. The letter supposedly written by Ed Weber.

posted by fred on Dec 30, 2014 at 09:54:12 am     #  

How much of downtown does not pay taxes?

We have Toledo owned property, Lucas county (mudhens, walleye), RGP, Port Authority, United Way and other non-profits, now Promedica wants the waterfront?

At what point does downtown become unsustainable as a tax base because of diminishing parcels available for property taxes because they are all owned by non-profits or government agencies?

posted by toledoramblingman on Dec 30, 2014 at 11:53:24 am     #  

Have you been able to reach Ed?

posted by justread on Dec 30, 2014 at 11:53:51 am     #  

Fred-I think it's important to show a side that is more interested in transparency. If this is the best thing for all of us and there is truly no other cost effective alternatives, then it's fine to discuss a garage as a last resort. They used it as a first and only resort. I'd like to hear how they explored the other options and what conclusions did they reach? While I'm generally anti-garage, I'm more interested in accountability than closing one of the options.

posted by ahmahler on Dec 30, 2014 at 12:44:29 pm     #  

If they do have a garage, let's make it a requirement that the first floor is commercial as well.

posted by toledoramblingman on Dec 30, 2014 at 04:17:15 pm     #  

Totally agree with that. Especially if Promenade Park becomes a regularly used concert/festival venue again, having commercial spaces on the first floor would create some fantastic synergy.

posted by Johio83 on Dec 30, 2014 at 04:30:44 pm     #  

ahmahler posted at 12:44:29 PM on Dec 30, 2014:

Fred-I think it's important to show a side that is more interested in transparency. If this is the best thing for all of us and there is truly no other cost effective alternatives, then it's fine to discuss a garage as a last resort. They used it as a first and only resort. I'd like to hear how they explored the other options and what conclusions did they reach? While I'm generally anti-garage, I'm more interested in accountability than closing one of the options.

I agree with you, except I wouldn't say that I'm anti-garage. I'm just pro-transparency.

posted by mom2 on Dec 30, 2014 at 09:02:31 pm     #   1 person liked this

I just noticed that ProMedica has applied for historical tax credits for this project. Funny, that. The previous developer, David Ball, was DENIED historical tax credits by the National Park Service, allegedly due to the plans to modify the exterior facade facing the river.

ProMedica's plans involve substantially more exterior alterations than those proposed by Ball and his partner. Moreover, ProMedica's plans make no pretense at being sympathetic to the historical design (basically, their proposed addition looks like crap--at least try using some brick, sweethearts).

If ProMedica receives the historical tax credits, I'd say a lawsuit against the National Park Service would be in order.

posted by Bandito on Jan 01, 2015 at 08:02:11 pm     #   1 person liked this

Edward Webber proposes alternate parking idea for Promedica.
The video with the proposal is not yet available online but here is the lead in.

http://www.13abc.com/clip/10999200/plan-for-promedica-parking-lot-downtown-meets-resistance

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 02, 2015 at 06:13:13 pm     #  

thoughts?

posted by upso on Jan 02, 2015 at 11:26:27 pm     #  

Thoughts?

I like it. It is connected underground and would support my Portside Manifesto. That strip of spaces below and between One Seagate and Portside has seen some recent life. With Fifth Third in One Seagate and Promedica in the steamplant, there is no reason businesses would not survive there again. I liked that space. I remember the United Way did there wrap up party down there in like, 99.

And hey, it's newer than the steamplant.

How about a blend of the two?
If they need ONE floor of actual underground parking right smack next to their headquarters for VIPs, guests, and for armored cars to haul money down the street to the bank, so be it. Ed's idea eliminates the need for a larger structure.
The port authority owns Vistula, so we ought to be able to work something out. As a taxpayer, I would pay for Promedica parking if we gained that entire section of downtown back for business, retail, restaurant, and service. I want to park in Vistula, meet with Fifth Third at One Seagate, leave that meeting, stroll under the hotel, pick up a quick lunch at portside, walk across to the HCR building for a meeting, drop in on a colleague in the Edison building, cruise back across the street, pick up my laundry on my way back to the Vistula garage at the cleaners under One Seagate. Mostly indoors, one parking spot. Skating for amahler in the reflecting pool. Re-establish First Night across all these new venues in mixed civic-retail-restaurant-service spaces.

What I don't want to happen is the Temple Square effect, where the Promedicans exist inside only inside their own compound. Never leaving Promedicaland, except when the noses of their Lexuses (Lexi?) peek out from the garage at the end of the day.

posted by justread on Jan 03, 2015 at 07:42:23 am     #   6 people liked this

Bandito posted at 08:02:11 PM on Jan 01, 2015:

I just noticed that ProMedica has applied for historical tax credits for this project. Funny, that. The previous developer, David Ball, was DENIED historical tax credits by the National Park Service, allegedly due to the plans to modify the exterior facade facing the river.

ProMedica's plans involve substantially more exterior alterations than those proposed by Ball and his partner. Moreover, ProMedica's plans make no pretense at being sympathetic to the historical design (basically, their proposed addition looks like crap--at least try using some brick, sweethearts).

If ProMedica receives the historical tax credits, I'd say a lawsuit against the National Park Service would be in order.

Where can I see pictures of the addition? Or is it the glass thing on the river side?

posted by slowsol on Jan 03, 2015 at 09:46:43 am     #  

@slowsol, it's on page 7 of the current City Newspaper.

posted by Bandito on Jan 03, 2015 at 12:58:47 pm     #  

https://www.facebook.com/events/828598817178895/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

came across this on facebook today, a rally to save Promenade Park from becoming a parking lot is scheduled for Tuesday at 2pm

posted by sparky31134 on Jan 03, 2015 at 04:19:20 pm     #  

Well written editorial by Kushma in today's Blade. I am starting to like Sandy Spang, I keep hearing good things, and her tone is spot on.

http://www.toledoblade.com/DavidKushma/2015/01/04/ProMedica-and-Promenade-Park-Let-s-have-both.html

posted by ahmahler on Jan 04, 2015 at 01:48:44 pm     #  

The woman sponsoring the FB page and petition Sheena Anne Kadi will be on to talk about her movement, right after Ray Medlin speaks in favor of the pro medica plan. sorry administrator if this comes off as self serving but it's a topic that has drawn a lot of interest on this page

posted by fred on Jan 04, 2015 at 02:09:16 pm     #  

Fred-what time and what station? Are you 1370?

posted by ahmahler on Jan 04, 2015 at 02:43:19 pm     #  

ahmahler posted at 01:48:44 PM on Jan 04, 2015:

Well written editorial by Kushma in today's Blade. I am starting to like Sandy Spang, I keep hearing good things, and her tone is spot on.

http://www.toledoblade.com/DavidKushma/2015/01/04/ProMedica-and-Promenade-Park-Let-s-have-both.html

I really appreciate the non sensationalist tone of this piece, and it's really great seeing multiple parties and voices coming to the table.

Also, I agree Sandy sure does seem to have her head screwed on right. The limited interactions I've had with her in person have all been very positive and she has some great people around her.

I hope Promedica appreciates and embraces the people's input, regardless of the final solution.

posted by upso on Jan 04, 2015 at 04:44:11 pm     #  

Medlin at 7, Sheena at 8 1370 WSPD

posted by fred on Jan 04, 2015 at 06:02:14 pm     #  

They were giving tours yesterday as part of Winterfest. Building is just four brick walls right now but they had drawings of what the new space will look like, and it is very impressive and the promedica employees answering questions seemed very excited about moving downtown.

I live in the Warehouse district and work downtown and am very excited about this and hope the city doesn't mess this up. If this deal gets messed up, I wouldn't blame Promedica if they relocated to Levis or the Arrowhead area. They are planning on putting in retail on the parking level if they go with the one proposed plan.

As far as all the comments on the Blade article today about employees walking, well it's obvious those posters have never walked in Downtown Toledo during the winter time or they would realize this city doesn't enforce property owners to keep their sidewalks clean of snow and ice. As I mentioned in the winterfest thread on this board yesterday, my boyfriend and his family parked at the Seagate Garage and walked to my loft and we walked to the Steam Plant from my loft and she almost slipped a few times because a lot of the sidewalks downtown weren't salted. One of the places she almost slipped at was on the red brick in front of the parking garage on summit and in front of the old Seagate hotel which I believe the county now owns.

