First of all, from a planning perspective, there is nothing new in the analysis of the existing conditions, the history, and the planning ideas so far proposed. Over the last 35 years there have been numerous plans for downtown that have investigated, taken public input from a large number of shareholders, brought in designers and market experts to proposed changes, suggest uses, and lobby for improvements. This is not intended as a knock... professional planners and designers have coalesced behind these sets of ideas and principles fairly widely since about 1980 with relatively minor refinement and trends.
A couple things have changed.
I think the positive effects of the earlier plans and investments by relatively small players accumulated and that, in turn, brought downtown to the attention of the mud hens and eventually the walleye. This governmental investment and along continued small investment created a very nice if somewhat sporadic buzz... and now has brought downtown to a tipping point where major employers, investors, and the government are recognizing the value of what has been created. We are now on the doorstep of many additional jobs moving back into the downtown which in turn will once again support a myriad of small jobs and investments in these neighborhoods.
It is the serious involvement of many companies and corporations with vested interest that makes this new plan different and important and likely to have a real impact on how things happen...
... but of course any plan they set up has a very good chance of being disregarded if some other company/entity wants to make a substantial investment downtown: look at how Promedica, one of the principles in this new plan, decided the new parking garage should be turned perpendicular to Summit Street and cross over Water St RoW. I am FOR the parking garage, but cutting off Fort Industry's view and removing another street is bad urban planning. The presentation even criticizes all of the cut off streets and super blocks that exist downtown because of the stadium, the arena, and the convention center and the demolition of important buildings that occurred ... and yet when all of these projects were being planned many people spoke against the specific location of these projects because of these negative effects... everyone wants to be the exception to good planning and then wants to slam the door behind them on others doing bad urban planning.
I am hopeful that progress will continue to be made and that investment continues to be concentrated downtown and that the City and hold the line in sticking with the plan to save and revive these neighborhoods... this in turn can be a catalyst for outside investment to create new jobs in Toledo and provide an alternative residential experience Toledo has not had in fifty years