I live only five blocks from my office and would love to walk to work everyday when I am in the office and not out at clients and do in nicer weather, but it's too dangerous in the winter. There are sidewalks that didn't get touched last winter. Promedicia employees aren't going to be wanting to walk on unsalted and unshoveled sidewalks.

posted by classylady on Jan 04, 2015 at 10:23:15 pm     #  

In case you missed Ray Medlin this morning http://www.iheart.com/show/139-Fred-LefeBvre-The-Morning/

posted by fred on Jan 05, 2015 at 12:09:23 pm     #  

Fred,

I listened to the podcasts, but have to ask if your guest Ray Medlin is the same "Crossfire Ray" from WSPD's Saturday "Business Blackboard" program.

I assume he must be, but it wasn't clear from your introduction.

Your clarification on this matter will be most appreciated.

Cheers!
Bill

posted by Bandito on Jan 06, 2015 at 12:16:43 am     #  

classylady, are you saying you drive 5 blocks to work in the winter? that's insane! get some better boots! ;)

posted by nits on Jan 06, 2015 at 12:28:55 am     #   1 person liked this

he is

posted by fred on Jan 06, 2015 at 05:10:59 am     #  

Lot's of news-

First-Listen to both sides on Fred's show, interesting stuff. Fred-Thanks for giving both sides of the issue a forum. I was surprised that that Ray said it was a vocal minority opposed to the garage plan, but later, during the intro for Sheena Kadi, presented the polling that 70% of Toledoans are opposed to the garage. For me, Sheena is a great example of what the opposition believes-that this has been a bad deal because of Promedica's inflexibility and lack of input in redevelopment of something the community believes to be theirs.

Second-Sounds like the deal has been signed off by Collins now
http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2015/01/06/ProMedica-city-have-tentative-deal.html?fb_action_ids=10152903124380067&fb_action_types=og.comments

Part of that is this little nugget "ProMedica wants the city to enter into a “Toledo Expansion Incentive Program” agreement with it. Under that program, one-third of new income tax proceeds from jobs on the site would be rebated to ProMedica."

AND-They want Council to approve it this month with groundbreaking in November.

*This isn't 550 new jobs, these are new jobs to Toledo, as in, moved from Sylvania.

posted by ahmahler on Jan 06, 2015 at 10:03:01 am     #  

*70% of those polled.

posted by slowsol on Jan 06, 2015 at 10:41:36 am     #  

Im all for negotiation and pushing to maximize gains/minimize risk and sacrifice.....but if this deal blows up because Council and others become too big pain in the ass for Promedica to deal with....well then, I guess I'll just bitch about it a lot. Its just a parking garage on a piece of property that has been totally underutilized anyway.

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Jan 06, 2015 at 11:03:09 am     #  

If the deal collapses......it would be a failure of EPIC proportions and would send a clear message to the world that Toledo, Ohio is not interested in playing ball with corporate America and is obviously not ready for prime time. The repercussions would be staggering, IMO.

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Jan 06, 2015 at 11:07:58 am     #  

The Toledo riverfront is very under utilized and the water itself is disgusting. From what I have read, the garage is only taking up a small % of the land. I personally have no problem with the info I at least I think I know at this point. When it comes to voting time, which council person will be absent or on a bathroom break to avoid any controversy. Long term this project needs to happen so it can become a catalyst for others.

posted by Hoops on Jan 06, 2015 at 11:13:21 am     #   5 people liked this

As for not feeling safe in downtown Toledo......hell, I'm far more concerned about my car being ticketed or towed. Which is a sad commentary when you think about it.

posted by BulldogBuckeye on Jan 06, 2015 at 11:25:31 am     #  

Hoops posted at 11:13:21 AM on Jan 06, 2015:

The Toledo riverfront is very under utilized and the water itself is disgusting. From what I have read, the garage is only taking up a small % of the land. I personally have no problem with the info I at least I think I know at this point. When it comes to voting time, which council person will be absent or on a bathroom break to avoid any controversy. Long term this project needs to happen so it can become a catalyst for others.

The riverfront is very underutilized.

Don't let sediment load scare you. The river is much better viewed from upon it, rather than upon the shore. Some of us care pretty deeply about that disgusting water.

What percentage is too large or small?
Is 20% ok, but 50% not ok?

They can use half of it as far as I am concerned if we can have Portside back, and the full recreational use of the balance of the park, and all docks.

posted by justread on Jan 06, 2015 at 11:31:22 am     #   3 people liked this

toledoramblingman wrote

"Majority of other downtown workers around the U.S. do not expect parking right in front of their building."

Which is why it's silly to compare Toledo to other cities, in my opinion. Residents in this area want to park close to their destinations. That's life around here. That mindset won't change.

From the Jan 4, 2015 Kushma opinion

ProMedica executives insist that building the garage on that site is an essential element of the development. They cite what they call the need to ensure the safety of the company’s employees, some of whom work at night.

From that same Kushma piece, Senior U.S. District Judge James Carr expressed a moronic viewpoint:

He dismisses the safety concerns ProMedica expresses as a “sham and pretext ... I often attend events downtown at nighttime, park on the street, and have never felt threatened or unsafe in any way.”

Attending a few or even several events downtown is not even close to the same thing as going to work at the same time each day, five days a week, 45 to 50 weeks per year. Predators rely on patterns of behavior. Hopefully, the judge is smart enough to realize that a person walking alone presents a different target compared to someone walking among dozens or hundreds of people at an event.

The alleged safety issue might be a misplaced concern to some, but if many of these employees are coming from locations outside Toledo, then it's obviously an important issue to enough people. I don't see Promedica changing their plans about parking.

Has anyone on city council called Promedica a terrorist yet?

Maybe the opponents to Promedica's plans should have started a business and grew it to thousands of employees, and then they could have obtained the clout to do what they want on that land. Right or wrong, that's business.

It might be easier and cheaper for Promedica to buy a soybean field in northern Wood County or western Lucas County and build their own campus-style setup with green space, a pond, walking trails, etc. On their campus, they could probably operate their own small stores and eateries to satisfy their employees.

posted by jr on Jan 06, 2015 at 12:47:09 pm     #   5 people liked this

BulldogBuckeye posted at 11:07:58 AM on Jan 06, 2015:

If the deal collapses......it would be a failure of EPIC proportions and would send a clear message to the world that Toledo, Ohio is not interested in playing ball with corporate America and is obviously not ready for prime time. The repercussions would be staggering, IMO.

I don't see the failure of this propsal as a sign that Toledo is not willing to play ball with corporate America. What if some corporation wanted to develop Central Park in NYC? Or similar venues in other cities. i'm not saying that Promenade Park is on the same level, but for Toledo, it is comparable.

Development has to be negotiated, not a bend-over and take it situation. Is that were this is? Eh, I don't know. I'm not sold on the idea of Toledo handing over park property, and I am definitely skeptical of Promedica getting 1/3 of income tax revenue off of this development - did someone say the parking garage would include retail on the street level, or was that a it-would-be-nice thing? For Promedica to get tax revenue from those jobs would be unprecedented.

posted by MsArcher on Jan 06, 2015 at 12:54:05 pm     #   3 people liked this

Out of curiosity, when was the last time everyone visited Promenade Park?

posted by upso on Jan 06, 2015 at 01:01:21 pm     #   8 people liked this

I've been in Promenade Park somewhat recently, but I also probably visit downtown more often than the average suburban person.

posted by mom2 on Jan 06, 2015 at 01:07:57 pm     #  

Out of curiosity, when was the last time everyone visited Promenade Park?

Several times this past Summer. Each filled with "What if's...". None included "...parking".

posted by ahmahler on Jan 06, 2015 at 01:24:15 pm     #   2 people liked this

upso posted at 01:01:21 PM on Jan 06, 2015:

Out of curiosity, when was the last time everyone visited Promenade Park?

2 weeks ago, walking from my office. I try to every week or so during nicer weather. Lots of people walk around the park during lunchtime especially.

posted by endcycle on Jan 06, 2015 at 01:28:43 pm     #  

upso posted at 01:01:21 PM on Jan 06, 2015:

Out of curiosity, when was the last time everyone visited Promenade Park?

A long time ago. Granted, I haven't lived in Toledo for nearly 7 years now, but I visit frequently. I've been to downtown many times since moving in 2008, but I can't recall visiting Promenade Park during that stretch. What reason would I have to visit it?

posted by clt212 on Jan 06, 2015 at 01:48:16 pm     #  

Nits,

Yes I have driven to my office in the winter before and it's only about five blocks.

The warehouse district to downtown isn't very pedestrian friendly (as is a lot of Toledo). A lot of the buildings don't salt or shovel their walks and it's too dangerous. THe re is also the issue of the Huntington Center and Seagate centers blocking Superior and St. Clair street and having to walk around them, not a big deal in warm weather but it with snow and ice and below zero windchills.

A lot of this could be avoided if the police department would spend as much time ticketing places for not keeping walks cleared as they did speeding:)

posted by classylady on Jan 06, 2015 at 02:05:34 pm     #  

Pardon me if this has already been discussed, but aren't there events that happen during the summer at the park? Rib Fest Maybe? I thought I've seen other events down there as well. Would those events be moved?

Just curious :)

posted by stooks on Jan 06, 2015 at 02:18:15 pm     #  

stooks posted at 02:18:15 PM on Jan 06, 2015:

Pardon me if this has already been discussed, but aren't there events that happen during the summer at the park? Rib Fest Maybe? I thought I've seen other events down there as well. Would those events be moved?

Just curious :)

I don't think there is a ribs fest there any longer. The Rib-Off is at the Fairgrounds and I don't think the Columbia Gas/Red Cross ribs event is going on any longer in Promenade Park.

It looks like the Irish festival moved to Promenade Park in 2014. I actually went to the festival in 2012 or 2013 when it was held on Huron St. between The Blarney and 5/3 Field. That was an odd location.

I think both Toledo Pride and Latino Fest are both held at Promenade Park.

posted by clt212 on Jan 06, 2015 at 02:38:43 pm     #  

Excerpts from a Jan 6, 2015 Tom Troy blog post

Councilman Rob Ludeman said he intends to argue that the proposed parking garage will occupy much the same space that the former Federal Building occupied, before that building was demolished in 2001, so little permanent park land will be lost.

As a veteran of council around 2000 under a previous attempt to develop the former Toledo Edison Steam Plant, Ludeman recalled that qualms about putting parking on the site was part of the reason developer Randy Alexander's plan for the Steam Plant fizzled out.

Here's a Blade picture from 2000 showing Randy Alexander (at left) presenting his plans to members of council at the time. (That white rectangle at the top left of the drawing was where Alexander wanted to put a surface parking lot.)


Another drawing. I wonder if the city has kept all the artistic renderings for all the proposed Toledo development projects since 2000. It would be enough for an exhibit.


Also from Troy's blog post:

When Toledo City Council members convene today in a 1 p.m. committee meeting to discuss a proposed development deal with ProMedica for the Steam Plant ...

Meeting updates found at https://twitter.com/IgnazioMessina

# - "plan to build a garage in Promenade Park downtown drawn dozens of people on both sides of issue"

# - "ProMedicaHealth's Whitney said company looked at suburbs for new HQ but the downtown is more advantageous; Now saying could be 1,000 jobs"

# - "ProMedicaHealth's Whitney said company's move downtown Toledo would mean $39.5 million new payroll for the city of Toledo"

# - "ProMedicaHealth sticking to its plan on parking. Whitney says there is not enough existing parking; wants to preserve and enhance park"

# - "ProMedicaHealth intends its project to be done with union trades."

# - "Councilman Steel says he was surprised about height @ProMedicaHealth wants for proposed parking garage in Promenade Park. (Up to 6 stories)"

# - "The @ProMedicaHealth parking garage would take 14% of Promenade Park and would include shops and an outdoor movie screen, says Ms. Whitney"

# - "Larry Sykes wants the bottom line: how much will deal with @ProMedicaHealth cost city? he asked. How will city deal with food trucks, docks?"

(Wait a minute. Sykes asked about food trucks.??? Hello?)

# - "@city_of_toledo Councilman Rob Ludeman says @ProMedicaHealth is on right track and called its project "grand slam for city of Toledo." "

# - "@lindsaymwebb said she supports @ProMedicaHealth plan to move downtown, build garage"

# - "Councilwoman @lindsaymwebb infers she understands @ProMedicaHealth concern. She didnt feel safe walking at night downtown / 2 small children"

The meeting continues, so view Ignazio's Twitter feed for later updates.

posted by jr on Jan 06, 2015 at 02:49:32 pm     #  

Everyone needs to know that Promedica isn't looking to locate downtown out of the goodness of its heart. As many have pointed out, they are a business and wouldn't be looking downtown if it didn't make sense financially.

They get this real estate for free. 1/3 of income tax would be rebated. And don't forget the state/federal tax credits they get by renovating the steam plant. This is a good deal for them.

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 06, 2015 at 02:54:32 pm     #   2 people liked this

Having 14% of Promenade Park taken up by a parking garage? Not a big deal as far as I am concerned. Especially if done right. It would be cool if they could make it harmonious with Ft Industry Square.

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 06, 2015 at 02:57:18 pm     #   5 people liked this

Maybe the opponents to Promedica's plans should have started a business and grew it to thousands of employees, and then they could have obtained the clout to do what they want on that land. Right or wrong, that's business.

Maybe. But we should remember that it is the non-profit health care business. This system grew from The Toledo Hospital, which was supported through philanthropy for many generations as Toledo's primary hospital. They secured massive donations for income producing billable assets and then billed the private insurance companies that many of us pay in to, and Medicare and Medicaid, which all working people pay into. And in the end, their system retains people from cradle to grave through referral steering. Leave the Promedica doc and take your Paramount insurance card down to The Pharmacy Counter.

So, it is not quite like they invested private speculative dollars in private industry. It's more like a protected monopoly.

The approximately $2,500,000,000.00 reserve in cash and assets after liabilities would not have been possible without donor and taxpayer funding.
I think that creates a bit of a public trust.

posted by justread on Jan 06, 2015 at 03:27:46 pm     #   8 people liked this

i want to hear more about the movie screen and shops!

posted by upso on Jan 06, 2015 at 04:06:10 pm     #   1 person liked this

I never go downtown. Probably haven't in 50 years. It's just not my cup of tea.

posted by deere1 on Jan 06, 2015 at 04:25:14 pm     #  

jr posted at 12:47:09 PM on Jan 06, 2015:

toledoramblingman wrote

"Majority of other downtown workers around the U.S. do not expect parking right in front of their building."

Which is why it's silly to compare Toledo to other cities, in my opinion. Residents in this area want to park close to their destinations. That's life around here. That mindset won't change.

From the Jan 4, 2015 Kushma opinion

ProMedica executives insist that building the garage on that site is an essential element of the development. They cite what they call the need to ensure the safety of the company’s employees, some of whom work at night.

From that same Kushma piece, Senior U.S. District Judge James Carr expressed a moronic viewpoint:

He dismisses the safety concerns ProMedica expresses as a “sham and pretext ... I often attend events downtown at nighttime, park on the street, and have never felt threatened or unsafe in any way.”

Attending a few or even several events downtown is not even close to the same thing as going to work at the same time each day, five days a week, 45 to 50 weeks per year. Predators rely on patterns of behavior. Hopefully, the judge is smart enough to realize that a person walking alone presents a different target compared to someone walking among dozens or hundreds of people at an event.

The alleged safety issue might be a misplaced concern to some, but if many of these employees are coming from locations outside Toledo, then it's obviously an important issue to enough people. I don't see Promedica changing their plans about parking.

Has anyone on city council called Promedica a terrorist yet?

Maybe the opponents to Promedica's plans should have started a business and grew it to thousands of employees, and then they could have obtained the clout to do what they want on that land. Right or wrong, that's business.

It might be easier and cheaper for Promedica to buy a soybean field in northern Wood County or western Lucas County and build their own campus-style setup with green space, a pond, walking trails, etc. On their campus, they could probably operate their own small stores and eateries to satisfy their employees.

There is a lot of land, probably cheap, up here across the border, come on up and build here. I double dog dare ya.

posted by MIJeff on Jan 06, 2015 at 04:35:15 pm     #  

From The Blade story: "ProMedica wants the city to enter into a 'Toledo Expansion Incentive Program' agreement with it. Under that program, one-third of new income tax proceeds from jobs on the site would be rebated to ProMedica."

So, if I am a new downtown Promedica worker, 1/3 of the Toledo income tax I pay goes back to my employer? Would I then, in fact, be paying taxes to my employer, a nonprofit?

Wow, the cojones on Promedica. SMH

posted by Anniecski on Jan 06, 2015 at 05:25:36 pm     #   1 person liked this

The @ProMedicaHealth parking garage would take 14% of Promenade Park and would include shops and an outdoor movie screen, says Ms. Whitney

Yeah, I don't think so. If they want a tax rebate on their own 'job creation', you can argue that. But a tax rebate for jobs created by others? No.

Where did the number on their cash/asset reserve come from?

posted by MsArcher on Jan 06, 2015 at 05:33:40 pm     #  

MrsArcher posted at 05:33:40 PM on Jan 06, 2015:

The @ProMedicaHealth parking garage would take 14% of Promenade Park and would include shops and an outdoor movie screen, says Ms. Whitney

Yeah, I don't think so. If they want a tax rebate on their own 'job creation', you can argue that. But a tax rebate for jobs created by others? No.

Where did the number on their cash/asset reserve come from?

All exempt non-profits file an annual Form 990 with the IRS; I assume the net assets of $2.5 billion referenced above was gleaned from their 2013 990. The 2012 filing showed net assets just north of $1.8 billion.

posted by bam2 on Jan 06, 2015 at 06:05:30 pm     #  

Everyone wants P Park to be as vibrant as it was in the late 80's through the mid 90's. Those days cannot be re-created unless the police start allowing social boating again.

I say give them the land under whatever deal that want. Maybe tweak it a bit so that secondary benefits enure to the City and not to Promedica, but get it done.

posted by jimavolt on Jan 06, 2015 at 06:54:01 pm     #  

Jim thanks to sponsor Rep. Rex Damschroder, Gov Kasich signed the Boater Freedom Act on July 10, 2013 which over time should eliminate what you are referencing. Might take a little time to get the taste out of everyone's mouth however. It has been posted on the thread that too many of us are looking over our shoulder at yesterday... a time of enjoyment which is gone and not coming back. That's not to state that new and better times are not ahead for all of us. If that's not to be, then thanks for the memories.

posted by Mariner on Jan 06, 2015 at 07:15:45 pm     #  

Ignazio Messina's tweet from late this afternoon:

Toledo City Council did "First Reading" on MOU with @ProMedicaHealth.

Councilman Steel said vote will be in two weeks.


Memorandum of Understanding - New Promedica Headquarters at Downtown Riverfront Site - pdf file - about 10 pages of info

Steam Plant Site, KeyBank Site, and City Parcel, along with all adjacent vacated rights of way as provided in this MOU will be referred to, collectively, as the "ProMedica Campus ".

ProMedica intends to construct the Parking Facility Development, to include up to six (6) above ground levels and one (1) below Summit Street grade level, to serve up to approximately 750 vehicles at the Federal Building Site to include the southwest corner of Promenade Park.

The Riverfront Site includes a walkway along the Maumee River connecting walkers traveling north and south of the north property line of Riverfront Site (i.e., north of the Steam Plant Site) and south and north of the south property line of the Riverfront Site (i.e., south of Promenade Park) (the “Community Walkway”), ProMedica and the City acknowledge and agree on the importance of this Community Walkway to promote the riverfront view, to create access and circulation to riverfront destinations, and, importantly, to creating a recreation amenity for residents and visitors to enjoy Toledo’s unique asset: the Maumee River.


Excerpts from the Jan 6, 2015 Toledo Free Press story about today's meeting.

... [Promedica's] plan to build a six-story parking structure in the southwest corner of the park. The structure is a key part of ProMedica’s plan to move up to 1,000 employees into the former steam plant and KeyBank building Downtown.

The plan will take administrative employees from 17 different locations — largely suburban — and put them into the Downtown location. Whitney said the parking garage location is important for matters of proximity and safety of employees and visitors.

“We looked at some other suburban opportunities — and there are benefits to that — but we really think that the community revitalization component of coming Downtown really puts this over the top as our best solution,” Whitney said.

Council will further discuss ProMedica’s plan to move Downtown at 1 p.m. Jan. 14 in the council chambers at One Government Center.


Jan 6, 2015 Toledo News Now story

If approved construction on the project would start next year and finish by 2017.

Hot topics discussed included ProMedica's plan to enter into a tax incentive program, allowing a portion of income tax proceeds to be refunded back to the company.

"What that equates to from an income tax standpoint for the City of Toledo is about $625,000 a year and that's critical to our budget that every year we struggle with," said Councilman Matt Sapara. "It seems like every spring we talk about pools and all of these things, infrastructure and we never have money to fix. Well, this is how we overcome those issues, by doing projects just like this."

City council added swimming pools and food trucks to the discussion.

posted by jr on Jan 06, 2015 at 07:39:04 pm     #  

Robin Whitney 7a Wednesday for her first radio interview on the ProMedica move

posted by fred on Jan 06, 2015 at 09:14:16 pm     #  

Councilman Matt Sapara

Sapara is head of Economic Development, not an elected councilman.

posted by MsArcher on Jan 06, 2015 at 09:34:28 pm     #  

1. Income tax credit-
http://www.toledo.oh.gov/media/29827/Toledo-Expansion-Incentive-TEI-Guidelines.pdf

The credit only applies to 1/3 of tax revenues the city would collect in excess of current benchmarked collections. So tax collections would increase. In addition the maximum length of the credit is 10 years. So years 1-10 the city will collect at least 67 cents on the dollar of new revenue. Year 11 100 cents of a dollar of new revenue. I can live with that, that's how business works until the tax code is completely changed.

2. The park-
Bell started the park expansion to stimulate interest. Well here it is. Rally by the River managed to work fine with a giant Federal building taking up a lot of the current space.

3. The no to anything segment-
No to building 5/3 field, to many warehouses torn down, keep it at the Dog track in Maumee
No to Myron Stewart tearing down part of an old strip club
No to Huntington Center, buildings will be torn down, keep it on the East side
No to the Glass Museum, jewels of the old west end will be torn down, it clashes with the Victorian houses.

We're accepting of strip club shoot outs-
http://www.13abc.com/story/27741731/man-hurt-after-shooting-in-chez-joey-bar
We're accepting of child predators running rampant in our libraries-
http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2015/01/04/Trouble-often-shatters-hush-of-local-libraries.html
We're accepting of violent criminal robberies
http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2015/01/06/Man-shot-attempting-to-rob-downtown-shop.html
We're accepting of out of control youth mobs
http://www.toledoblade.com/business/2015/01/06/Unescorted-teens-barred-from-mall.html

But we draw the line at progress!

posted by MrGlass419 on Jan 06, 2015 at 11:39:36 pm     #   8 people liked this

Well said MrGlass419

posted by gunz1 on Jan 07, 2015 at 06:16:24 am     #  

The "opposition" is being misrepresented. I don't know anyone that is against Promedica moving downtown. So, I guess that would mean there's no opposition. The critics of this move, are critical of the back door deal that is going down between one of the largest corporations and a thus far, untrustworthy and perhaps borderline incompetent mayor that will change the landscape of this city. Of this were an open conversation and even council was aware of the negotiations, it might be a different story. I'm just a little surprised at how trusting some people are of a Collins and Promedica. Here's what the critics want: transparency and competency. Do you feel like you're getting both? Shouldn't we always expect those things?

posted by ahmahler on Jan 07, 2015 at 07:15:34 am     #   5 people liked this

"Here's what the critics want: transparency and competency."

In Toledo / Lucas County?? Good one.

Some citizens have been wanting that from our local, political dimwits for many years, but demanding such things in the past got you labeled as being 'negative.'

So fall in line, accept things as they are, and end your negative attitude with your questioning about issues that involve our tax dollars.

It took me a while, but I finally realized that the above recommendation is a winning formula that has produced great results in the past, despite Toledo's population declining by 100,000 people in the past 40 years.

And it's more fun to be ignorant of what's happening. You care less too, which gives your more free time to devote to fantasy football. Being blissfully unaware makes food taste better and the weather feel warmer.

I don't give a damn what happens to the steamplant nor Promenade Park. A super-size Chez Joey could open in the steamplant, which would be a mixed-use facility, containing a center for the performing arts and a shooting range.

I'm sad that this means an end to Opal Covey's dream for the steamplant from 2009.

[Opal] mentioned an idea she got from someone about converting the old steam plant into an indoor water park. The smokestacks would be used for "rock climbing."

posted by jr on Jan 07, 2015 at 08:55:19 am     #   4 people liked this

I can already envision future stories in the Blade newspaper referring to the Promedica Campus, formerly known as Promenade Park, Key Bank and the Steam Plant.........memories of UTMC/MCO

posted by Hoops on Jan 07, 2015 at 09:03:09 am     #   1 person liked this

Here's the interview in case you missed it. http://www.iheart.com/show/139-Fred-LefeBvre-The-Morning/

posted by fred on Jan 07, 2015 at 11:01:13 am     #  

ahmahler - you are correct unfortunately incompetency runs rampant in America and people are willing to accept mediocrity as a norm.

posted by trixanne on Jan 07, 2015 at 11:22:46 am     #  

council approved the parking garage 11-1
with Ford being the only dissenting vote

posted by upso on Jan 20, 2015 at 04:48:36 pm     #   6 people liked this

upso, I think it would be more correct to say that they voted to approve the Memorandum of Understanding covering the overall "deal," without in any way questioning the parking garage.

posted by Bandito on Jan 20, 2015 at 08:14:18 pm     #   4 people liked this

upso posted at 04:48:36 PM on Jan 20, 2015:

council approved the parking garage 11-1
with Ford being the only dissenting vote

All concerns about the parking structure and ultimate use of the park and surrounding spaces, there was no alternative.

For a councilperson to go against this would have been political suicide.
Jack, we hardly knew ye.

posted by justread on Jan 21, 2015 at 06:00:36 am     #  

(All concerns aside.)

posted by justread on Jan 21, 2015 at 06:01:44 am     #  

With all due respect justread, if JayFo runs again, he'll be re-elected without even breaking a sweat. We're talking about Toledo voters here.

posted by Foodie on Jan 21, 2015 at 09:01:42 am     #   2 people liked this

That's right. He would have to vote against a union.

posted by justread on Jan 21, 2015 at 09:04:24 am     #   1 person liked this

Pipe dreaming here:

The Eyde Company announces their redevelopment of the Fiberglas Tower into apartments, a hotel, and a restaurant. They do all the asbestos cleanup. Then everything seems to stop.

Somewhere around that time, ProMedica announces their plan to move downtown. And now, details come out that a second phase will bring another 1500 employees downtown, and from the Blade article, "Mr. Oostra said the company is pursuing options to purchase other buildings downtown."

What are the chances ProMedica has been talking with the Eydes for a while now, giving them a talk along the lines of "finish up that asbestos work, then why don't you hold off on anything else for a bit. We may want to take this building off your hands in a couple years."

posted by Johio83 on Jan 21, 2015 at 09:31:10 am     #  

I get the impression the Eyde company bought the building with the plan of getting the asbestos removal grant - thus using their own sister company to remove it. NOT to redevelop it.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 21, 2015 at 09:57:34 am     #  

Midwest Environmental Control is an Eyde sister company?

posted by slowsol on Jan 21, 2015 at 10:31:46 am     #  

Cant find Midwest Environmental Control on the BBB, looks like they are based in Perrysburg and Edwards AFB in California, the Eyde company is up in Lansing. As far as I can tell those 2 companies aren't connected.

posted by MIJeff on Jan 21, 2015 at 05:16:47 pm     #  

I think I've mentioned it before, but I met the Eydes guy on a few occasions and his lip service about why work wasn't being done was always along the lines of "just waiting on a few more tax credits..."

posted by upso on Jan 21, 2015 at 05:37:18 pm     #  

The Owner - GEORGE F EYDE LIMITED FAMILY PARTNERSHIP uses the Eyde Company (his) to remove the asbestos. They contract Midwest. It can be very costly for a contractor to manage a sub contractor.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 21, 2015 at 05:42:16 pm     #  

But I am only guessing.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 21, 2015 at 06:59:53 pm     #  

All concerns aside about the parking structure and ultimate use of the park and surrounding spaces, there was no alternative.
On the contrary, ProMedica did not even attempt to substantiate their assertions that only one level of underground parking is possible. And neither the bloviator Matt Sapara nor the members of City Council called upon ProMedica to provide the data and analysis on which their "conclusion" was based (if we can call it that if in fact they never seriously studied the matter).

Here are a couple of actual responses from Council Members to calls for ProMedica's claims about underground parking to be validated: "I have a recollection regarding the water level at the [Federal Building] site...," and "I'm told the water table is equally a challenge..." Sorry, but "I have a recollection," and "I'm told" ain't good enough.

I had written to City Council, "In God we trust, all others bring data," citing a quotation that apparently is often wrongly attributed to Deming. Apparently, City Council subscribes to the "In ProMedica we trust" school of thought.

As I wrote further to the honorable "members":

The question is not, "how deep can we go?" It's "what is the level of the water table?" The answer is not, "It's too high." The answer is "X number of feet above sea level."

If a proper study has in fact been conducted, ProMedica, their contractors, or their consultants can very easily answer that question and substantiate their assertions. It would be found in the spreadsheets and Word documents included in their study. The study would provide the data, the source thereof, the analysis, cost estimates, and conclusions.

But enough about the unconfirmed potential for more underground parking (for now, at least). I'll respond later regarding other options to ProMedica's chosen garage plans that actually were considered, and those which were not.

posted by Bandito on Jan 21, 2015 at 07:07:50 pm     #   1 person liked this

I meant there was no alternative vote for a city councilperson. There was no political alternative.

I'm not worried about how deep you can dig. I don't want a big hole there anyway.

posted by justread on Jan 21, 2015 at 07:26:15 pm     #  

Am I the only person who doesn't really care if a parking garage is built there? Promenade Park is barely used. Everything in that area is basically empty. Let it get put to use, regardless of the politics.

Was Promedica completely upfront about their plans regarding this stupid fucking parking garage? No, almost certainly not. Should we let that stop a multi-billion dollar company from moving downtown? Hell no! I can agree that Promedica is kind of bullying their way through this whole deal, but until the economic situation in this city changes, that's just the way it is.

posted by hunkytownsausage on Jan 21, 2015 at 08:21:44 pm     #   10 people liked this

Opportunities like this do not happen very often, let's get this thing moving. I agree, the park is under utilized and the "view" means squat. I look forward to the ripple effect and what else might happen downtown.

posted by Hoops on Jan 22, 2015 at 08:21:55 am     #   3 people liked this

The best days for the park were when the federal building was in the park and half of the existing park was taken up. Now a company wants to bring in jobs and put in a building that covers a much smaller percentage of the park and people are flipping out. Get a grip.

posted by clt212 on Jan 22, 2015 at 08:58:34 am     #   3 people liked this

Maybe the behavior of the small group of people who asked questions and discussed alternatives to a pretty major change was over the top, but I sure didn't see it.
One day one small group of people placed yellow tape to help visualize the impact and evaluate what it might be. Not my cup of tea, but nit exactly "flipping out." Another day, a small group of people addressed council in an orderly and professional manner. Some of these people were well-respected members of this community. While their opinion didn't necessarily match mine or yours, they represented themselves well.

I would hate to think this dialog is inappropriate, and therefore must be marginalized, criticized and described as "flipping out."

posted by justread on Jan 22, 2015 at 09:30:58 am     #   5 people liked this

justread - Sorry, I meant on social media. I should have clarified that.

posted by clt212 on Jan 22, 2015 at 09:33:20 am     #  

I see. I didn't see the social media stuff.

Count me as one who thought it smelled funny but didn't want to hold up progress over it. For me, and maybe just me, a larger issue in that section of downtown is what I personally perceive as a misuse of the portside space in light of all the development around it in recent years.

posted by justread on Jan 22, 2015 at 10:14:20 am     #  

You're spot-on with your analysis on here of what needs to be done with that area. Bringing docks back is essential to the success of the area. Developing Portside for what it was intended to be when it was built would make more sense now as part of the Promedica project, but that economic drain Imagination Station is treated like a golden calf for some odd reason.

It's too bad that there is so much resistance because with some perspective and foresight, this could have turned into a great project that stretched from One Seagate south to the High-Level. The Promedica project is still at an early enough stage for that to still happen, but I just don't see it because it would require business leaders, politicians, and citizens (mostly apathetic or naysayers compared to forward-thinking) to work together for the common good.

posted by clt212 on Jan 22, 2015 at 10:40:20 am     #  

Let's get on the Imagination Station board and start talking about other spaces with lower heating bills and better bus parking. ProMedica is one of their donors. This could all come together.

posted by justread on Jan 22, 2015 at 10:47:57 am     #   7 people liked this

This has all been asked and answered. It just has not been mainstream discussed.

posted by Mariner on Jan 22, 2015 at 11:25:44 am     #  

"Count me as one who thought it smelled funny ..."

That's understandable, or maybe I'm confused by the arithmetic. Admittedly, I have not followed this story closely, so maybe someone can eliminate my puzzlement below.

On Feb 4, 2014, news broke about ProMedica's downtown Toledo plan. At that time, Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and chief executive officer, said that he envisioned an underground parking structure, and ProMedica expected 700 employees would be moved to the downtown location.

The Jan 5, 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (pdf file) between ProMedica and Toledo stated that approximately 800 employees would be moved to the downtown location, and a mostly above-ground parking structure would be needed.

On Jan 6, 2015, Toledo City Council held a public meeting to discuss the Jan 5, 2015 MOU. At this meeting, Robin Whitney, ProMedica’s vice president of property acquisition and development, said that up to 1,000 employees could be moved downtown. Obviously, that employee number disagreed with the MOU.

I have no idea if MOUs need to be accurate. Maybe an MOU is simply a vague outline.

On Jan 8, 2015, Randy Oostra, ProMedica’s CEO, said that up to 2,500 employees could be moved to the downtown location.

Has ProMedica said why or how the number mushroomed from 800 on Jan 5 to 2,500 on Jan 8?

Changing the number from 700 to 800 over 11 months is no big deal. But a 1,700 increase over three days seems puzzling.

On Jan 20, 2015, Toledo City Council voted to "authorize a memorandum of understanding" with ProMedica.

What MOU did Toleco City Council approve?

The most recent MOU that I can find is listed on the front page of the City of Toledo website, and it's dated Jan 14, 2015 (pdf file). A summary is also posted.

Does a more current MOU exist?

The Jan 14, 2015 MOU states the following information:

  • approximately 800 employees
  • parking availability for up to 750 vehicles
  • parking facility would consist of 6 above ground levels and 1 below ground level

That's the same info that's listed in the Jan 5 MOU.

At the Jan 6 city council meeting, Whitney said that the parking requirements as defined in the Jan 5 MOU would consume 14 percent of Promenade Park.

But according to a Jan 20, 2015 Toledo Blade story, ProMedica is sticking with the 2,500 employee number.

Randy Oostra, ProMedica’s chief executive officer, said the number of jobs the company plans to move downtown could balloon to as many 2,500.

If it's 2,500 employees does that mean:

  • parking facility for up to 2,250 vehicles
  • parking facility would consist of 18 above ground levels OR 3 separate garages with each consisting of 6 above ground levels
  • if 3 separate garages, then 42 percent of Promenade Park would be consumed

On Jan 20, did Toledo City Council aprove an invalid or false MOU?

Shouldn't the MOU account for the 2,500 employee number and the corresponding number of vehicles that would entail?

Does a 750-vehicle parking structure provide enough parking if ProMedica moves 2,500 employees downtown?

One of ProMedica's reasons for the parking structure was because ProMedica determined that not enough parking currently exists that would support ProMedica and potentially other new businesses.

It's fine to me that city council approved the MOU, but if it's the Jan 14 MOU, then that's not fine because that info appears to be inaccurate. And if a more current MOU exists, then shame on Toledo government for not posting it on their website.

posted by jr on Jan 22, 2015 at 12:30:18 pm     #   2 people liked this

Jr some time I believe in Oct 2014 Key Bank decided they would be moving completely out of their building. This allows for the increase from 700/800-1400. It was in the Blade.

posted by savah1128 on Jan 22, 2015 at 01:20:07 pm     #  

Who uses the parking deck next to the Fiberglas Tower? I imagine the owner of that structure would be open to expanding using a partnership with Promedica if the deck in Promenade Park will only be for 700-800 and they'll need to accommodate 2,500 employees. Also, the last few times I've had meetings downtown while in town, I've parked at Vistula and there were plenty of open spaces.

Also, for those in the know, what are the vacancy rates at One Seagate and HCR Manor Care? Three Seagate and the steam plant can't fit 2,500. Of course there are plenty of empty buildings within a block or two...

posted by clt212 on Jan 22, 2015 at 01:22:05 pm     #  

savah1128 posted at 01:20:07 PM on Jan 22, 2015:

Jr some time I believe in Oct 2014 Key Bank decided they would be moving completely out of their building. This allows for the increase from 700/800-1400. It was in the Blade.

Yeah, Key Bank is moving into the same building as the Chamber, Libbey Glass, Toledo Edison/First Energy. When I was a summer (and Christmas break) teller for Key, they started moving people from corporate to the branches and since then, they have spun off McDonald Investments and closed the Three Seagate branch. There aren't too many people working in that building and definitely not enough to justify whatever the costs are for the Three Seagate building.

posted by clt212 on Jan 22, 2015 at 01:27:49 pm     #  

What MOU did Toleco City Council approve?

The most recent MOU that I can find is listed on the front page of the City of Toledo website, and it's dated Jan 14, 2015 (pdf file). A summary is also posted.

! posted by jr on Jan 22, 2015 at 12:30:18 pm

That's the current MOU that passed. It only covers the original plans for the initial 1,000, which is the original 700-800, plus additional organic growth in the immediate coming years. The additional 1,500 they trounced out at the last minute is casually being referred to as Phase II. The MOU only pertains to Phase 1. However, it is suspected that the reason they added the extra handout of the parcel next to Imagination Station is in anticipation of Phase II.

Phase II is the elephant in the bedroom that nobody involved wanted to recognize. Jr., I've asked the same questions you raise here, but they fell on deaf ears.

Sample:
First, Phase II is the real elephant in the room that neither ProMedica nor Matt Sapara want to acknowledge, much less address. The plans for Phase I were laid out to address the initial move of up to 1,000 employees. Yet we are told that "there are no other options" for parking other than the proposed garage.

Ok, for the sake of argument, let's take that at face value. What does that say about providing parking for an additional 1,500 employees under Phase II ?!? If there are no other options for the initial 1,000 (or a portion thereof) now, surely there are no other options for an additional 1,500 later.

It was speculated above that ProMedica might already have a future deal in the works for the Fiberglass Tower and its garage. That does seem the most logical choice to accommodate Phase II, though they would still need to add more parking.

posted by Bandito on Jan 22, 2015 at 02:58:10 pm     #  

I speculate that Phase II will involve moving COSI out of Portside and making that building into offices....

posted by Brewster on Jan 23, 2015 at 08:34:02 am     #  

Brewster posted at 08:34:02 AM on Jan 23, 2015:

I speculate that Phase II will involve moving COSI out of Portside and making that building into offices....

Making a fiscally reasonable decision involving Imagination Station??? Is this the same Toledo, Ohio?!?!

posted by clt212 on Jan 23, 2015 at 08:44:07 am     #   2 people liked this

Aug 12, 2015 tweet by Lindsay Webb

@ProMedicaHealth rendering for downtown #toledo campus


posted by jr on Aug 12, 2015 at 04:25:22 pm     #  

And boaters lose the docks, and old people lose a stage for .38 Special.

posted by justread on Aug 12, 2015 at 06:56:58 pm     #  

I live in the warehouse district/downtown and work downtown in the PNC building and am very excited that Promedica is moving downtown. This will definitely improve my loft value, will bring more businesses downtown and Promedica's security team will make the area safer.

I enjoy walking my dog along Promonade Park and I never see more than 20 people there unless an event is going on so I don't know why all these people are complaining about the loss of green space. Promedica will still leave plenty of room for walking and events. I've noticed a lot of letters to the editor to the Blade are from people that don't even live in Toledo so this issue shouldn't be of any concern to them.

I'd love to know how many people that are saying the employees should park offsite and walk are doing the same thing? I'm willing to say not many or they would realize what a pain it is if you have to leave work early for something like a doctor's appointment or if you are a female wearing a dress and heels in the winter, etc.

The people pushing for the employees to walk a few blocks have obviously never walked downtown in the winter. I walk to work almost every day between April and October and live between 1/3 to 1/2 mile from my office. I don't walk to work in the winter because the majority of sidewalks downtown aren't salted/shoveled. I challenge anyone that says the employee should park a few blocks away and walk to park downtown and walk six blocks during a snow storm or even within a day after a major snow storm stops. The alternative of parking and walking a few blocks may be a good one IF the city forces business owners to keep their walks shoveled and salted.

There is also the issue of paying for employee parking. If they use an offsite garage they will be forced to pay for parking for every employee to the garage owner and some of the garages have waiting lists. If Promedica builds their own garage they won't have that issue. There is also the issue of visitor parking as well which would be another benefit to having their own garage.

posted by classylady on Aug 12, 2015 at 11:05:18 pm     #   3 people liked this

Healthcare is a strong sector that Toledo needs to latch on to and really push for more development around it. Promedica is going to give a nice boost to downtown. No it won't solve all the problems, but it is at least another piece and getting the CBD going again.

posted by JustaSooner on Aug 13, 2015 at 01:43:26 am     #  

Healthcare is a strong sector

It sure looks that way from the outside. But sometimes size and strength are not one in the same. Health care is a tenuous monster propped up by multiple payers and philanthropy and complicated by constant government manipulation.
Yes, there is plenty of room for remora on the shark, but we have to remember that the taxpayer and consumer feed the shark, and the donors build the tank.

In any event, I encourage board members to repeat the words "healthcare is a strong sector" over and over during the next board meeting where they have to sit through budget cuts because CMS changed another rule one way or another, causing a massive shock wave through the sector.

But will housing the shark downtown help downtown? Yes.

Do we want a bigger, stronger, more powerful shark? No.
It's already big enough to push local government around and it spends an awful lot on media. Enormous is quite big enough. Ask the FTC and St. Luke's. Hospital monster want to eat more hospital. Nom nom nom.

posted by justread on Aug 13, 2015 at 04:50:23 am     #  

Initially I was opposed to the building of the parking garage, however, it doesn't take too many trips downtown to see that renewing this area and OCCUPYING it is an improvement over the current state. There is still considerable green space on either side of the river, perhaps the revenue from additional business in the city (and hopefully some downtown residents) might incent the city to develop and better connect these areas.

Hopefully the city requires that they deliver on the artists rendition.

posted by breeman on Aug 13, 2015 at 06:16:32 am     #  

Hopefully the city requires that they deliver on the artists rendition.
The city has required nothing so far. Promedica is Darth Vader talking to the City of Toledo (Lando) " I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further. " Neither Toledo nor Lando have any leverage. They'll do what they want, that rendering is just a nice gesture.
I never see more than 20 people there unless an event is going on so I don't know why all these people are complaining about the loss of green space.

Because a) Promedica never looked at a compromised solution for that space, they only chose one that fully benefited them (i.e.-put the garage fully underground, or utilize the now-to-be-demolished space where Hotel Seagate is. b)Just because it hasn't been used the right way in 20 years doesn't mean the residents of Lucas County should just hand the keys over. That parcel represents one of the best green spaces anywhere in the area. Boo to the City of Toledo for not utilizing it correctly. That park went unused because the City never dealt with it after Party in the Parks went away. Disbanding Citifest (not to mention ineptness from the start) plus, responsibility for Erie St Market doomed Promenade Park as much it doomed Citifest. This doesn't mean that space isn't viable for a public park.

On a side note-we rented the Gazebo at International park for my Father's Birthday party this past weekend. What a great space-also under utilized. 75 attendees-no one even knew that space existed. We have some tremendous assets, some are fairly well known, but many aren't. The City/ Parks department needs to take a moment and figure out a way to raise awareness for the properties and quality of existing greenspaces. We only paid $80 to rent it for the entire day. People have no idea you can do this sort of thing. A little information campaign can go a long way, and potentially raise some revenue. Incidentally-they would have rented Promenade Park to us for the same cost except it was booked for an event (that was subsequently moved).

posted by ahmahler on Aug 13, 2015 at 08:56:00 am     #   1 person liked this

justread posted at 05:50:23 AM on Aug 13, 2015:

Healthcare is a strong sector

It sure looks that way from the outside. But sometimes size and strength are not one in the same. Health care is a tenuous monster propped up by multiple payers and philanthropy and complicated by constant government manipulation.
Yes, there is plenty of room for remora on the shark, but we have to remember that the taxpayer and consumer feed the shark, and the donors build the tank.

In any event, I encourage board members to repeat the words "healthcare is a strong sector" over and over during the next board meeting where they have to sit through budget cuts because CMS changed another rule one way or another, causing a massive shock wave through the sector.

But will housing the shark downtown help downtown? Yes.

Do we want a bigger, stronger, more powerful shark? No.
It's already big enough to push local government around and it spends an awful lot on media. Enormous is quite big enough. Ask the FTC and St. Luke's. Hospital monster want to eat more hospital. Nom nom nom.

Keep in mind when I speak about Healthcare, I'm talking more than just at the local level with Promedica, Mercy, etc. I'm also talking about reaching into areas of extended care (HCR) and medical research which is a growing sector. It is about developing synergies between areas and taking advantage of what is currently growing. The insurance sector is obviously propped up pretty strongly right now with the ACA, so there is an opportunity there.

I get what you are saying Justread, but I'm not narrowly focused on just Promedica. They are, and should be, just one piece to help spur additional development and activity. I hope the new president at UT would take serious focus on what to do with their UTMC operation and find a way to significantly increase the medical research and education programs in health sciences to help put in another piece of the puzzle.

posted by JustaSooner on Aug 13, 2015 at 09:13:10 am     #  

If the picture above is an accurate rendering of what Promenade Park will become, I am puzzled that anyone would consider it less than a truly fine use of that plot of land.

Ample "green space" well landscaped....and a steam plant building brought back to life. Isn't this the progress everyone dreams of for the downtown area?

Consider the pictures sometime run by the Blade's Peach Section depicting a bustling downtown with streets filled with people. There was never a clear view of Summit St. in those days (I remember and was there for some of that) and no one cared. People were spending money, businesses were making money.

As ahmahler stated, there is much space still left to use that very few are interested in using. Promedica is stepping up to revitalize dead space. I say salute!!

posted by ThePolishFalcon on Aug 13, 2015 at 04:46:06 pm     #  

*"their UTMC operation" The former Medical College of Ohio.

posted by TrilbyGuy on Aug 13, 2015 at 05:18:37 pm     #  

We went down to the antique boat show this past Saturday. It was held on the waterfront along the FKA Seagate complex. Nice show - saw some amazing boats, lots of Lymans but the best in show IMHO was a 1930 Dart - made in Toledo. It was beautiful.

Some other observations:

We walked into the lobby of the new Renaissance and looked around. Very nice. The restaurant on the ground level has a beautiful, long bar. They are probably still putting the finishing touches on things but I definitely detected a fairly strong odor of sewer inside. They may just need to pour some water down the floor drains to fill the traps.

The grounds of the 5th 3rd building are in deplorable condition. Best described as a dry, well mowed weed patch.

The floating docks were in great shape - are they new?

The grounds of Promedica and Promenade park are looking quite amazing. Their "mostly underground parking structure" is at least an attractive one.

Then we paid particular attention to the waterside of the Imagination Station and, once again, lamented what a waste of prime waterfront real estate. Nice outdoor dining area overlooking the river that should be occupied by a nice restaurant with live music.

posted by Foodie on Aug 30, 2017 at 10:09:17 am     #   4 people liked this

Then we paid particular attention to the waterside of the Imagination Station and, once again, lamented what a waste of prime waterfront real estate. Nice outdoor dining area overlooking the river that should be occupied by a nice restaurant with live music.

Quoted for Truth.

posted by justread on Aug 30, 2017 at 10:19:34 am     #  

Boat show was interesting Saturday. I didn't know boats were ever made in Toledo.

The concert Friday was a lot of fun. I love the screen on the parking garage.

Have there been any announcements as to Promedica's plans with Edison Plaza?

posted by classylady on Aug 30, 2017 at 10:25:18 am     #  

The docks were purchased under the Bell years installed, maintained,and stored at city expense at that time. There were no events after purchase so for a brief couple of years a waste of money. After the transfer of the property to Promedica they probably just got thrown in with the deal. Interesting question as to ownership, liability and maintenance expense. One more PHH hidden activity question. When the boat show was put on last year the city provided the SBH labor to put in docks days before but only from Imagination east to the Cherry bridge. That show for years was a corporate sponsered, paid admission event put on by Scott Ramsey and his brothers owners of Dart Boat in dwntwn. If the city picks up the tab for it nice spiff for them.

posted by Mariner on Aug 30, 2017 at 10:27:44 am     #  

Edison Plaza will become the offices for Paramount and some will be ProMedica office space. The official ribbon cutting ceremony is tomorrow night.

posted by Hoops on Aug 30, 2017 at 10:43:58 am     #  

Ya know, I had forgotten that the Ramsey boys own Dart Boat Company. They were down there Saturday and this photo is from Saturday. It's the 1930 Dart I spoke of above.

posted by Foodie on Aug 30, 2017 at 11:46:51 am     #  

"Promedica has a responsibility to make money and be competitive"

No - they do NOT have a responsibility to make money. Promedica is NON-PROFIT. They pay their upper management many millions, constantly pay money to froufrou decorators to redo last year's wallpaper, but they are not-for-profit. If they do anything for Toledo or for their employees, there's always an ulterior motive. I wouldn't trust them for anything!

posted by knitbunnie on Sep 03, 2017 at 12:23:01 pm     #  

knitbunnie posted at 01:23:01 PM on Sep 03, 2017:

"Promedica has a responsibility to make money and be competitive"

No - they do NOT have a responsibility to make money. Promedica is NON-PROFIT. They pay their upper management many millions, constantly pay money to froufrou decorators to redo last year's wallpaper, but they are not-for-profit. If they do anything for Toledo or for their employees, there's always an ulterior motive. I wouldn't trust them for anything!

Non-profit doesn't mean their goal isn't to profit. How could they continue to exist if they spent more money than they make?

posted by ckbeats21 on Sep 03, 2017 at 02:39:33 pm     #  

Very true ckbeats21

posted by Dappling2 on Sep 03, 2017 at 08:24:26 pm     #  

ckbeats21 posted at 03:39:33 PM on Sep 03, 2017:
knitbunnie posted at 01:23:01 PM on Sep 03, 2017:

"Promedica has a responsibility to make money and be competitive"

No - they do NOT have a responsibility to make money. Promedica is NON-PROFIT. They pay their upper management many millions, constantly pay money to froufrou decorators to redo last year's wallpaper, but they are not-for-profit. If they do anything for Toledo or for their employees, there's always an ulterior motive. I wouldn't trust them for anything!

Non-profit doesn't mean their goal isn't to profit. How could they continue to exist if they spent more money than they make?

Actually it means exactly that, which is why it's called "non-profit" and why they don't have to pay taxes like regular businesses. Making $ is supposed to be a means to a different end (whatever social cause, etc.)

posted by Columbusguy on Sep 04, 2017 at 12:46:54 am     #   2 people liked this

Here is the definition of non-profit:

"A nonprofit organization (also known as a non-business entity) is an organization that has been formed by a group of people in order "to pursue a common not-for-profit goal", that is, to pursue a stated goal without the intention of distributing excess revenue to members or leaders."

Meaning the goal isn't too make the CEO and the owners excessively wealthy. The entity can still and often does turn a profit but those funds aren't spent on the owners.

That is why you see non profits spend HUGE amounts of money elsewhere. See Promedica and the constant building.

Here is a good article to read about it:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2016/05/08/very-profitable-nonprofit-hospitals-but-where-are-the-profits-going/#70d5ddb736b2

posted by Xbuckeyex on Sep 04, 2017 at 06:29:48 am     #  

We went down to Promenade Park yesterday for the "Hot Glass/Music" event after leaving the Farmer's Market. It was shortly after it opened at 10 am so the crowd was light but continued to grow as we were there. It was a decent event and nice to see Promenade Park actually being used.
Gotta hand it to Promedica - they've done a great job with the space.
Very attractive venue that I believe will continue to grow.
Just wish we could have made it down Friday night for the TSO performance.

posted by Foodie on Sep 17, 2017 at 04:54:02 am     #  

Foodie posted at 05:54:02 AM on Sep 17, 2017:

We went down to Promenade Park yesterday for the "Hot Glass/Music" event after leaving the Farmer's Market. It was shortly after it opened at 10 am so the crowd was light but continued to grow as we were there. It was a decent event and nice to see Promenade Park actually being used.
Gotta hand it to Promedica - they've done a great job with the space.

Very attractive venue that I believe will continue to grow.

Just wish we could have made it down Friday night for the TSO performance.

The river and channel out to the harbor light were somewhat busy yesterday. I cruised by a couple times between 1 and 2PM. I saw the water taxi make a run back from the National Museum of the Great Lakes. If you are a boat watcher, you saw me.

The second pass by Promenade on my way back out to the lake I said to my passenger, "It feels like it's coming back a little." But a nice Saturday at the beginning or end of the season will always be busy, I guess. The more events we hold adjacent to docks, the more boaters will come here instead of points east and north.

Also very refreshing was the absence of hyper-enforcement from every agency in the state with watercraft. Knowing you will be stopped and boarded if you try to pass through downtown has a chilling effect. Stop and board people doing dumb things. Not everybody like a daily road checkpoint.

posted by justread on Sep 17, 2017 at 06:11:11 am     #   2 people liked this

Are the rules different on the water? Don't the authorities need reasonable suspicion to "stop and board?"

Do you need to waive your 4th Amendment rights when you get a boat?

posted by JohnnyMac on Sep 17, 2017 at 06:28:08 am     #  

You are subject to an administrative inspection if you are piloting a watercraft. But when the ratio of water cops to boaters is 1:1... and they have to do SOMETHING to justify tooling around all day on taxpayer fuel... you gon git boarded.

posted by justread on Sep 17, 2017 at 07:05:28 am     #  

So... we went to Momentum today. It was actually a pleasure being able to park, and walk out of the garage right into Promenade Park. I guess this is my way of making peace over whatever we got sold. Park looks great, very excited to attend future events.

posted by ahmahler on Sep 17, 2017 at 05:51:59 pm     #   1 person liked this

for the Prince tribute with npg and the toledo symphoney... sounded great and crowd appeared to love it... the guy had the pipes to carry off Prince vocals which isnt an easy task. it was a beautiful evening and weekend in downtown and WHD.

also kudos to TSA and the concert they had last evening.

i di have an issue with something and i am interested what others think.... for the Prince event there was a bag check (not surprising) and a drivers license magnetic strip scan... i can understanding checking IDs for a wristband to purchase adult beverages but scanning drivers license ?? by either the arts commission or promedica ?! so does promedica now know everyone who came to event ?! will that info be used in other ways ?

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Sep 17, 2017 at 06:29:09 pm     #  

I'm assuming it's the same type of machine they use at the casino and certain bars - it probably ensures authenticity of the ID, and doesn't store info. Although anything is possible, I guess.

posted by dell_diva on Sep 17, 2017 at 06:53:29 pm     #  

We went down for the last concert and they did not need your drivers license if you were not drinking. They did check our chair bags and wife's purse.

posted by OldTimer on Sep 17, 2017 at 07:29:29 pm     #  

dell_diva posted at 07:53:29 PM on Sep 17, 2017:

I'm assuming it's the same type of machine they use at the casino and certain bars - it probably ensures authenticity of the ID, and doesn't store info. Although anything is possible, I guess.

Drivers license scanners can be used just for age verification, but they also can collect ALL the information on your drivers license; name, address, license number, DOB and license expiration date.

This allows a facility to compile a list of frequent customers and make special offers to them. Or, I suppose it could also be sold to advertising companies interested in targeting a specific market segment.

https://scanmyid.com/id-scanner-software/pro-marketing-database.html

posted by jimavolt on Sep 18, 2017 at 09:17:16 am     #  

I can assure you no info was collected. It is just an efficient way to verify age.

posted by endiem on Sep 18, 2017 at 09:23:38 am     #   1 person liked this

Some carryout use this device as an age verification, typically with a camera o they can prove they checked the ID. It simply gives an alert if the license is not real or the person is underage. Valid license gives a different message

posted by Hoops on Sep 18, 2017 at 10:13:31 am     #  

endiem posted at 10:23:38 AM on Sep 18, 2017:

I can assure you no info was collected. It is just an efficient way to verify age.

endiem - I didn't mean to imply that the use of the machines was nefarious. Only to share that, depending on the machine and software package used, the data certainly can be collected.

IMO contacting customers who consent via F-book, email and texting works a lot better for everyone and is sure a lot < $ than USPS mailings.

posted by jimavolt on Sep 18, 2017 at 10:28:25 am     #  

We went down for Prince Friday night and then back again on Saturday for the festival, this time with the kids. They've done such a great job on the space, much better than it was before. We also parked in their garage and it was so convenient to be so close when you're lugging kids and strollers, etc.

posted by idinspired on Sep 18, 2017 at 10:41:29 am     #  

endiem... are you saying that with some authority ? i asked the question of the people working as i passed through and nobody had an answer... probably would be helpful to clarify that ahead of time for both the public and the volunteers/employees what with identity fraud and privacy concerns such an issue.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Sep 18, 2017 at 07:06:42 pm     #  

I've seen a few bars in big cities scan the ID. I always thought it was just to confirm it is a bona fide ID and not a fake

posted by classylady on Sep 18, 2017 at 10:06:34 pm     #  

They scan your ID at the dollar store. It's a thing.

posted by upso on Sep 18, 2017 at 10:20:27 pm     #  

If you're buying meds with pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Advil Cold & Sinus, etc.), a lot of pharmacies will scan your ID now, too.

posted by valbee on Sep 19, 2017 at 08:44:31 am     #  

Yes. All of the folks checking IDs were volunteers. I doubt it was even considered an issue ahead of time. They were rented and set up to only verify age and pretty much returned after the festival on Monday morning. But, yes, you do make good points on the privacy concerns.

posted by endiem on Sep 19, 2017 at 02:25:22 pm     #  

Huh, I thought I quoted enjoyeverysandwich - I don't post much here. Mostly a lurker :)

posted by endiem on Sep 19, 2017 at 02:28:00 pm     #  

jimavolt posted at 11:28:25 AM on Sep 18, 2017:
endiem posted at 10:23:38 AM on Sep 18, 2017:

I can assure you no info was collected. It is just an efficient way to verify age.

endiem - I didn't mean to imply that the use of the machines was nefarious. Only to share that, depending on the machine and software package used, the data certainly can be collected.

IMO contacting customers who consent via F-book, email and texting works a lot better for everyone and is sure a lot < $ than USPS mailings.

Yeah, no biggie, just clarifying. all of the volunteers represented The Arts Commission, btw.

posted by endiem on Sep 19, 2017 at 02:29:37 pm     #  

Hey, quote worked - don't delete the quote number. Got it.

posted by endiem on Sep 19, 2017 at 02:32:28 pm     #